How couple's new business featuring popular Disney and Marvel characters has boomed in lockdown
As well as living, working and acting together, Katie Stubbs and Declan Marshall are students at the University of Sunderland and tapped into a scholarship fund, in partnership with Santander.
It enabled them to get their business ‘A Magical Moment’ off the ground during the first lockdown.
The fledgling business sees the couple dressing as characters from popular movies from Disney to Marvel, performing at everything from birthdays parties to school discos.
They have even managed to continue working during lockdown by performing at a social distance on the doorsteps of delighted children and their families.
The pair have performed from an early age with Performers Stage School, the Live Theatre, The Customs House, The Westovians Theatre and more.
Katie, 20, from Cleadon, a second year Screen Performance student, has also been working as part of the production team on BBC children’s television programme The Dumping Ground, as well as teaching drama at the Pauline Quirke Academy of Performing Arts in Sunderland at weekends.
Katie said: “I have wanted to act for as long as I can remember and audition for as much as I can through my London-based agent.
"But Covid 19 has impacted on the theatre industry, and we decided to apply for seed funding through the Santander scholarship to launch A Magical Moment last April.
"It’s gone very well. We are growing the business all the time.
"We’ve been allowed to continue with doorstep performances through lockdown, so it’s been great and helped with our finances.”
Declan, 23, who is in the final year of an Automotive Engineering degree, added: “We started the business for a reason, it’s not just financial for us, it’s also because we enjoy performing so much.
“We actually met doing a show together and have since performed together a number of times. Both our long-term aspirations are to continue acting.
"We hope A Magical Moment goes from strength to strength and are delighted the University was able to help us with funding to get this all started.”
Katie added: “I have to admit I’d love to appear in a soap, I love Coronation Street and Emmerdale!”