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Stage school franchisee describes a day in her life

Stage school franchisee describes a day in her life

Anna Morgan, director of Footlights Sale, gives us an insight into her Saturday morning routine

My Saturday mornings usually begin around 8.45 am. I arrive 45 minutes before the start of our first class to set up and make sure all rooms are ready for the students. It’s important to me that our reception area looks welcoming and professional to make that good first impression to free trials and existing students.

First job and catch-up

My first job is to get the kettle on, of course! Then I check all the rooms.

Once the teaching teams arrive around 9.20 am, we have a catch-up. I brief them on the students, that day’s free trials and any additional needs.

The school comes alive

Our youngest group arrives at 9.30 am and are signed in. During non-COVID times, I chat with parents and carers, fulfil any merchandise requirements, such as sales and orders of hoodies or t-shirts, and wait for the main school to arrive at 9.45 am. It gets very busy and the building comes alive with activity - it’s the most wonderful experience and you find yourself going from 0-100 in under an hour.

It’s all go from this point. Ideally, we have all main school students (7-18 years) together for a huge group warm-up until 10.00 am, when we break off into smaller groups by age.

There are three groups - F1 (7-8 years), F2 (9-11 years) and F3 (12-18 years) - and the groups then rotate between acting, singing and dance.

Time for a break

We have a 15-minute break at 11.50 am where I sell toast, drinks and general tuck items and catch up with what’s been going on in their lives. It gives me the chance to really get to know my students and clients.

The teachers also get the opportunity to have a break and an essential catch-up with each other on progress in classes, to ensure we’re all on track for the show or end-of-term presentations.

Following the break, it’s back to class and at the end, we join together to present ‘Star of The Week’ and sign all our students out.

COVID-19 guidelines have meant adapting the routine slightly, keeping the groups separate for warm-up and ‘Star of the Week’ to limit the contact during the morning. This has worked well in maintaining a safe environment.

In times of lockdown, our classes have moved online via Zoom. These run live exactly as they do on Saturday mornings, with the exception of having conversations with parents and carers.

Debrief, social media and admin

Once the students leave, I have a debrief with the teachers, check all the rooms and tidy up where necessary - we’re hiring someone else’s building after all. Then I’m in the car at 1.20 pm.

When I get home, I have a well-earned nap or a cup of tea. I’ll post photos on social media that day, so it has the best impact.

On Monday I’ll do all my admin work, but this could be done on Saturday or Sunday if you prefer.

It includes following up free trials, record keeping, banking and reconciliation and placing any merchandise orders. Then that’s it for the week, apart from marketing and social media, until Friday when the madness starts again with preparations for Saturday school!

At a glance Footlights

Established:

2005

Number of franchised outlets:

  14

Location of units:

predominantly north west and Midlands

Investment range:

£3,995 (plus VAT) to £13,250 (plus VAT)

Minimum required capital:

£2,000

Contact:

Jo Fisher. jfisher@footlightstheatre.co.uk

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