New kid on the block, Alison Beveridge, scoops the 2015 “One to Watch” award at the annual Razzamataz ceremony. After launching Razzamataz Durham in September, it’s been a whirlwind six months for new franchise owner, Alison. The children’s performing arts school was open less than six weeks before the Principal began a national tour of everyone’s favourite pantomime, Beauty and the Beast.
“This time last year I was in a similar situation to most drama school graduates; working as a shop assistant and attending the odd audition. I was keen to break the mundane mould and become my own boss. With a little bit of innovation, a sprinkle of self-belief and a big dollop of bravery, I took the plunge to launch my own business. I opened Razzamataz Durham in September and started my first professional acting job the following month. Some may say I was foolish, some would call it character building. I think I must have a phobia of being bored so taking on two full time jobs seemed quite appealing.
In all honesty, I didn’t expect touring life to be quite so exhausting but I’ve come out of the other side with heaps of experience and a smile on my face. On a typical day I would get up at 5.30am. On the way to our first venue, I would check my E-Mails and do a quick vocal warm up. Once we arrived, we unpacked the van, loaded the scenery, did the show (which surprisingly was the easiest part of the job) pack the van back up and head to our next venue to do it all again. We would land back at our accommodation about 5.30pm and I would sit in the van doing my Razz work for a couple of hours as it was the only place the wi-fi would connect. How very glamorous! After that, it was time to make some tea and wash the costumes. Believe me when I say that cleaning a giant teapot is no easy task! Despite the early starts, physically demanding set ups and freezing temperatures of the depths of Aberdeen, the audiences’ responses made it all worthwhile.
However, I really missed my Razz family and eagerly awaited an updated every Saturday afternoon. The tour has taught me that anything is possible and that I have the strength and tenacity to reach my dreams. Winning the “One to Watch” award celebrates all the hard work that every member of my team has put in over the past six months; they’re an alright bunch I suppose. No, really, I couldn’t have achieved what I have so far without their encouragement and support. The award has also inspired and motivated me even more so to grow my school and provide the best opportunities possible for every one of my students. Razzamataz Durham is fast becoming a well-loved member of our local area. Feedback from parents, students and staff is always very humbling and it is a joy to see our children growing in confidence and becoming a thriving community, something no award or trophy can compare to.”