We asked Wayne Donnelly, hypno comedian extraordinaire, about life on the road as a touring performer in Australia
Q: You travel up and down Australia performing your hypno-comedy show as well as your workshops. How do you balance life on the road versus family and running your business?
A: Being single helps! My base is on the NSW Central Coast. Business is done on the road between shows – marketing, calls and basic bookwork. As a lot of my travel is along the coast line I surf when the opportunity presents or get involved in something local – like opal mining at Lightning Ridge. I make sure I enjoy the journey. With 2 grand kids on the scene I enjoy spending time with them when I am home.
Q: Do you agree with the common sentiment that there are two economies and communities in Australia, one in the cities and one in the country towns? Have you seen evidence of this?
A: Yes I agree. There is such a disconnect between city and country. Firstly there are the city and suburban areas. The further out you go the easier it is to see. Places like Dubbo, then further out to Cobar and Broken Hill – it’s almost like the people feel that no one cares or listens to them.
Q: What do you like about travelling?
A: I love the diversity of our beautiful country. One week I can be on the Gold Coast. Then along the NSW Far North Coast surfing and enjoying the beaches. And then tour to outback NSW on the way to Adelaide. Heading outback watching emus race the car, the birdlife or just the emptiness, and the space. Each part has its own beauty. Or head up to Atherton, Cairns and Cape Tribulation where it is all so different again.
Q: Do you have any favourite town or place?
A: I love the NSW Far North Coast around Cabarita, and Arrawarra Headland North of Woolgoolga. These are great surf spots with beautiful beaches and a wonderful country feel.
Q: Is there a difference between a rural and urban audience in their reaction or attendance or general attitude towards the show?
A: Everywhere I perform there is a mixture of sceptics, believers and this who just say “Don’t look in my eyes” like I have some sort of super power. And at the end of the show the sceptics come up and say “You know I didn’t believe it until I saw it happen to my friend tonight”.
Q: Is there anywhere in Australia that you haven’t been but plan to tick off your bucket list soon?
A: Uluru – just because it is so remote and iconic. Alice Springs, Darwin, Mt Isa, the gulf country, Broome, Hobart. And one of the places that I’d like to fill and perform – the Sydney Opera House!
Q: If you were advising a young performer about life on the road, what would you tell them to prepare for?
A: Prepare to be using your mind constantly. There is no pattern or structure to your day. You drive, and whilst you drive you have to sort out accommodation, you can’t just go to bed at night. It’s a different place to sleep every few nights. Best advice I can give is to build up a base of friends in your travels so that you can visit them on the next tour. Be comfortable on your own as you spend a lot of time by yourself when travelling. Phone your family daily to stay connected.
Q: Tell us a funny story about something that happened to you on the road….
A: I got thrown out if a cafe for using the word orgasm? No, lets pick a better story. I know……In Adelaide I have a friend who is a professional snake handler and trains people all over the country to handle snakes safely. One night he agreed to bring his 5m python to the show. I let the audience know what was coming as the snake routine approached. Then, as soon as “Molly” was out of the bag, a couple in the front row jumped up out of their chairs and ran out the back of the room. That was funny. The snake was almost asleep as it was so laid back!