Professional hypnotist Paul Ramsay dazzled a crowd of eager students at Friends Hall this weekend. The seasoned hypnotist put on an exhibition of mesmerizing skill for the Ramapo student body as part of his nationwide tour.
Ramsay put on a compelling show, incorporating the entire audience in an engaging and interactive spectacle. The spectators dictated the course of the show and selected tasks for the hypnotized subjects to perform such as comical instantaneous slumber.
Nick Welch was one of the students put under Ramsay’s spell.
“I felt like I took a nap,” he said. “I remember doing it but not why.”
Hilarity quickly ensued within the astonished gathering of students as the participants performed a disjointed ballet without a shred of self-consciousness. When asked about their seemingly rehearsed ballet, many of the subjects staunchly claimed that they had practiced for weeks and were masters of their craft.
College Programming Board member Erin Healy was pleased with the group’s selection of Ramsay as a performer.
“We came up with the idea and wanted to find a hypnotist because it would be something people were interested in,” she said. “The turnout was more than expected.”
Ramsay did not disappoint and showcased a talent for maximizing the laughs he could glean from each suggestion. He had a personable stage presence that made the entire show more enjoyable, and he broke up the act with small discussions that engaged the audience.
Other hypnotic manipulations included an impersonation of a drill instructor, incredulous outbursts, a Guitar Hero championship, and one talking crotch. Ramsay never failed to keep the crowd on their toes with his ability as a showman and talent as a certified hypnotist.
Audience member Roman Imporatore was very impressed.
“It was very funny and entertaining,” he said.
The degree to which the participants invested in the characters Ramsay invented was not only humorous, but demonstrated the true power of suggestion. After winning the faux-Guitar Hero contest, the questions of what to do with the prize money ranged from buying Ramapo to vacationing in Australia.
Ramsay recollected on his influences after the performance.
“I was inspired by a retired hypnotist while I was the RA director at New Hampshire,” he said. “I got certified through the National Guild of Hypnotists and even sold my car because I was completely committed.”
Some of the most popular performances included an infatuation with a balloon, being unable to sit, and the grand finale, featuring a wildly entertaining performance of “Gangnam Style” by Psy and his backup dancers.
An impassioned Ramsay talked about his profession after the show.
“I love working with students because they are the most receptive,” he said. “Every night is a little different, and it lets me be an entertainer as well as be able to make a difference.”