We at Catwalkschoolgates, love to support local businesses and also promote parents who have followed their passion and try and tell their story !
The first thing that strikes you when you meet Lucy Quick, co-founder of Perform and mother of two, is her quiet energy. She has a way of commanding your attention without seeming to seek it, which is obviously why her children’s drama school has been so successful. Founded all the way back in 2000 when she was at the height of her career in musical theatre, Lucy has as much passion today about what she is trying to achieve as she did then.
In a very candid conversation Lucy shared with me why she started it, what drives her to continue to work so hard and what she wishes she could tell her younger self. Despite being one of the youngest leads in the Regents Park Open Air Theatre Lucy realised quite early on that as much as she loved the theatre and singing she was not completely fulfilled. Being far more insightful than I was at that age she also worked out what it was about her passion for drama and singing that was important to her. The self-belief that being good at something gave her the drive to succeed and confidence and self-esteem remain at the core of what Perform is trying to achieve for our children today.
Lucy and her business partner believe their USP is not about who sings, dances or acts the best but about finding what makes each child thrive. Weekly lessons will include all three skills but also focus on, posture, eye contact, clear confident voice and other body language skills that certainly carry through to every day life. In addition, all the productions they do are written and produced in house to incorporate and reflect the relevant key stage curriculum for the kids. While Lucy would say one of her biggest challenges remains recruiting passionate people to ensure that every lesson is of the same superb standard she has still maintained her position on not franchising the brand (despite numerous offers) as quality and consistency are paramount.
The other key to her success she believes is a fantastic partnership. She is certainly the creative force behind the business; she maintains that her partner for all these years is the marketing force. In fact she remembers being horrified at the beginning by him spending all there hard fought for loan on a fantastic logo and brochure even before they had a single pupil signed up. However that vision and strength in always allowing for growth at each stage has helped them achieve the success they have to day.
But let not kids ourselves, it hasn’t all been plain sailing. The challenge with running a children’s activity is it is 24/7 as most sessions are at the weekends, holidays or after school and although she has a great team now to support her she still finds it challenging to switch off. In addition although she is reaping the benefits now her 20’s were certainly a time of tunnel vision, combining her work in repertory theatre (to fund the bills) and running the business at the same time.
Lucy describes herself as ‘not your classic entrepreneur’, she hadn’t done anything like this before, nor does she think that any of her classmates would have put her down as the girl most likely to be successful but having just spent an hour in her company I don’t’ agree. She may not have had the academic success at school, but she is absolutely passionate about what she does, very honest with herself about her strengths and weaknesses and driven to succeed. As a team they are obviously always open to new ideas and now have more than one business under their belt stretching from their core classes, to birthday parties and a number of different in school curriculum linked workshops that they run.
With all of that and two children in primary school, I did wonder by the end whether she ever winds down. But I am glad to say she and her husband share an obsession with TV box sets so I know where I am going next time I get behind in a series.