Stampede week’s Hypnotist changes minds


Bridget Reilly

Hypnostist Erick Känd gets to know his volunteers at the hypnosis event hosted by UPB. Jan 15. Photo by Bridget Reilly

“It was freaking amazing! After seeing this show I definitely would be hypnotized, I think I’m that kind of person.” Ronnie Esslinger, an undecided freshman, said after watching hypnotist Eric Kand perform Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. in Comanche.

Kand’s show was one of the many events lined up for this Spring’s Stampede Week hosted by the University Programming Board to kick off the semester.

This was not the first time a hypnotist has visited our campus yet for most of the audience, it was their first hypnotic experience. Therefore it was only right for Kand to begin the evening with a few exercises to determine who of the spectators may be the best candidates for hypnosis.

The audience did a few activities and followed some simple instructions, the results of which would separate those students who were skeptical or unwilling from those who could put aside their conscious mind and, “may be more emotionally intelligent,” according to Kand.

Many of the students who volunteered said they ended up surprising themselves.

“I did not plan on going [on stage] but, [my girlfriend] went up then I went up,” said Victor Venegas, undecided freshman, who’s energy during hypnosis wowed the crowd.

The experience overall seemed to be one that students liked, and something that nursing freshman, Shermain McDaniel, did not expect.

McDaniel said, “I came because [my friend] told us about it in the group chat, this is my first ever hypnotist show but it was real life funny.”

Kandace Lauren, nursing freshman, was one of the first few volunteers and described the feeling as almost being asleep.

“I was hypnotized-ish. I felt it but I didn’t really feel much,” she said. “They told me I said something about a dragon but I don’t remember that. I’ve never been to anything like this, but I would definitely do it again.”

Kand has been a hypnotist for fifteen years and says the shows are the funnest part of his job which he seems to do very well.

Having hypnotized over twenty thousand people in all fifty states and garnered over 4 million views on his YouTube channel, his hard work, talent and impressive following recently landed him his first contract with HBO, just a week prior to the performance here at Midwestern.

“I used to be a CPA (certified public accountant) believe it not,” says Kand. “I went and started taking classes…learning clinical hypnosis and I also took seminars for entertainment. I was just into it for fun and then eventually I started seeing clients professionally for self help reasons…hypnosis for self improvement…weight loss, getting over a past relationship, memory and sports improvement, or taking the LSAT (law school admissions test).”

His journey has been an interesting one and he knows his field faces plenty of criticism. Kand had this to say about how hypnosis works.

“It’s not a fast or hard science…You don’t know why you dream, what the purpose of dreaming is… or what the messages mean. Whether it’s complete garbage or if its your mind doing fun story telling or if it’s aliens sending thoughts into your head. You have no idea what dreams are all about. This has nothing to do with hypnosis,” Kand said, “but I’m just using it as an example [because] it happens all the time and we don’t know much about it so we just push it out of our minds, your mind can only follow a couple things at a time, that’s how weak your conscious mind is.”

As far as people being skeptical of his work, Kand said he does not really worry about it because, “what people think they know is not necessarily truth, it’s what they believe.”

To find out more about Kand’s work and future performances visit his website,

The University Programming Board will also be hosting free events through the end of the week, closing with a screening of Bohemian Rhapsody on Saturday, January 19th at 7pm in Legacy MPR.