A Bristol laughter yoga instructor who appeared on Britain’s Got Talent last week continued to laugh despite producers ‘cutting’ his audition clip. Pete Cann, The Laughter Man has become an expert in laughter yoga since discovering the coping mechanism in 2016, and has shared the technique with dozens of people online and in real life since discovering it. discovered his passion.
For those unfamiliar with the unfamiliar sounding wellness strategy, the concept behind laughter yoga is that everyone knows how to laugh and should laugh no matter what their mind says. Those who participate in this branch of yoga are encouraged to “laugh for no reason”, pretending until they actually laugh, which is said to have many health benefits.
After making people laugh with his content during lockdown, Pete was contacted by Britain’s Got Talent bosses, who had seen some of his videos online and “loved his energy”. He was told he would be “really good” on the show, but he didn’t want to take himself too seriously.
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Pete, 46, said: “They called me and said, ‘We’d love to have you on the show.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, why not?
“It’s good exposure for laughter yoga…also deep down I know I’m not an actor. I’m not dumb, I’m not naive.”
As well as being a laughter yoga instructor, Pete runs The Chef Tree alongside his wife, Chloe, providing catering staff to notable Bristol institutions such as SS Great Britain, We The Curious and Arnolfini. Laughter yoga helped Pete cope when his business was hit by the pandemic.
He said: “Literally every day I was going online and posting content about laughter, laughing with other people showing them how easy it was to just laugh at what was going on. Not because it was funny, because that’s not what it’s about. .
“It’s about the release of endorphins, the release of all those positive energies that you get when you laugh. I guess that’s really the premise of laughter yoga.”
Before hitting the stage at the London Palladium, Pete was excited, but had never performed in such a large venue. “I did a few events,” Pete said.
“Not quite the size of Palladium, but of Birmingham ICC, which had around 1,200 people. I was excited; I like to say that nerves and excitement are the same emotion in the stomach.
“There are a few little snippets in the clip where you can see me laughing before I go on stage and that’s what I was doing, just setting my intention, really.”
After being instructed by Saturday night TV legends Ant and Dec to take the stage, Pete was greeted by the jury – Alesha Dixon, David Walliams, Amanda Holden and Simon Cowell – and 1,500 faces in the audience, spread over three floors. At the start of each exercise, Pete prompts his audience to take a deep breath, and hearing a lot of people exhale was “intense,” he told us.
Pete said: “I asked everyone to stand up – the audience and the judges. I probably did about a minute without any buzzing, so that was really good, and I got the whole auditorium laughing, which was amazing.”
Although Pete’s audition was reduced to just 40 seconds in the show, he says he played a little longer, and a full minute passed before he got his first buzzer from Simon, rather than a few seconds as the clip appears to display. The Laughing Man said:I’m just bummed they didn’t have more of a crowd, or the laughing audience reaction.
“But after I got buzzed, [and the judges said] I said ‘It’s not for us, it’s not an act’, I said ‘you loved it, didn’t you??’, and I just raised my hands in the air and [the audience] went ‘Yeahhh’. That’s enough for me.
“At the end of the day, it’s a show, I get it. They’re going to cut it like they’re going to cut it because they’re going to make it entertaining.”
Pete says he’s “disgusted” he couldn’t mention the benefits of laughter yoga during his audition. In addition to increasing happiness, laughter yoga also strengthens the immune system, reduces pain, and decreases stress. Primarily, laughter triggers the release of endorphins and promotes health.
When the fourth buzzer sounded, Pete celebrated, because “knew it was coming”. For Pete, getting to the next round wasn’t the priority – making people laugh was.
Bristol Live has approached Britain’s Got Talent for comment.
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