24 January 2010

Arts & Upstarts: Tanya Pillay, HypnoSage

Photo of Tanya Pillay TANYA PILLAY
Theatre Performer & Creator

Motivational hypnosis for personal change.
Started: 2007

What type of business do you run and why did you decide to start it?

I became a Motivational Hypnotist to help people change, enhance, or achieve in any aspect of their lives. I say "motivational" to distinguish my work from stage hypnosis, which is usually only for the purpose of entertainment. I guide clients to relax using various suggestions, personalized imagery, and meditation techniques. Together we explore the obstacles holding them back and co-create acceptible solutions so that they can move forward. I started the practice after I tried hypnosis as a client; other attempts to address chronic stress and tension produced minimal results. After a few sessions, my life changed in ways I  believed to be possible but could not seem to achieve in any other way. I felt empowered with a vision of my ideal self. I also walked away with a more supportive inner dialogue.

How do you balance your business with your own art practice? 

They interfere only in terms of scheduling. Acting and hypnotism are highly complementary and mutually beneficial. For example, as an actor, I am constantly building my ability to acknowledge and release my emotions constructively so that I can approach performance roles from a place of neutral readiness. As a hypnotist, I actively ground and balance myself so that I can be a stable sounding board and compassionate guide for clients.

Photo of Tanya Pillay hypnotismWhat has been the biggest challenge in running your business, and what has been the greatest outcome?

The greatest challenge has been accepting that not everyone is as hungry for change as I was when I first discovered hypnotism. I am continually saddened by the number of people who believe that hypnotism is anything other than a safe and natural process of personal development. I was also surprised to realize how many people are afraid of losing control of their thoughts, as though they do not own them.

The greatest outcome has been watching people make complete turnarounds with their own inner wisdom. Because I guide clients to connect with their Higher Selves, the learning always comes from the client. The guidance clients glean in this manner is always profound, universal, and a beautiful reminder to me.

In what ways are your artistic vision and entrepreneurial spirit connected?

They are both all about the awareness, clarity, and management of emotions as well as interpersonal relationships. The more I witness my clients’ self-limiting beliefs, the easier it becomes for me to acknowledge and respond to my own obstacles. And I’ve found that my biggest obstacles, as an actor, are my self-limiting beliefs.

My experience as a hypnotist has lead me to new inclinations as a theatre creator: I have come to relish opportunities to bring audience members on a journey of personal discovery that transcends the traditionally passive experience of watching a play. I now invite the audience to question me throughout my storytelling process so that they have some ownership over the way the story unfolds. For instance, during my current piece of documentary theatre, I stop throughout and ask the audience if they want to know more or if they have any questions. Or, sometimes I simply ask them to raise a hand if they also experience the topic at hand.

The historically passive, show-and-tell of the stage no longer satisfy me, now that I’ve experienced co-creation and shared community that can also be entertaining and safe. If this is why the quiet audiences of the past are content to stay home and watch TV and movies, while many performances face empty seats, I’m thankful that hypnotism has taught me the immense value of inviting audiences to be involved in an artistic journey, in much the same way that someone outside cannot heal another’s inner wounds without the involvement of the wounded.

HypnoSage logoHypnoSage
Phone: (647) 299-2879

"Arts & Upstarts" is a new section of The Artist's Business Digest. Beyond profiling artist-run businesses, the intended outcome of these posts is to offer both personal and business insight, inspiration and connection for other artists who are running their own business, who are thinking of starting one, or who consider their art practice to be their business.
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