Change IS Possible – and it’s even easier than you may think.

Welcome to Whole Artist Hypnosis! If you’re reading this, it’s possibly because you’re feeling stuck in your own way, either in your career or everyday life. Maybe it’s something you’ve struggled with for a while, and even tried getting help with before. Perhaps it just popped up recently out of nowhere and caught you off guard. Or maybe you know what you “should” be doing, but something you can’t quite explain is holding you back. Well, here’s the great news: you can do something about it! Hypnosis is a highly efficient and effective process for helping people get “unstuck” and take back control of their lives – not only on stage, but (even more importantly) off of it as well.

You’ve probably already spent a lot of time focusing on the problem. Our work together focuses instead on finding solutions. Each hypnosis session is custom-designed to improve your total quality of life both today and beyond. From the very first session, you’ll learn powerful, hands-on techniques to maximize your unique strengths and change unwanted habituated patterns more easily than you ever imagined. Rather than offering “quick fixes” and “band-aids”, this empowering, cooperative approach to hypnosis will equip you with everything you need to create enduring change for yourself  long after we finish working together. So, whether you’re looking to overcome performance anxiety or stage fright, take back control of stress in everyday life, or get to the place where you can say with confidence, “I am enough”, I’m here to help. To learn more, contact me to schedule a free, confidential phone consultation and discuss how hypnosis can help you achieve your goals. I look forward to hearing from you!

Meet Nicholas

When Nicholas Pallesen says he “gets it”, he means it.  His unique combination of performance experience at some of the highest levels of the opera world and his extensive mental skills training has made him a highly sought out Board Certified Hypnotist for performing artists. As an active performer himself, he literally practices what he preaches on stages such as the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, The English National Opera, and many others. His training in clinical hypnosis, performance psychology, life coaching, mind/body medicine and NLP, combined with over 13 years experience working with clients, gives him a variety of powerful and innovative techniques to help people find the resources they need to be successful both on and off stage.

Nicholas is a trusted and respected Hypnosis Practitioner to a wide range of clients including established professionals at some of the top opera houses and symphonies in the world, up-and-coming pre-professionals in many of the major music schools and conservatories, and high school students preparing for careers in music. His success with artists has also lead him to work with a large number of clients in other fields who want to develop the mental skills to maximize success in their life and chosen career. In addition to his work with individual clients, Nicholas is a dynamic presenter, teaching group workshops for conservatories, opera companies, and music festivals.

Hypnosis Info.

Every day there are more media reports and research studies establishing hypnosis as a powerful resource for change. This section of the website is here to help answer questions you may have and hopefully demystify the process a bit for you. You’ll find descriptions of some of the most common things people work through with me in private sessions and how hypnosis can help. You’ll also get answers to some of the most frequently asked questions I hear about hypnosis and my work (hint: No, I don’t use pocket watches and no, you won’t cluck like a chicken!). Just click either of the buttons below or scroll down to get started. If you have any additional questions or want to work through something that isn’t listed in this section, no problem – feel free to contact me and let me know how I can help!

Common Issues Improved by Hypnosis

Overcome Performance Anxiety/Stage Fright

Hypnosis can help you give your most authentic, daring performances- no matter how bright the lights are!

When you see someone perform who is completely “in the moment” and taking risks as an artist, it’s electrifying, isn’t it? Every time you walk onto a recital or concert/opera stage, you have the same ability to connect with your audience. Through hypnosis, you will learn how to consistently access and operate in your optimum performance mode (what athletes commonly refer to as “the zone”) – giving you complete freedom to own your artistic choices with clarity and confidence. You’ll be able to quickly filter out any unwanted/unhelpful self-talk and distractions and focus on what you need most. You’ll also be able to manage your physical energy, eliminating any shaking that used to make playing or singing difficult. Having control over the physical and mental energy you feel allows you to channel the energy into much better use for you. Imagine how it will feel to walk off stage with a big smile on your face, knowing that you performed up to your abilities!

Audition Anxiety

Do you have an important audition coming up that you don’t want to leave to chance?

Helping people thrive in high-stakes auditions is one of my specialties! Current and past clients have recently won positions with the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera, Philadelphia Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Utah Symphony, San Francisco Opera, and the New World Symphony, among others. Some clients have recently won or placed in several of the major vocal and instrumental competitions around the world, and many others have been accepted into some of the top young artist programs, conservatories, and music schools in the US and abroad.

It is natural, normal, and inevitable for you to experience energy in an audition. What you do with that energy is completely within your control. In our sessions, you will learn strategies and techniques to embrace the physical and mental energy you feel – and since it’s going to be there anyway, you’ll learn how to channel it into something beneficial for you! Whether you’re singing an aria in front of an audition panel or playing orchestral excerpts behind a screen, you will have everything you need to express everything you came to say as an artist. And you might as well flush those beta blockers down the toilet now, because you won’t be needing them anymore!

Stress and Anxiety Relief

Release worries and take back control with hypnosis!

Stress and anxiety are natural feelings that we should expect to experience throughout our lives. Stress can manifest itself physically, mentally, and emotionally and if we aren’t careful, it can consume us. We may not always be able to control what happens to us, but we always have a choice in how we respond to it. How we choose to respond to those situations and feelings can be the difference between a healthy individual and one who is overcome by stress.

Hypnosis can help you to take back that power of choice and reduce the way that stress and anxiety control your present situation. You will also learn simple exercises utilizing the latest research in neuroscience and mind/body medicine to help you “reset” whenever you need to and reinforce the positive patterns you want. Imagine the POWER you will gain when you learn how to eliminate or reduce stress in a matter of seconds!

Improve Confidence

Are you your own worst critic? Empower yourself with hypnosis!

Despite our best efforts, we are still human and many factors can sometimes shake our confidence. In our personal and professional lives, we’ve all been told “no” many times, faced criticism, or been told (often by ourselves) that we’re not capable of things we believe we can achieve. And it’s pretty easy to buy into the false idea that someone else’s career path and what they’re accomplishing on that path dictates the merit and direction of your own.

Hypnosis can be your greatest tool for change. Hypnosis can help you remove mental blocks and self-limiting beliefs. Hypnosis is a process of taking control of the part of the mind of which we typically don’t have control – the unconscious mind. Through our work, we can help you to address habits, emotions, feelings, beliefs – basically everything that has to do with your current level of confidence and self-esteem. You can become more aware of and able to focus on your own strengths and gifts, as well as turn your weaknesses into victories.

Improve Sleep

Hypnosis can help you put insomnia to bed!

Having trouble getting to sleep at night? Have you been hitting that snooze button in the morning a few more times than you’d like? Countless studies have shown that not getting enough sleep can have serious effects on your health, focus, work, and quality of life. And as a performing artist, I know our lifestyle and schedule can often make a good, full night’s sleep a bit of a challenge.

Whether you have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting a restful sleep, improving sleep is actually one of the easiest things to accomplish with hypnosis! While hypnosis is not a state of sleep, it’s very helpful in teaching you how to rebuild your ability to relax at night, let go of the stressors of the day, and achieve an easier, deeper sleep. Integrating cutting-edge from research in neuroscience and mind/body medicine, I teach clients a special self-hypnosis protocol that is so effective, I’ve actually had several “night owls” fall asleep while learning the process! Imagine how much happier, healthier, relaxed, and productive you will be when you know that you have the tools to give yourself the best rest you can!

Here’s some recent feedback from people who have learned the sleep protocol:

“I know you said what you do isn’t magic, but I’m pretty convinced the sleep protocol is! Every night I’m like 30…oh no, it’s not working…oh hey, it’s morning!”

“I’m still sleeping great, 6 months later. Thank you for giving me these incredible tools!”

“I am delighted to tell you that the sleep protocol worked like a charm  :-) Today I woke up before my alarm sounded, ready to go.  That doesn’t happen for me. Ever. It’s amazing.”

Ever since I learned the sleep protocol, I’ve been sleeping like a baby :) Thank you!

Overcome Procrastination

Put off Procrastination for good with hypnosis!

We’ve all been there. Staring at that pile of work you have to do, but don’t feel motivated to do. Maybe you agreed to do something you really don’t want to do in the first place. Maybe you don’t see the immediate benefit in completing the task, or maybe you don’t even know where or how to begin and that uncertainty holds you back from starting. In those moments, doing almost anything else seems like much more fun! But if you’re like me, it’s hard to truly enjoy the moment because you have that dark cloud hanging over you, bringing guilt for not doing what you should or the stress of knowing you have lots of work left to do and that deadline is looming even closer.

Hypnosis can help you turn those mountains into molehills and help you be much more productive. Here’s a secret: even the greatest procrastinator has something that when given the chance, they don’t hesitate to do. Hypnosis can help reprogram your mind to utilize that motivation you already have in other areas and connect it to the tasks you want to get started on. You’ll retrain your brain to view those tasks as much more manageable. And in combination with the From Stressed to Best Program, you’ll also learn practical strategies to structure and plan your goals so that you work your best under the pressure of deadlines rather than feel like you’re treading water just to get the job done. Imagine how good it will feel when those dark clouds lift for good and your free time can be just that – free to enjoy how you want!

Overcome Fears

Banish your fears with hypnosis!

Are you afraid of getting on an airplane for your upcoming gig or trip? Do spiders and snakes make you want to jump out of your skin? Do you get nervous stepping into an elevator or have a fear of heights? People develop fears for a variety of objects and situations and they can prevent a person from experiencing a full, uninhibited life.

Fears and phobias are an emotional response that was learned at some point. Hypnosis provides you an opportunity to learn healthier, more positive responses to those old triggers. Through deep relaxation and learning several proven, effective anti-anxiety techniques that you can do yourself, you will have the tools to confidently release those fears forever!

Rediscover the Joy

Get back to “why” you do what you do with hypnosis!

Feeling a little burnout? Does your work feel more like a chore than a passion? Whether it’s because of getting caught up in a need to be “perfect”, finding it hard to stay true to themselves amidst the pressures and politics of the industry, or some other reason they don’t quite understand, sometimes people find that their chosen path no longer excites them the way it once did. With the help of hypnosis, you can reconnect to those feelings and experiences that brought you to that path in the first place. And when you love what you do, people will see and feel that love too.

Academic and Memory Improvement

Are you learning a new role, preparing for a recital, or studying for an important exam? Hypnosis can’t replace practicing, studying, or reading, but it can enhance your abilities to receive, retain, and recall new information more effectively. When you remove the excess “chatter”, fear, or self-limiting beliefs, you are able to concentrate and learn more freely and fearlessly. In addition to helping artists learn lines and music more efficiently for performances, I’ve helped clients in other fields prepare successfully for the LSAT, Board Exams, Bar Exam, ACT, SAT, GRE, and countless other important tests that they needed to pass.

Thanks to hypnosis, I’ve gained a reputation in the opera industry for being able to jump into engagements at the last minute. I recently jumped into a new role for a major production in London with 2 weeks notice. I also learned and memorized a Polish opera in 10 days for another recent last minute gig with no previous exposure to the language or the opera – and felt calm every step of the way! I’ve also drastically cut down my role preparation time – giving me even more opportunity to “dig deep” into the music or role and discover the extra layers I can bring as an artist.

Interview Nerves

Have an upcoming job or TV/media interview you need to nail?

Much like auditions, people oftentimes experience a natural and normal sense of anxiety during the interview process. The way you respond to this energy can be the difference between receiving a job offer or always wondering why you didn’t get the call. Through hypnosis, you can rehearse your success on the subconscious level so that when the big moment arrives, your brain already knows what you need and what to do. You’ll learn simple, discreet exercises you can do during preparation and in the moment to help you “reset” into a better place when needed. You’ll learn to respond to interview stress with poise and confidence, thereby giving your prospective employer an accurate impression of your abilities.

Public Speaking

Did you know that the fear of public speaking is the most common fear among people in the United States – even more than the fear of death? Just about everyone has experienced at some time or another the dry mouth, blank mind, and shaky legs that come with performance anxiety. Hypnosis is an effective tool for helping you have the confidence you need to present yourself as professionally and articulately as possible – no matter how bright the lights or large the crowd. You’ll learn how to manage the mental and physical energy that you experience in the moment so that it can work for you rather than against you. You’ll also learn how to mentally rehearse the experience on a subconscious level, allowing you to re-train your brain to transform that old fear into something you can enjoy!

Hypnosis Faqs

What is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a natural state of focused awareness in which your mind becomes more available and receptive to positive suggestion, new ideas, and releasing negative feelings. This process allows you to rapidly rebuild new, positive habits and behaviors and reprogram yourself for success.

Many people are surprised to learn that hypnosis is something they’ve been experiencing their whole lives without often realizing itHave you ever become so immersed in an activity to the point of tuning everything else out? That’s a natural state of hypnosis. Here are some common examples of how we already do hypnosis every day:

  • daydreaming or “zoning out”
  • getting caught up in a good book or movie, where you feel so connected to the plot that it’s as if you’re in it yourself
  • feeling like you are “in the zone” while performing
  • being so caught up in your work that you lose track of how much time has flown by
  • being so focused while driving or on the train that you almost (or do!) miss your exit
  • being in a deeply focused, centered place during yoga or meditation

As you can see, all of us already do hypnosis in some form. Our goal is help you learn to do it even better by utilizing the power of your mind to achieve your goals.

How does Hypnosis help?

Can anyone be hypnotized?

Will I be aware while I’m hypnotized?

Will I lose control?

What does being hypnotized feel like?

Can we work on issues that aren’t related to performing and auditioning?

Absolutely! Hypnosis is an effective tool to help people make changes in all aspects of their life. Most of my clients these days actually work with me to work through things that have nothing to do with auditioning and performing.  You can click here to learn more about various ways that hypnosis can help, and I’ve helped people overcome many more issues not included in that list. So, please feel free to bring anything you want to change to our sessions.

Do we have to dig up the past?

Can you do sessions over Skype?

Yes. I work every week over Skype with artists all over the world, and it can be an equally effective alternative if sessions in person are not possible. Due to my schedule, I only accept a very limited number of Skype clients. To see if Skype sessions would be an option for you, contact me to schedule a consultation.

Can I get “stuck” in hypnosis?

What happens in a typical session?

How many sessions will I need?

How much do sessions cost?

Because the process is structured around your specific goals, I can better answer that question after I get more information from you about what you’re wanting to change. To get started, contact me to schedule a free, confidential phone consultation and we can custom design the best program for your success.

Client Success

The day after I finished graduate school, I won the position of Fourth Chair, Second Violin in the St. Louis Symphony. It is the job of my dreams, and though it’s still hard to believe this is all real, I know I can credit much of my audition success to my work with Nicholas. By working with him, every facet of my life started to work more efficiently, because I was more in control of my thoughts. Take control of your mind with Nicholas. I promise you won’t regret it!

Andrea Jarrett
Andrea JarrettSecond Violin, St. Louis Symphony

“…After just a few sessions, I was already noticing that the work was paying off. I received more Met contracts (for my debut), changed management to one of the highest level managers, and signed a contract with San Francisco Opera to debut in a principal role the following year.
Nicholas has always welcomed me into a safe environment where I can feel totally comfortable and vulnerable. He can provide insight and direction on how to perform at one’s best in audition settings, find motivation and structure in preparation, and a true and deep sense of total content with one’s artistry.”

Mezzo SopranoMetropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera

I believe that the work that Nicholas does is so important.  Any artist would benefit from working with him.  The work allows you to focus on what is important.  It allows you to clear your mind and be the artist that you are meant to be.

Shirin Eskandani, Mezzo Soprano
Shirin Eskandani, Mezzo SopranoMetropolitan Opera

Nicholas gave me the tools that put me back in the driver’s seat of my performances. The first thing I said to myself as I walked on stage for the finals of the Utah Symphony audition (the round that won me the job!) was something Nicholas had told me over and over in our sessions. It sticks with you and it works. “

Hanah Stuart
Hanah StuartAssistant Principal Second Violin, Utah Symphony

I started working with Nicholas when I was at a very low point both personally and professionally. Nicholas showed me that with a few simple tools and an open mind, I could take on my greatest fears and WIN. This work is a valuable resource to everyone, and Nicholas is a perfect vessel to continue to pass it on; I am beyond grateful to him for having showed me an entire new way to live and work.

Alexandra Loutsion, Soprano
Alexandra Loutsion, Soprano

Hypnosis works. The results are amazing. I started winning competitions. I started getting jobs- good jobs. But it wasn’t just about that. I was confident again. I wouldn’t break into a cold sweat and self sabotage every audition I’d do. I knew I could get up there and do what I do- and do it very well. Thank you, Nicholas, for giving me myself back.

Sharin Apostolou, Soprano
Sharin Apostolou, Soprano

Nicholas gave me back “me,” MY energy, my sense of adventure, my generosity to the audience when performing. This sense of self carried over to my daily life; I literally felt like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders, that I could walk down the street dignified, proud, and curious about who I was and what the world has for me to discover. “

Julia Hamos, Piano
Julia Hamos, Piano

“…Nicholas promotes a sense of self-healing and learning in a safe, confidential environment without judgment. The techniques he has provided for me have helped me in some of my most stressful performances, auditions, and even in my own daily life. They have only aided in my preparedness and my ability to perform without barriers. I’m so thankful for Nicholas and all the wonderful work we have done and continue to do. It’s exciting to think about what the future holds without the constraints of fear and doubt.”

SopranoSan Francisco Opera

“I initially started working with Nicholas to confront my performance anxiety. My sessions were transformative- I was able to access a feeling of relaxation and focus unlike anything I had ever felt, and I could play with an ease and comfort in any situation. I can’t recommend this work enough, and I have Nicholas to thank for showing me such a valuable tool that completely transformed every aspect of my life.”

Anna Brumbaugh
Anna BrumbaughPrincipal Clarinet, Florida Grand Opera Orchestra

“…I am a better artist and person because this work and would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to take their artistry to the next level.”

SopranoMetropolitan Opera, Opernhaus Zürich


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Group Workshops

Practical Strategies for Mental Success – Both On Stage and Off

The mental skills needed to manage the pressures and demands performing artists face – both on and off stage – are perhaps the most important skills we can develop, yet they are hardly addressed in our artistic training. These workshops exist to change that. Each workshop is packed with techniques drawn from the latest research in neuroscience, performance psychology, mindfulness, and more. Participants can immediately begin to utilize these powerful, hands-on techniques as soon as they walk out the door.

To bring Whole Artist Hypnosis to your organization, contact me to schedule a phone consultation.

Upcoming Workshops and Residencies:

May 26-28: Classical Singer Convention in Boston, MA

May-August: Guest Faculty residency at Wolf Trap Opera Company

June 28-29: Guest Faculty residency at Seagle Music Colony

August 12-14: National Guild of Hypnotists National Conference

August 26-28: Hypnothoughts Live Conference

September 6: Mannes College The New School for Music

Nicholas has presented workshops at:

Contact Nicholas

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Complete the form below to schedule your free, 30-minute confidential phone consultation. I look forward to hearing from you!

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