Zoe Jakes, internationally renowned dancer and composer with Beats Antique
It can be hard sometimes to see ourselves as we truly are.
I can guide you into those places where you're still hiding, and help you find your edge. . .
Holly Shaw, CHT
Creativity Coach & Bestselling Author
From a very young age, I felt magical when I was onstage. By the time I was 12 years old I had my own agent, at 16 I was starring in an ABC Afterschool Special and at 23 hosting a T.V. show in Edingburgh, Scotland. From there I went on to enjoy a career as a professional dancer for 15 years and now I'm a coach and a speaker, passionate about helping artists with their problems. Because what I've discovered - through all the ups and downs of my own creative life - is that
It doesn't matter where you are sitting, whether you're successful or on the path to something new, the fear, the blocks, the pressure of life as a performing artist can feel very REAL.
I wanted to be a movie star ever since I could remember and nothing could stop me. As a teen, I was auditioning for big sitcoms and films like Clueless, Poison Ivy and landed a starring role in the T.V. film, Love Hurts. Momentum started happening and people started reaching out to me. I'll never forget the day when Steppenwolf Theater called me to ask me in for an audition and . . . I turned it down. I was 19 and I'd become a nervous wreck. I was a total ball of anxiety.
Here I was actually getting all the things I dreamed of but there was one problem, I still didn't really know who I was. All that fake it till you make it confidence was crumbling.
And so I left that dream, travelled the world a bit, performing all over Europe, studying dance in Bali and Egypt, hosting a T.V. show in Edinburgh, Scotland, and finally I landed in the San Francisco Bay Area to start a new dream. Here there was a thriving flamenco music and dance scene and I was instantly hooked on the new challenges and opportunities for expressing myself through this art form that was impossible to master.
Flamenco demands you to be fierce. It requires strength and a certain ferocity. I had to dig deep for it and through this dance was able to begin exorcising those things I had hidden from myself that I could never express in words. I started facing those past experiences that had been haunting me my entire life. I had inherited shame around my natural sensuality and also the experience that it wasn't safe to shine. I had always been holding myself back because I was afraid of being that visible, that vulnerable.
So, I know what it’s like to have booked gigs that you are dreading because a part of you is hiding. Not because you’re not brave enough. Not because you’re not good enough. But because part of you is trying to keep you safe.
Through movement I started to see how our bodies hold knowledge, pain, trauma, and . . . a secret pathway to our spirit.
As the dance moved through and healed me, it started calling me to become a healer myself . . .
The San Francisco Bay Area's mecca of healing arts became my teacher. The more I discovered, and studied and learned about the healing arts, studying somatic therapy, the Art/Life Process, becoming a Certified Hypnotherapist and getting mentoring from other coaches & choreographers, the more I realized that my journey was guiding me into the role as a healer, a coach, a leader to support performing artists.
Performing artists have to stand in their own skin and say, "Look at me."
It can be profoundly vulnerable to do that.
Nowadays, I'm happy to say that I live fairly free of the anxiety and trauma that plagued and tripped up my early life. I'm a proud mom of my 17 year old son who is growing up knowing what it means to express himself through music and movement. Just a couple of years ago I published the Amazon bestseller, The Creative Formula, and my son was right there working on his own first novella at the same time.
At this point I've coached hundreds of artists, some of them Emmy award winning and Grammy nominated, but having a son that is willing to freely express himself and shine in the world. . . that makes me proudest of all.
Zoe Jakes, Internationally Renowned Dancer & Composer with Beats Antique
"Holly has helped me to break through my performance plateau and be more vulnerable as an artist."
Who This is For
Things I've Helped Other Creative Professionals with
Having spent over twenty years performing and producing work, studying healing arts, and working hands-on with many artists, I'm uniquely qualified to recognize and coax out the best artist inside of you. Throughout many years of helping artists, I've become an expert at helping you in the following areas:
Overcoming stage fright and learning how to use this energy in order to become a magnetic and riveting performer in the process
Busting through creative blocks, dispelling fears so you can move from frozen to focused
Refining and mastering your creative work so that it not only pops with "you-ness" but it also becomes a magnet to your fans, followers, producers, and collaborators
Learning to maintain balance as a creatively minded and highly sensitive artist magnified by challenges of high visibility and high pressures that come with life in show business and entertainment
Breaking negative habits or building new habits so you can establish patterns conducive to a sustainable creative life and practice
Managing anxiety, stress, and phobias
Dispelling your feelings of Impostor Syndrome so you can rise to the new opportunities that your career invariably throws at you as you reach new levels of success
Miriam Peretz, International Dancer and Choreographer
"Even after choreographing for so many years, I still often find that I get stuck, and sometimes stunted in my creative process. Several times I have called on help from Holly Shaw, who has been wonderful in helping me open up my creative channel and get me out of my box."
Kari Hall, Actor
"I have so much feeling of well being today! After I session yesterday, I started and finished my actors website!! This has been on my list for years!! lol I feel super connected to my comedy channel even as I type this, I'm so grateful for you!!"
Dan Cantrell, Composer
"I feel that I have a lot of great material to work with now! I found the hypnosis very beneficial. The creative experiments in the group workshops were wonderful. It was fantastic to be part of such a dynamic group, and to have the accountability that comes with that relationship. I was really drawn to the discussions, learning new theories and ideas in the field of creativity and the performing arts."
Debra Haden, SAG Actor
"Recently, I attended a workshop about auditioning led by Holly Shaw. I cannot express the amount of momentum I have felt after practicing her Watermill technique. I even do it if I start to get nervous about something I am thinking about going after. Yesterday I had a burst of energy and have been putting myself out there for things that I wouldn't have previously. I feel like someone took the cap off of the faucet. I just had a private session with her and I am excited to report back with the results."
Who This Is For
I've worked with hundreds of artists at this point, some of them professional Emmy award winning and Grammy nominated and others that are dedicated and talented, but not yet discovered. My favorite person to work with is one for whom which making art or performing is not a choice, but a passion that they are driven to seriously pursue.
I've worked with all of the following types of performing artists and creatives:
Actors (Film, Theatre, and Voiceover Artists)
Creative Facilitators, Teachers & Directors
People from every profession dealing with stress, anxiety, phobias, bad habits or life transitions
Elizabeth Strong, International Dancer & Choreographer
"I have gained so very much from your program. I have felt held, and have expanded a great deal through [The Creative Formula] principles you have walked us through. "
Hannah Watson, Photographer & Fine Artist
" Holly has helped me redirect my negative mindset and discover new paths to take in my own discovery of creative fulfillment. It has been a dream working with her. . . "
Gail Corrado, Dancer, Instructor and Independent Business Owner
"Now, I have more direction. I have some clear goals and a plan for achieving them. I also have a roadmap to help me continue to explore my art."
Ways to Get Started
NEW! Podcast: listen to the Performers & Creators Lab Weekly Podcast where Holly interviews artists who are making it, coaches artists on the show and talks with industry experts that can help you find your edge!
Creative Assessment: take the free Creative DNA quiz in order to get an e-book with tips, tools, and an action plan tailored to your personal style of creativity
Workshops: find out about a variety of events where you can listen to a talk, get group instruction, or partake in group coaching led by Holly
Private Coaching: get one on one support and transformation with private sessions with Holly Shaw.
Join the Facebook Community! Be sure to visit and join us on Facebook where you can ask for support, tips, insider know-how and connect for collaborations within our growing global community of artists and performers.
Diana Rowan, PhD, Harpist and Founder of Bright Knowledge Academy
"Holly Shaw lives what she teaches/coaches, manifesting an artistic life in interesting times and empowering others to do the same. Holly is always on top of the latest research regarding creativity and performance, and collaborates extensively with others in order to make her message even more relevant. As the founder of an arts center, I have seen Holly's work up close, and her constant care for her clients and students is striking. Holly creates opportunities for her clients to perform, bringing their work out into the real world. Her roster of clients ranges from big names to brand new artists. I strongly recommend Holly if you are looking to bring your creativity to a whole new level, and fast."
Hannah Romanowsky, Choreographer and Founder of Danceversity
"Holly possesses the ability to take people on a journey that is very genuine."