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From the West End to Broadway, Kerry Ellis has starred in some of the most iconic shows as well as achieving chart-topping success as a recording artist.
As a mother of two young boys, Kerry is passionate about the benefits of performing arts for children also. Razzamataz was delighted to exclusively host Kerry’s singing and performing masterclasses in Scotland, Sheffield and London for its students.
Kerry worked with the children who attend Razzamataz schools across the country to create a masterclass in singing and performing. The start of the workshop was to focus on the students and what they wanted to get out of the class. Kerry explained that she loved to also learn from them and to find out how they access music, what their aspirations are and what challenges they face. During the workshop, the students learnt how to act through a song and how to approach a song right from the start. Kerry also shared her knowledge and experience on audition prep and how to get the most out of each performance.
Kerry was the first British Elphaba in the West End smash, Wicked, for which she won the 2008 Whatsonstage.com Award for ‘Best Takeover in a Role’. Oliver!, My Fair Lady, Miss Saigon and Les Miserables are just some of the other wonderful shows she’s starred in.
“From working on the West End stage to Broadway, there’s really been so many special moments in my career and I’m eternally grateful for it all,” says Kerry. “Some of the most special memories are performing with Brian May (Queen‘s guitarist) at the Royal Festival of Remembrance to honour those who have given their lives fighting for the country. As someone who loves musical theatre, performing on Broadway for the first time was, of course, a dream come true and recording my first album was a wonderful experience.”
The relaxed workshop allowed the students to ask Kerry lots of questions and it gave them a wonderful insight into the life of a professional performer who has achieved a huge level of success.
“Performing arts can offer so much, regardless if children want to work professionally in the industry,” Kerry added. “Theatre practice really brings in an awareness of yourself and teaches skills such as team work, communication as well as general physical fitness.”
It’s a big part of the Razzamataz ethos to bring in top class professionals to work with the students. Learning from those who are currently enjoying successful careers is extremely motivating for students and gives them a real sense of what the performing arts industry is all about.
Children who attend Razzamataz take part in dance, drama and singing classes and experience everything from classic West End musical theatre styles through to street dance, pop singing and acting for camera. Students get lots of opportunities to perform, have fun and make new friends, build on their confidence and social skills all while keeping fit and active. Classes start at age 2 and go on to 18 and there are regular special guest workshops for students of all ages.
Razzamataz has many contacts with industry professionals so franchisees don’t necessarily have to have performing arts experience. Franchisees in each school come from a range of backgrounds including new parents who want a career to fit flexibly around their families, former teachers and young performers.
To find out if franchising is the right option, Razzamataz holds regular Discovery Den days across the UK where potential franchisees get a chance to meet the head office team, find out more about franchising in general and discover what it is like to run a part-time theatre school.