THE DYNAMIC HYPNOTICS
Meet Kathryn Preston and Matt Hale
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.
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.