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Short Biography

Holly Shaw, CHT

Hypnotherapist and performance anxiety expert - NBC News


Holly Shaw, CHT and bestselling author of two books: The Creative Formula and the #1 New Release Making Art In the Middle of Madness is a life-long performing artist who has not only performed in film, TV and on stages all over the world as an actor and dancer and stand up comedian, but has also helped hundreds of performing artists, including Hollywood actors, Emmy Award winning and Grammy nominated musicians, overcome bad habits, stage fright, impostor syndrome, and creative blocks so that they can create the work they were born to make and become undeniably magnetic performers. She has taught several times at SAG/AFTRA's conservatories in SF as well as LA, is the host of the award winning, Performers & Creators Lab Podcast, and now performs stand-up comedy and produces stand comedy showcases in Oakland, CA where she spends most of her time.

Extended Bio

Before becoming a coach and hypnotherapist, Holly started out in theatre and film as a child, starring in an ABC Afterschool Special at the age of 16.  She went on to study dance and was a professional flamenco dancer for fifteen years, performing as a soloist with the internationally renowned company, Caminos Flamencos, starring as a guest artist in L.A.'s Forever Flamenco at L.A.'s Fountain Theatre, and performing with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra.

Shaw's own choreographic work has been commissioned by the Hewlitt Foundation of the Arts, the Edinburgh Arts Festival, Caminos Flamencos and the WestWave Festival.  Comprising mostly of contemporary flamenco dance theatre pieces, her most revelatory project 365dances, where she created a dance every day for an entire year, served as a profound turning point in her career where she fell in love with creativity research and the nature of making things.

In 2007, she created the Eve's Elixir project, a platform for artists of contemporary world dance wanting to bring new ideas to traditional dance forms and produced several shows in San Francisco and all over the Bay Area at such venues as Cowell Theatre, Julia Morgan, and the Flight Deck Theater. 

Seeing the need for a different kind of flamenco dance education, Shaw developed The Deeper Lab Flamenco Dance Intensive with the help of Melissa Cruz in 2013 and went on to continue to share this format and co-teach with La Tania, and Clara Rodriguez as well.  The Deeper Lab was the first time anyone had brought tools borrowed from contemporary dance, improvisation, somatic experiencing, and creative exploration to the traditional dance form through a workshop - giving participants a profoundly personal experience and a safe container where they're able to break through their upper limits.

Watch a Documentary of The Deeper Lab

In 2016 Shaw decided to publish her findings on the inner workings and of creativity with her first book, The Creative Formula, which became an Amazon bestseller.


2019 Performers & Creators Lab Podcast with Holly Shaw was heralded as one of 2019's 100 Outstanding Podcasts by Databird Research.

A certified hypnotherapist, she helps clients, musicians, actors, dancers, overcome stage fright, creative blocks and build positive habits necessary to sustain long successful careers in the performing arts.

During the pandemic she began teaching group workshops online - in comedy, performance, hypnosis, and bio writing, published her second book, Making Art In the Middle of Madness, as well as began producing the live COVID compliant showcase, The Comedy Edge: Stand-Up On the Waterfront.

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At season's end, she celebrated producing 40 weeks of sold out shows to audiences of 100+ every week.

As a stand-up comedian she performs regularly and has featured at the Alameda Comedy Club, Tommy T's, Laughs Unlimited, the Copper Spoon with the HellaFunny Crew and has opened for T.V. and film's Brian Hooks, and Scott Capurro. 

Click here to follow her life in real-time on Instagram: @hollyshawspritely

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Photo Gallery

Presentation Topics for Talks/Workshops

  • Audition Like A Pro: How to Turn Nervousness Into Magnetism [for actors and musicians]

  • 5 Secrets to Get Your Work Out of Your Head and Onto the Stage

  • How To Build Your "You Are 'Da Bomb!" Bio

  • Creativity from the Inside Out

  • Performance Incubator: Rehearse It, Refine It, Get Better In the Line of Fire!

  • Break Through the Fear: Audition & Performance Lab Intensive

  • The Deeper Lab Flamenco Dance Intensive

  • New Year's Resolution for the Creative Mind - Talk or a Self-Hypnosis Class

  • The Creative Formula: Using it in Workshops, Schools and Classrooms


Testimonials from Previous Participants:


"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."

       - Deborah Haden, SAG Actor

"Thank you Holly for your presentation last night for SAG. I felt so uplifted and inspired."

       - Marion Novasic, SAG Actor


"I greatly enjoyed the workshop! So many topics and techniques profoundly resonated with me."

       - Meagan Cunningham, SAG Actor

Recent Press



  • Command the RoomDr. Miluna Fausch interviews Holly Shaw, CHT, about the voice, how to use the voice from the perspective of an actor and a speaker, and on overcoming stage fright. [Segments from original special]

  • Quit the Chaos Keep the Gig Koorosh Rassekh, MMFT of Evo Health and Wellness Center interviews Holly Shaw, CHT about artists and substance abuse as they talk about performance anxiety and negative self-talk.



  • The Sarah R. Bagley Podcast:  Holly Shaw: Overcoming Self-Doubt:  Holly shares her journey as a young actor struggling self-doubt and destructive behaviors to turning her life around through a personal challenge to create a flamenco dance everyday. Through her dance career, she learned how to move through creative blocks and performance anxiety, and today she works with creatives on those same issues.


Performers & Creators Lab Podcast with Holly Shaw was heralded as one of 2019's 100 Outstanding Podcasts by Databird  mentions the episode series Women In Hollywood: Warriors from within starting with actor/disability activist, Eileen Grubba




The Creative Formula: Compose, Choreograph, and Capture Your Masterpiece - May 2016

Making Art In The Middle of Madness: 

A Guide to Help You Wake Up from Your Fear-Trance So You Can Create Like the World Needs You to . . . Because It Does -

December 2020



Diving Deeper Into Flamenco - July 2013

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