“You have to be in it with your whole heart.”

Profile: Meet India Isaac, franchisee of Razzamataz Torbay and former Razzamataz teacher. India took over the school in August 2021 just after the pandemic with 50 students. Today, the business is thriving with more than 160 students plus additional after school clubs.

Background: I studied drama at university and initially believed I would probably be a school teacher as it seemed like a safe option. But I quickly realised the traditional education system was not for me. I returned home to Devon in 2011 where I bumped into someone who worked for Razzamataz Torbay and found out there was an opening for a cover teacher in drama, which led to me being the drama teacher for ten years. During this time, I also worked in events and entertainment, putting on large-scale events for corporate clients such as Warner Bros as well as running my own independent youth theatre.

Why franchising: I got to the point in my career when I felt ready to take the next step and franchising made me feel safe. There is a proven track record of success, and you just don’t get the same access to the industry if you are an independent. When I had my youth theatre, I just couldn’t dream of giving the same opportunities that my Razzamataz students were getting such as going to the West End in London and performing in iconic theatres.

Why Razzamataz: I had become very attached to the school and students; many of them I had known from the age of four and now they were in the senior class. But what ultimately decided it for me was in the ten years working for Razzamataz, it always felt like a family with people there to support you. Of course, you have all the business advice you need but it is delivered in a friendly way, and you can always call on other Principals for additional support. The way all the training and mentoring is delivered takes so much of the worry away from the thought of running your own business.

Any worries or concerns: There’s a big difference being a teacher and a business owner, and I was concerned that coming off the back of covid, I would struggle to build the numbers back up. Like many of us in the network, I’m a creative person, not led by numbers, so that side did concern me also. However, there’s plenty of training, not just in your initial training week, but the whole way through. We’ve recently had a Money Matters zoom, which definitely helps to keep me on track.

Do you have a typical day: In just a short while, I’ve been able to make being a Razzamataz Principal my full time job and have been able to give up my other work. What I love is that no two days are the same. A lot depends on the time of year because I could be shopping for costumes, writing scripts or focusing on the marketing. The variation and flexibility are such a bonus because if I fancy meeting friends on a Wednesday afternoon for lunch, then I can just do it.

Advice and top tips: You have to be in it with your whole heart. Everyone has their own personal journey with franchising, but this is a people business so knowing and caring about all your students is imperative. It honestly makes such a difference to remember the small details, my customers are always commenting on it. If you have the desire and passion for your school, it drives you on to succeed.

What have you learnt: Lots! There are the practical things like being adaptable and keeping an eye on my time management skills but the biggest is that when imposter syndrome strikes, I know that I’m capable and I have the backing of Head Office to support me.

Highlights and achievements: Every time our students perform, especially on the West End stage, it is such a big moment. Coming from Devon, it is hard to get the same opportunities in performing arts so when we can offer experiences such as this, it is wonderful. I’m also proud that I’ve secured several workshops with West End performers (Six and Heathers) after they have performed in local theatres. Another huge achievement is one of my teachers was a former student who was with us for eleven years. After he left school, he came back to us as an assistant, and we put him through the Razzamataz Training Platform. He has been so thankful for the support, and it is lovely to see him flourish and know that we’ve been a part of that.

Looking to the future: We currently run on a Saturday and Friday evening, and we are looking to build the Friday school up further. I have already secured lots more performing opportunities for the students locally, there are four lined up so far, which is a wonderful way of furthering building their confidence. On a personal note, I’m pregnant with my first child, which is obviously a very exciting time. I feel like I’m in a good position to start a family and looking around the network and seeing so many Principals running their schools alongside a young family, really makes me feel that it is manageable. I have such a strong team around me, and the future of the school is looking very exciting.

Want to build your career?

Razzamataz Theatre Schools offer employment to some circa 600 people either as teachers, assistants, or part of the admin team. There are plenty of opportunities to grow with many people starting out as work experience placements and progressing to assistant Principals or Principal roles.

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Join us NOW for a 2024 launch. Current fee is £12,995 plus VAT or ZERO upfront fee with a flat fee return, ask us about this! 

Every now & again we have resale opportunities, please contact us to find out more! 

Training takes place regularly at the Razzamataz Head Office in the beautiful Lake District and Flagship school Razzamataz Carlisle. 

Contact us to secure your place on our next short informal virtual Discovery Dens online. Book your place: https://www.razzamataz.co.uk/franchise-opps/book-discovery-den/