When hypnotic researcher Nathan Ouwehand was seven years old, he remembers standing in line in Vancouver and getting help from others.
He didn’t realize the exact situation, but Ouwehand was there with his younger brother and his recently divorced mother. It wasn’t an easy time for the family and they were getting help from the local food bank.
It left a big impression on the man that is in Lake Country visiting his mom and his step-dad Hugh who was diagnosed less than a year ago with an inoperable brain tumour.
Ouwehand will host a charity toy drive Saturday at the Creekside Theatre to honour his father and try to help out Lake Country.
Standing in that line as a kid, he admits he wasn’t sure what was happening.
“I didn’t quite grasp what was going on,” said Nathan.
“I remember there was a massive line and we had to do some volunteer work and that’s what we did. It wasn’t until years later that I really realized what we were doing there.”
That was before Nathan’s mom met Hugh, the man the Toronto-area native considers his father and the man that raised him. As Nathan continued to grow up in Ontario, he also found a knack for hypnosis, starting when he was just messing around with friends when he was 13.
“It’s always been with me in some way or another, as I was growing up,” he said.
As an adult, Ouwehand began a career in the film industry, working as a special effects make-up artist and an art director. But when Toronto’s film industry went in the tank nearly a decade ago, Ouwehand went back to what he knew best and began to train in the area’s of the mind and hypnosis.
He calls himself a hypnotic researcher and rarely performs stage shows. Instead, he works with individuals on a variety of health issues with his main work coming with soldiers who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder.
“What I do is I separate the conscious mind from the sub-conscious mind,” he said. “I’m a life coach but I’m not a normal life coach. I help people deal with psychological issues.”
After retiring, Nathan’s parents settled in Lake County and have been there for about a decade. Doctors at first said Nathan’s father wouldn’t live to see this Christmas although he has beat those odds. So when Nathan planned his trip to Lake Country to see his parents this holiday season, he knew it was a chance to give back to the community that has done a lot to help his folks.
“This is the last Christmas I am going to be spending time with both of my parents,” he said.
“Because my dad sleeps all of the time, I knew I would have some time on my hands. I knew the moment I decided to come to Lake Country this Christmas that this was my time to be able to do something. I don’t do a lot of stage shows. They are fun but this is one way I can justify doing it.”
This Saturday at the Creekside Theatre, Nathan will present a comedy hypnosis stage show/toy drive. Admission to the event is a new unwrapped toy for kids aged 7 to 15 years old, with a focus on the older kids.
“Everyone in the area has helped my parents so much, that’s why I want to help out this area,” he said.
Nathan’s toy drive/hypnotic stage show begins at 7 p.m. at the Creekside Theatre on Saturday.