AN all-singing, all-dancing professional actor from Mansfield has set up her own performing studio to help young people make it all the way to the West End.
Former Joseph Whitaker pupil Katie Funk is teaching aspiring singers, actors and dancers at Funky Studios based in the Create building at West Notts College.
The 30-year-old mum has been a professional performer for more than half her life and has appeared in several West End shows and television commercials.
Now she is passing on her considerable experience to talented thespians, singers and dancers from across Mansfield and Ashfield through professional classes.
Katie says the tuition in small groups, based on ‘quality and not quantity’, are geared towards giving students the best possible chance of treading the boards in London’s West End.
“I realised teaching was where I wanted to be, at that age there was no-one to guide me, it all worked out for me but I see there is a gap and students need some help and guidance,” said Katie.
“It really helps that I am a professional and am still in the industry, it instills a passion in my students because the knowledge is coming straight from the horse’s mouth.
“It is professional tuition, it is for young people who want to go into professional performing, I only have seven classes and they are small.”
Katie is helped by former pupil Sofia Papadopoulos who is now a Funky Studios tutor and works on all projects.
Funky Studios is also set to go into a partnership with a leading West End agent in the coming months.
“We can’t reveal too many details yet but it’s very exciting,” she added.
Katie, who is originally from Blidworth, is also overseeing the production of Fame at Joseph Whitaker School which takes place in March.
“It it is very enjoyable teaching the pupils who are very dedicated, the headteacher and drama teacher are very supportive of it which really helps,” she said.
Students who are trained at Funky Studios can also learn from other professionals thanks to Katie’s contacts .
“We’ve been to the West End, had backstage tours and seen performances, it is a great chance for my pupils to learn from other actors and see how it is done,” she said.
The next showcase of Funky Studios is taking place from 20th to 22nd June.