Paul Ramsay makes his living entertaining and educating audiences of young adults all around the country in the cognitive art of hypnosis. He will be performing at Pickard Theatre tomorrow at 7:30 p.m.  

Bowdoin is the 17th college he will visit on his annual fall “Back to School” tour. 
Other hypnotists have performed at Bowdoin before, but this is the first time Ramsay will perform here. 

Before beginning a career in hypnotism in 2004, Ramsay was an English teacher at a public school in Maine and as a Residence Hall Director in the Office of Student Affairs at the University of New Hampshire. His passion for working with young adults led him to pioneer the first interactive presentation of hypnosis that has been wildly popular on college campuses around the nation. While Ramsay performs stage hypnotism at all types of corporate and public venues, he believes that college students make the best hypnotic subjects. 

“College students are legal adults, but on the younger end of it,” Ramsay said in an interview with the Orient. “They’re more optimistic, they’re more progressive, they’re really looking to experience new things. What’s more new than getting hypnotized for the first time?” 

Ryan Sanborn ’18 has been hypnotized twice in the past year, though never by Ramsay. 
“You just really get into this mental state that you’re aware of everything that you’re doing but it’s more like you can’t control what you’re doing,” he said. “[The hypnotist is] basically controlling your actions. It’s like you have very strong emotions towards that action.”

Ramsay explained that hypnotism allows the mind to step into a place where hypnotism can take place. 

“I look at my show as a way to take ordinary, everyday people who want to be hypnotized and basically transform them into a cast of characters,” he said.

Ramsay’s show is not narrative in nature. Instead, it’s comprised of a string of small segments in which the audience chooses what they want to see on stage. He compared his style to sketch comedy and said it is a concept that he pioneered himself. 

In addition to the show, Ramsay offers six free online hypnosis programs for those who join his email list on Tackling a number of issues, the programs aim to aid relaxation, induce sleep, curb bad habits and cultivate positive energy. 

“Part of my mission as an entertainer is to raise a greater awareness for the benefits of hypnotism everywhere I go,” he said. “It’s just my way of trying to get people to not be so afraid of hypnosis. The way it’s portrayed in movies and TV shows has definitely made it a stark and spooky thing and it’s really not.”