And So Forth are delighted to be welcoming Nicholas Pallesen to lead our first workshop of 2017, ‘The Performer’s Mind: On and Off Stage’. He recently took some time out of his busy schedule to speak to us about his work as a hypnotherapist and what participants can expect from his session on the 22nd January.
So, Nicholas, can you introduce yourself, and what you do, to our readers?
I’m Nicholas Pallesen, and I wear two hats: I perform full time as an opera singer (I’m actually in London at the moment to sing the title role in Rigoletto at the English National Opera). Concurrent to my performing career. I’ve also worked full time for the past 15 years as a Board Certified Hypnotherapist for performing artists, where I help artists get out of their own way, both on stage and off.
Nicholas, you are also a successful international baritone; how does this experience inform your practice when working with performers as a hypnotherapist?
It informs everything I do in my work as a hypnotherapist. I bring a unique angle to my work that performance psychologists and traditional psychotherapists don’t, which is that I’m also an active, international performer myself. As such, I “get” firsthand all the unique challenges, demands, and pressures we face as artists, not just in our careers, but in our everyday lives as well. I’ve been fortunate enough to perform on some of the top opera stages in the world, and yet I’ve also had terrible auditions, struggled with self-doubt and performance anxiety, dealt with the politics, and had challenges navigating the everyday lifestyle of an artist just like everyone else. I’ve overcome those challenges, and in every session with an artist, I draw from both my performance and life experiences to help people in the best way I can to be their best, most authentic and empowered selves.
What are your favourite things about your job?
The best part of my job is that I get to work with the most wonderful human beings on the planet every day! I love each of my clients and am so grateful to be a small part of their journey to “I am enough”. It’s thrilling to watch people discover just how much power they have within themselves and then watch them exercise that power in their everyday lives. It’s also really cool to show people that change IS possible, and it’s much easier than they think. Watching people own their stories with confidence, both on and off stage, is more fulfilling to me than any standing ovation I’ve ever received as a performer.
What are the three most common issues you find yourself helping performers with?
The most common “on stage” issue I help people with is overcoming performance/audition anxiety. Most of my sessions these days have more to do with off stage, “life” goals. Among those goals, the most common would probably be helping people with relationship issues of all varieties, everyday stress/anxiety management, helping people sleep better, and helping people who feel they’re at a “crossroads” in their life/career to figure out the next step. After 15 years or working with clients, I would say that any issue is common in my office; I see just about every issue you can think of, so people can bring anything they want to change and I’ve probably helped dozens of other artists on the same thing.
What should people expect from your workshop?
I love for my workshops to be a more informal, interactive setting where we can talk about things in a way that people feel safe and comfortable. I’m also a big believer in having fun, so we’ll probably laugh a bit in the class! I’m also a big believer in giving people practical tools they can use themselves, so every person will walk away from the class with a few techniques they can use anytime, anywhere to neutralize stress and anxiety and get to a more calm, grounded place in less than a minute. Everyone will also have the opportunity to experience hypnosis in a group setting and learn a powerful way to supercharge their mental rehearsal and more effectively visualize success in any context.
What do you hope participants will go away with after your workshop?
I hope people walk away feeling empowered and much more confident in themselves and their ability to manage their everyday experiences. I hope people get a sense of just how easy it can be to change and control how they feel. I hope they go away with a better understanding of hypnosis and all the benefits it can have in all aspects of life, and I hope they go away excited to put all the new tools they’ve learned into action!