Hypnotherapy is perfect for actors encountering roadblocks to success or simply desiring to progress in their crafts to the next level. The very nature of acting makes this so.
Consider what an actor actually does. While the writer is the one who creates a person, fictionalized or based upon a real person, it is the actor who interprets the writer’s intention on the stage or screen. Actors must be able to tap into their emotions and knowledge of people in order to engage with the audience and create what the writer envisioned. If the role is based upon an historical character, the role is still an interpretation of the actor’s in accord with the intention of the writer. To accomplish such a task, the actor must literally become someone else.
Such work requires creativity that is found within the Middle Mind (subconscious) where the instinctively creative and emotional aspects of the brain work. As the script is read, the Middle Mind takes the facts on paper and then gets to work. These creative “juices” of the mind are an awesome combination of God-given, innate gifts and life experiences full of emotions, instincts, drives, and habits. One goal of hypnotherapy is to make sure the actor can fully and confidently focus the Middle Mind on the task at hand, yet make sure the mind is free to fully explore and optimize the role. This “unbinding” of the mind takes us to the second aspect in which hypnotherapy can play a major role.
Our Middle Minds have been programmed since birth. As a matter of survival and growth, fears, restrictions, and encumbrances have become almost hardwired into our personalities. A child growing up in a home with introverted parents can be expected to be less expressive herself. Parents and other influencers may demonstrate to us a need to temper our emotions, and we learn to keep them to ourselves. We develop our own personalities and ways of engaging with the world, and these modes of behavior become unconsciously applied in our daily lives. All of the encrypting of the Middle Mind becomes detrimental to an actor who needs to be freed to express the behavior and emotions of a totally different person. The objective now is not to be his own person, but to be someone else entirely. Arguably, John Wayne simply played “John Wayne” in every role he undertook, and it worked for him, but that is not the limited range most actors shoot for. Just the other night, I watched Johnny Depp portray the mobster Whitey Bulger in the movie Black Mass. His personification of evil at times in the movie is far different form the lovable Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean. What talent!
The hypnotherapist can assist the actor client with exploring the limitations to the development of his or her craft. Together they can formulate a plan that allows the actor’s mind to be fed the raw materials necessary for the full development of creativity.
In addition to the creative nature of acting, the hypnotherapist can provide the tools to overcome other practical and individual challenges that actors face. Some of these may be issues that apply to non-actors, as well. Certainly, actors need to be comfortable as public speakers. They must not have stage fears or problems with performing in front of people. They need to be able to focus on their roles. They need to relax and yet to remember their lines and actions. They must have the skills to work with fellow actors. All of these individualized challenges can be unearthed and examined rather quickly. With hypnosis and suggestions, the actor’s Middle Mind is empowered to re-create itself in order to overcome prior limiting behavior, replacing it with new acting-friendly strengths.
Hypnotherapy should be a consideration for any actor wanting to improve, whether for a role at the local playhouse or on the big screen.