From singer to franchisee with Razzamataz
Katrina Melling is the Principal franchisee for Razzamataz within the High Wycombe franchise territory. She took the leap from being a freelance vocal coach to owning a theatre school franchise and is enjoying this next challenge in her career.
I got my first job playing piano at a ballet class when I was a teenager and spent my whole career in music and teaching. I worked at Razzamataz within the Marlow franchise territory as a singing and drama teacher and have worked professionally in a number of different roles. I went to the Royal College of Music Junior Department to study as a singer and also graduated from Goldsmiths College with a degree in Music. Performance roles include singing at the Glyndebourne Academy in conjunction with Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Oliver!, Fiddler of the Roof, Annie Get Your Gun and Bugsy Malone. I’ve also been lucky enough to perform in venues all over the world including the Royal Albert Hall and the Barbican.
I went to a theatre school as a child but what really stood out to me as a teacher at Razzamataz was the diversity we offer compared to similar theatre schools. This really appealed to me because I’m someone who loves classical music, musical theatre and many other styles.
As a freelance singer and teacher, I’ve had to become adept at running my life like a small business. So, I’ve built up a number of skills sets such as how to negotiate contracts, how to market myself and the accounts side too. If you are freelance, then you are doing many of the things needed to run a business, just on a smaller scale.
When you first launch, life is very busy but it is a really good fit for where I am in my life right now. Running your own business is like you own baby so you want to nurture it and create something very special and with Razzamataz you can make the work fit in around your life and other commitments.
The students really add value to my own life and it is wonderful to see the journey they go on. Some come to us clinging on to their parents and it is hard to imagine that within a few months, their confidence can be so changed. Parents regularly tell us how their lives have been transformed and how their child can now confidently say their line in a class assembly, often for the first time.
Training and support
The franchise training you receive from the Razzamataz head office team is very intensive during the training period but it is a great way to learn. After the initial training, there is always someone at Head Office or another Principal who will be there when you need them. In fact, Head Office can very quickly identify problems that you didn’t even know were potential pitfalls so this definitely saves us time and money.
What advice can you give
When it comes to working for yourself, it is sometimes hard to know where you want to go and can feel like you are standing still. If you are looking to grow your career, a franchise is a really good option because it offers you the chance to launch a business but with lots of support, guidance and training. I now feel like I’m always growing and learning and it has challenged me and got me away from the feeling of being stuck in a bit of a rut. There have definitely been times when I have found aspects difficult but I’ve already learnt such a lot that it has been a fantastic investment in myself too.
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