Male Principals at Razzamataz

Since signing up their first male Principal in mid 2011, Razzamataz Theatre Schools has been opening the doors for more men to take up the challenge and is delighted to announce that three more schools will open with men at the helm – Razzamataz in Barnet, Hampstead and Durham.

Male Principals at Razzamataz UK Franchise Opportunities

Professional actor Neil Roberts from Rickmansworth was the first man to launch a Razzamataz part-time performing theatre school for children along with his wife Lisa Hollander. The business made perfect sense to the couple because it allowed them to both continue their work as actors while running the school. “Razzamataz is a really sound business venture and its flexibility means I don’t have to compromise my work as an actor,” says Neil.

Like many franchisees, the three new male Principals; Michael French, 30, from Watford, Sam Bradshaw, 26, from Finchley, London and Stuart Hall, 40 from Stockton-on-Tees, first saw Razzamataz while watching BBC’s Dragons’ Den in 2007 when Founder and Managing Director Denise Hutton-Gosney appeared on the show. Duncan Bannatyne’s backing impressed the guys and gave the business a lot of credibility. “I was extremely impressed with Denise, the brand and the business model,” says Michael.

“Having grown up attending dance classes and being a professional musical theatre performer I thought the right progression would be to open my own Razz. I also know two ladies who run Razzamataz schools from the industry and they both spoke very highly of the company, which made me think this would be right for me.”

Although Michael is an experienced performer, having worked in musicals such as West Side Story, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Singin’ in the Rain and 42nd Street as well as performing with Elton John, George Michael, Geri Halliwell and Michael Buble, he has never actually run a business before. “I’m not daunted by the fact that I haven’t run my own business because there is such a supportive team at Head Office that are happy to talk you through each of the stages. There is also a really comprehensive training system in place, which means that every stage of running a part-time theatre school is covered, which gives me a lot of confidence. I’m really looking forward to putting all my time and energy into Razzamataz.”

The franchise element of Razzamataz really appealed to the men as Michael explains:“Razzamataz is still very young and it’s a growing business and to be involved in something evolving is very exciting. I like the youthful, current and up to date approach that Razzamataz has and I’m really looking forward to meeting a lot of new people and seeing the positive influences on the children,” Michael adds.

It is the flexibility that most appeals to Sam who currently runs a children’s party entertainment business that he set up five years ago supplying magicians, face painters, stilt walkers and balloon modelers to parties and events across London. He also continues to work as a professional performer, most recently in pantomine with actors such as Brian Blessed, Ruby Wax, Pamela Anderson and Paul O’Grady. The appeal of Razzamataz was that he can combine his skills in being a professional children’s entertainer with performing arts and the flexibility that Razzamataz offers enables him to combine all three.

Nurturing a child’s self-esteem and building their confidence features very heavily in all the Razzamataz schools and is something that Sam can personally relate to.

“As a child I was very shy. At the age of seven I was asked by my seamstress auntie to do a one minute catwalk as a pageboy but when I spotted the 200 people in the audience I got stage fright and refused to go on. I wish I had had more confidence back then to overcome my fear.

“This experience gave me the impetus to join my local theatre group and 10 years later I was playing to 1,800 people a night at the Sunderland Empire Theatre. Joining the Razzamataz team will allow me to make a difference, build the children’s confidence and encourage them to show their talents without fear.”

Sam’s ability to entertain children and coax them out of themselves will enable him to lead a team of teachers at his Razzamataz branch to do the same. “I cannot wait to see the progression in every student. I am looking forward to meeting the shy Razz mini’s on their first day and then seeing them three, four or five years later singing solos and taking lead parts in our shows.”

Stuart from Stockton-on-Tees echoes this view and being able to work with and inspire children is something that he is looking forward to. “Being able to connect with young people and inspire them is a crucial aspect of being a Razzamataz Principal. As well as having a passion for writing and performing, I have also taught English to young people so this business allows me to bring all my experience to this new role.

“Razzamataz is not only a proven business model but I was also impressed by the opportunity to give young people the chance to work in not only the traditional musical theatre disciplines but also to learn about the more contemporary skills in singing pop, street dance and physical theatre in order to provide them with a wider breadth of skills for them to pursue a career in performing or to just have a great time every week. Furthermore, one of the reasons that I decided to purchase the franchise was because it gives me flexibility to combine a business with caring for our baby who is due at the end of May,” Stuart adds.

Razzamataz is one of the fastest growing theatre schools in the UK.

There are more than 40 part-time Razzamataz Theatre Schools, all successfully following the franchise formulae that Denise Hutton-Gosney and Duncan Bannatyne have created. “We are delighted to be welcoming Michael, Sam and Stuart to the Razzamataz family,” says Denise. “We are lucky to have the backing of one of the most recognised business people in the UK and he is very proactive about promoting Razzamataz wherever he can. This is not only great for us as a brand but our individual franchisees can also reap the benefits of having a powerhouse such as Duncan Bannatyne on board.”

To become a Razzamataz principal it is not necessary to have a performing arts background or to have run a part-time theatre school previously although an interest in the arts is a must. If you decide to take up the franchise option, the Razzamataz team provides a fully comprehensive training week that will include how to find the most dynamic teachers, book keeping and accounts, health and safety issues, child protection, PR and marketing, performing arts material as well as customer service.

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