On Thursday night, hypnotist Valerie J. Reeves, originally from Los Angeles, entertained community members on the stage of Memorial Hall. Reeves, a stage hypnotist for 10 years, previously used her hypnotism skills to work with addicts, specifically those dealing with narcotics addiction. According to Reeves, “Everyone’s hypnotisable because we’re suggestible.”
Prior to the performance, Reeves strode back and forth across the stage swinging an amulet over a set of 17 empty chairs that were set up along the stage. Audience participants were chosen at random by drawing names out of a halloween pumpkin bucket; however, two of the participants were sent down after performing several warm-up exercizes to assess their “suggestability” to hypnosis.
Roughly one-third of the way through the performance, two audience members were brought up to the stage who had been sleeping (and thus judged to be readily suggestable). The sixteen audience members were involved in the performance either through group song and dance routines, or in small group or solo performances. Among the feats suggested to the participants by Reeves included being a dainty, beautiful ballerina, taking the role of Thriller back-up dancers, and performing as Marilyn Monroe singing happy birthday to Mr. President. Reeves encouraged the audience to “be honest, open, willing, sincere,” and to trust her.
Reeves performance at the college was one of only three events that Reeves gave while in Chadron. Reeves also made an appearance at local Chadron coffee shop, The Bean Broker, and also gave a performance at the Pine Ridge Job Corp.
Laure Sinn, coordinator of student activities, said Reeves was “an old friend” and revealed that the first stage performance Reeves gave at a college was years ago at CSC.