“Wide Awake:” Boris Cherniak motivates through hypnotism

(Brianna Pedro got emotional when hypnotized to believe the number six doesn’t exist. Photo by Amanda Martin)

 Motivational Hypnotist Boris Cherniak took his talents to FSU on Sept. 23 in DPAC.

Cherniak is an internationally recognized entertainer, who performs under the stage name Hypnotist Incredible BORIS.

According to Cherniak’s website, he is an avid believer in the power of positive thinking and has made appearances to promote this ideal. One of his most notable performances was his contribution to the TED talk “I Can Do Anything.” In the talk, Cherniak collaborated with fellow motivational speakers to emphasize the importance of positive thinking.   

Cherniak fills a niche in entertainment by weaving strands of comical commentary into his hypnotist hijinks. Joking aside, Cherniak is a motivational speaker who constantly reminds his audience that they “can do anything.”   

Cherniak embodied the same philosophy during his performance FSU. From the get go, he assured the audience of the power of the mind, stating, “The mind is incredible. In fact, anything you put your mind to ,you can accomplish.”

With his unique style and quirky yet collected stage presence, Cherniak had no problem holding the audience’s attention.

After selecting volunteers from the crowd, Cherniak began his performance.

The show started tamely as Cherniak exchanged formalities with his new set of volunteers. After the introductions, he began to interact with those on stage.

Cherniak riddled off a few of the names of his volunteers before abruptly stopping at one FSU student in the center of the bunch. He insisted he had forgotten her name, and asked to hear it one more time. The volunteer replied without hesitation, only to be dismissed by Cherniak who had other ideas.

With the simple words “deep sleep” his volunteers drooped like a group of bashful bobble heads, and without delay the audience let out a collective gasp of “ohhhs” and “ahhhs.”

Cherniak then addressed the audience as he convinced the center volunteer that her name was Barbie, and when she was addressed by any other name, she was to become increasingly irritable.     

And with Cherniak’s words, “wide awake,” the newly named Barbie sprung up completely convinced that her name had never been anything but.

Cherniak proved his point by addressing Barbie as Betty, only to have her snap at him, saying “My name is Barbie!” And as promised, as the show progressed, so did Barbie’s agitation about being wrongly addressed.

Cherniak’s performance was filled with shenanigans, each targeting a specific volunteer and occasionally addressing the lot of them. He had one student convinced she had 11 fingers, another utterly incapable of pronouncing the last two letters in “six,” effectively making the volunteer hiss like a snake with a stutter.

Not forgetting the rest of his volunteers, Cherniak had them form a conga line that meandered through the audience like a lethargic caterpillar. As the line approached the front of the stage, Cherniak stopped them and introduced his next segment, which he deemed, “The evolution of dance instructors.”

Before long, he had all his volunteers bobbing and weaving to the beat of various tracks – some modern, some throwbacks. The audience applauded and laughed at the sight of their friends and fellow students dipping and dabbing carelessly around stage. 

Cherniak closed his performance with a heartfelt 10-step motivational speech directed at his volunteers. This speech ranged from encouraging healthy eating habits to providing positive reinforcement for breaking unhealthy habits. With the final words, “wide awake,” Cherniak’s volunteers woke to a roaring applause from the crowd.