Meet Kathryn Preston and Matt Hale

Dubbo Photo News - - Contents - AS TOLD TO Natalie Holmes

Kathryn Preston

IWAS born in Al­bany, a town in the south of West­ern Aus­tralia. I grew up on my par­ents’ farm in Cran­brook WA, about an hour north of Al­bany. Cran­brook is a small coun­try town and whilst grow­ing up, our near­est neigh­bour was over one kilo­me­tre away.

My fam­ily is a farm­ing fam­ily, mostly sheep while I was grow­ing up but has tran­si­tioned to grains over the years. Whilst I love liv­ing in the city now, I re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate the op­por­tu­ni­ties I had by grow­ing up in the coun­try.

Join­ing the bank­ing in­dus­try, I was in fi­nance for 20 years; work­ing my way from a teller through to cor­po­rate and pri­vate bank­ing. I left bank­ing three years ago to join Matt as his man­ager.

As a hus­band and wife team, we are work­ing to­gether to­wards shared goals and we ac­tu­ally get to see each other which was be­com­ing more dif­fi­cult as our ca­reer paths took us in dif­fer­ent direc­tions.

I love to travel and we are very for­tu­nate that what we do in­volves a lot of travel so we get to com­bine what we do with our love of travel. Tour­ing gives us the chance to see so many parts of the coun­try and meet so many amaz­ing peo­ple.

No mat­ter how long or short we are in a spot we al­ways try to stop and ap­pre­ci­ate each place we visit while there.

We also get to see beau­ti­ful parts of the coun­try (world) that we may never have thought of oth­er­wise. We also have friends dot­ted all over the place who we get to catch up with as we bump around the coun­try.

When we are home, I love to re­lax by cooking and I love ex­per­i­ment­ing with new dishes and al­ways look­ing for an ex­cuse to go to some trou­ble in the kitchen. Our friends love be­ing the guinea pigs for my cooking ad­ven­tures.

Be­ing from Eng­land, when we first met, Matt found the coun­try lifestyle so dif­fer­ent from any­thing he’d ever ex­pe­ri­enced. How­ever, he’s now an old hand at coun­try life and with all his tour­ing trav­els, has spent time in some re­ally re­mote places, en­ter­tain­ing peo­ple.

Manag­ing Matt has been one of the most in­ter­est­ing, fun and chal­leng­ing roles for me. Ev­ery day I get to laugh with my job - there’s not many peo­ple I know who en­joy their work day as much as I do. And see­ing the smiles and hear­ing the laughs re­ally makes me feel like we are pro­vid­ing an im­por­tant ser­vice to the com­mu­nity. When peo­ple come up to me af­ter a show and tell me they haven’t laughed so much for years, it re­ally makes my day.

Matt Hale

IGREW up in Hert­ford­shire, Eng­land, about 40km north of cen­tral Lon­don. I started do­ing DJ work at the age of 15. When I hit 18, I started Djing in clubs in UK, Greece, Malta and Ibiza.

I then moved into the role of ra­dio DJ, work­ing on break­fast shows both in UK and Aus­tralia af­ter I moved here.

From an early age, I was al­ways fas­ci­nated with the mind, and would try and repli­cate var­i­ous mem­ory demon­stra­tions that I saw on TV. At 21, I took part in a hyp­no­sis show, and loved the ex­pe­ri­ence, and was then on a mis­sion to work out how and why, and the psy­chol­ogy be­hind it.

Due to a suc­cess­ful break­fast ra­dio ca­reer where I won three na­tional ACRA awards, I had lit­tle chance to work prop­erly on my hyp­no­sis show, so ended up quit­ting ra­dio at the end of 2007 to com­mit ev­ery­thing to get­ting it up and run­ning.

While I was fas­ci­nated with hyp­no­sis since I was part of that show, it was more of a party trick for a long time.

When I de­cided to take a year off and quit my job in ra­dio, I think peo­ple thought I was crazy but I wanted to see where it could go. Ini­tially, I was self­taught from old books which I pieced to­gether with what I knew about psy­chol­ogy. Then I went and learnt from pro­fes­sional hyp­no­tists in the US and UK. I also hold qual­i­fi­ca­tions and am cer­ti­fied in hyp­nother­apy. There is only a small group of peo­ple who prac­tice mind con­trol in Aus­tralia and I like to keep in the loop.

It’s not just about get­ting peo­ple to do what you want. If I could do that, I would be get­ting their PIN! (laughs)

The fas­ci­na­tion is with try­ing to get some­one to be­lieve a false re­al­ity they’re not re­ally in, that holds in­cred­i­ble ap­peal.

But at the same time, I want peo­ple to feel good, not just do em­bar­rass­ing things. It’s al­ways funny and fun. At the end of the show, they are al­ways buzzing. They re­mem­ber ev­ery­thing (I don’t prac­tice am­ne­sia) and I want them to re­mem­ber how good it was to par­tic­i­pate. It’s a re­ally good night, we share a lot of laugh­ter and the peo­ple them­selves

choose who will be par­tic­i­pat­ing and whether they en­joy it from the au­di­ence or the stage. When peo­ple are hyp­no­tised, they feel re­ally good. It ac­tu­ally crosses over with mind­ful­ness, med­i­ta­tion and yoga – it has the same ba­sis. One lady ac­tu­ally told me that I’d saved her $160 – the cost of eight mas­sages. I also do group ses­sions in hyp­no­sis. The most com­mon things are to quit smok­ing or lose weight, but I have also helped peo­ple with strange pho­bias – whether it’s a fear of heights or a fear of red but­tons.

I also give a key­note speech at cor­po­rate events, it’s called ‘By choice, not chance’ and it fo­cuses on im­prov­ing how you think in or­der to take ad­van­tage of op­por­tu­ni­ties. Don’t think ‘what if’ but learn to take the risk in­stead and to use your mind log­i­cally to reach your goals.

The strangest show I ever did was at a mine site where we had to stop the show be­cause a snake went through the crowd. They had to get the snake catcher to cap­ture it. It was prob­a­bly not the ideal time for me to test my pow­ers of hyp­no­sis on a snake!

Some­times, I have used hypnotism in un­usual ways. I haven’t had a park­ing ticket for 10 years, but I think that is just a co­in­ci­dence. Also, Kathryn thinks she is mar­ried to Ge­orge Clooney, so don’t tell her oth­er­wise!

Be­cause of Kathryn’s busi­ness back­ground, she runs that side of things. She is far from some­one who wants to be on stage and I am far from some­one who wants to be in an of­fice. She is so un­der­stand­ing with ev­ery­thing, par­tic­u­larly the ridicu­lous ideas I’ve had. I mean, when your hus­band says ‘I’m go­ing to quit my job and be­come a com­edy hyp­no­tist’, it takes a spe­cial kind of some­one to go along with that.

We have very sim­i­lar in­ter­ests in life and we are good to­gether. It’s hard for a lot of cou­ples to work to­gether but we’ve found a re­ally good bal­ance. We spend a lot of time do­ing great things to­gether and we share a sim­i­lar out­look on life. We live in Perth and I love it there. I’m very happy with my life.

When I’m not work­ing, l love board sports - surf­ing, snow­board­ing, skate­board­ing, Sup­ing, kite­board­ing and I’m a huge beach lover.

We are both great trav­ellers. We both took a year off at one point to travel the world, see­ing a ridicu­lous amount of places, from Rus­sia to Bo­livia. Now we get a chance to tour to­gether, we mix our love of travel with work by try­ing to spend ex­tra time in the places we visit for work and ac­tively hunt down show op­por­tu­ni­ties in places we’d love to spend time in!

We’ve been a cou­ple for 13 years, mar­ried for five, but only work­ing to­gether for three years. We of­ten joke that I’m sim­ply the danc­ing mon­key that Kathryn sends all over the place to ‘do his thing’! I also know when Kathryn’s had enough of me at home as she’ll book me some­where very far away for a few days!

Com­edy hyp­no­tist Matt Hale will be at Dubbo Re­gional Theatre and Con­ven­tion Cen­tre on November 5.

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