Bafta winning actress and Broadchurch star Olivia Colman talks about Hypnosis for her stage fright
Broadchurch and Peep Show star Olivia Colman has revealed that she underwent hypnotherapy sessions to combat her stage fright before her first public performance in the play Mosquitoes currently playing at the National Theatre in London.
During an interview a few years back she spoke about getting botox and loving it, this time she is opening up about getting help to deal with her stage fright and the nerves that can wreck an actor’s career.
Speaking at a live discussion recorded at the National Theatre earlier in September, she explained that she had developed a fear of performing on stage in her current role. Winning three BAFTAs is no bar to feeling nervous about walking on stage in front of an audience.
Talking about the experience of stepping out in front of an audience Olivia said:
“I had to have cognitive hypnotherapy before my first night because I was so terrified. It’s a two-way deal, I’m going to do this thing and its quite scary, you’re going to be really kind and listen, and hopefully you’re going to enjoy it.”
I often see people who come and visit me and think that hypnosis is a strange feeling where you are out of control. This may be the impression that you get from TV and Film. This isn't the case at all. In fact it is much more like a sense of focus where you just don't care what else is going on.
The picture above is from the Rewind 80's Festival held in Henley on Thames in August. How does it relate to Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy though and why did a wonderful weekend of music inspire me to write about the connection?
We arrived on the Friday and pitched our tent ready for a weekend of music from the 80's and away from all that real life has to offer. No stress and strain for us, apart perhaps from wondering if we would get rained out as heavy rain had been forecast for the Sunday.
We headed out to see what was happening on the Friday evening party and came across the Silent Disco. If you have never encountered one before then you may be surprised to find that they are very quiet. Perhaps the name gives that away. The silence and the sound of shuffling feet is punctuated with the sound of hundreds of people singing familiar snatches of songs that you know. Often, two songs at once. Because you have headphones on, you are not even all listening to the same songs!
While I had a pair of headphones with a red light, my other half had a pair with a green light. She was listening to one eightees classic whilst I listened to another. This was the same for everyone. Because you don't really know what everyone is dancing to, and because you can't hear anything apart from the music in your headphones, then it gives a wonderful sense of freedom.
There is no need to feel self conscious about singing along, no one can hear you. Not just that, you can also dance to your hearts delight because even if you are not dancing to the beat everyone is listening to a different beat.
So, this is why I liken it to hypnosis. It's not about some kind of deep sleep, it is often about a more narrow sense of focus, and one where you forget about what else is happening. When you listen to music you can become lost in your own thoughts and any fear of rain was quickly gone from our minds. At one point she became part of a conga and disappeared and I yet I didn't even notice at first.
When we eventualy left hot, sweaty, smiling and laughing we had both had a great time, but not even heard the same songs, or DJ.
This is what I love about music. It takes you to wherever you want to go. Headphones and a little dancing help you to escape even further into a place in your own imagination. In this case, somewhere where I can sing and dance much better than I really did.
Music has a wonderful effect on people and I wouldn't want to miss any chance to listen and relax with it. Roll on next year...see you then Rewind Festival.