Opinion: Hypnotist Event Review

Hypnotist Evan Gambardella visits IMSA on 10/23/23 | Source: YouTube

Mental Health Week at IMSA

On Monday, October 23, 2023, IMSA’s Student Affairs and Counseling Office kicked off Mental Health Initiative Week. The week included several events and presentations to help address mental health at IMSA. These included:

  • Canine Comforters
  • SPARK: Positive Notes
  • Psych Club x IYNA: What is Psychiatry?
  • ISP Helping Hands Photoshoot
  • Mental Health First Aid Certification Informational
  • Spill the Tea with Big Sibs
  • SPARK: Origami
  • Build Emotional Support Stuffed Animal
  • Spa with SPARK
  • Bonfire with SPARK

However, the most entertaining of these events was Evan Gambardella’s hypnotist event on Monday, October 23, 2023, following his speech at the kick-off assembly earlier that day.

Evan Gambardella

Graduate of Boston University, Evan Gambardella is an Italian-American actor, magician, and hypnotist. He is an internationally recognized Stage and Consulting Hypnotist inducted by the National Guild of Hypnotists.

Actor: Evan has made television appearances on “Law and Order SVU,” “Pandora’s Box,” “Saturday Night Live,” and more. Recently he co-starred in the Academy Award-winning “Midnights.”

Magician: He has performed comedy magic shows across the world that range from local festivals to major events.

Hypnotist: Having performed in 19 countries across 6 continents, Evan is internationally recognized for his uniquely hypno-therapeutic perspective in treating anxiety, chronic stress, depression, loss, and general PTSD. He created “Train Your Brain” to bring mental health fitness programming to students struggling with these conditions.

On Monday, October 23, 2023, we got to see a glimpse into his almost unnerving work in treating mental illnesses with hypnotism at both the assembly and his event that evening.

At the Mental Health Initiative Week Assembly

Following alumni Sonia Wisniewski’s (’99) speech addressing her experience with mental health at IMSA, Evan Gambardella spoke about how hypnotism is actually a way to treat mental illnesses. He explained that the process induces certain brain wave activity that makes the brain vulnerable to new ideas adopted by the rational, conscious mind.

Beyond the science lesson we got, we heard an incredibly personal story from Evan that inspired his journey to hypnotism and this kind of education. He shared his trauma from sexual assault as a child. He shared the struggle of coming forward to speak about these experiences and how his story allowed other boys to share similar struggles. To me, this emotional account helped communicate the message that everyone is dealing with something difficult to overcome, but you never truly know. It’s a message many people need to understand, particularly students in the pressure-filled and extraordinarily competitive environment of IMSA.

We got to see his processes of hypnotism in action later that day.

At the Event

At 7:00-8:30 PM on Monday, October 23, 2023, we were surprised to watch a few of our peers act against their will on stage in the auditorium. Evan put their minds in a vulnerable state and demonstrated how easy it was for their minds to adopt new ideas and perform what he told them to do. From aggressively playing the violin to suddenly collapsing at the hips, we all got a laugh at watching our friends embarrass themselves unknowingly in front of an audience.

The point of his demonstration was truly remarkable. Evan was able to put IMSA students in an unconscious state where their minds were modifiable and adaptive to new ideas. With this process, you can “train your brain” to believe something and help combat mental illness.

We may never know Whether hypnosis is strong enough to get IMSA students through finals week in December. Still, one thing is for sure: Evan Gambardella’s visit to IMSA was exciting and conveyed powerful messages about overcoming mental health struggles in unique ways.

About the Author

Michelle Fanjoy
Hey! I am a sophomore at IMSA ('26) and I live in 1503. I enjoy playing tennis and the flute. I also love watching Formula 1, but most importantly, I love writing! I am looking forward to working as a staff writer for The Acronym this year.

1 Comment on "Opinion: Hypnotist Event Review"

  1. As a stage hypnotist, Evan possesses the remarkable ability to induce a state of trance in willing participants, allowing him to temporarily alter their perceptions, thoughts, and behaviors. His hypnotic suggestions often involve humorous scenarios, creating an entertaining and interactive experience for both the participants and the audience.

    Evan’s performances are not limited to mere entertainment. He also incorporates educational elements, demonstrating the power of the subconscious mind and exploring the fascinating realm of human psychology. Through his captivating stage shows, he aims to inspire and empower individuals, encouraging them to tap into their own potential and overcome limiting beliefs.

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