“Before & Afters” – Testimonials

Now in it’s 31st year, Showoffs has had success working with thousands of students of all ages and walks of life. Check out some of our “before & after” videos and testimonials to learn more about the people we work with and what they have to say about their time at Showoffs!

Linda Reid

Deborah Black - Songwriter
"For the first time in my life I have confidence in my singing voice."

I had the chance to experience joy and freedom while singing in front of others. I’ve only ever felt fear and nausea while singing before the workshop. It’s helped me tap into other aspects of myself. I’ve discovered that my potential as a singer is now more than just potential, it’s developing into reality. For the first time in my life I have confidence in my singing voice.

June Watkins
"I am singing every chance I get and driving my friends crazy talking about my classes."

I have been a nervous sort of person my whole life and I am quick to find fault in myself. One of my friends recommended Art’s classes to me. She arranged for me to meet Art and book my first lesson. I felt comfortable with Art from the first day. I have enjoyed all my classes that I have had so far. In fact I can’t remember being this happy and contented for a long time.

I am singing every chance I get and driving my friends crazy talking about my classes. Many of my friends and colleagues have mentioned that my confidence has improved since taking Art’s class. Art is very patient, kind and understanding. He adds his unique sense of humour into my lessons and sees strengths in me that I didn’t see myself.

Thank you Art for helping me so much. I know my life has changed for the better.

Rahnuma Yameen
"Art is a magician! That's what my partner says, and I am in total agreement with him."

Art is a magician. That’s what my partner says, and I am in total agreement with him. Not only did he help me overcome my fear of singing in front of people in few months, but also helped me to connect with the audience and enjoy singing for them. And with his help I am singing in English, my second language, for the very first time in my life. I feel like I found myself.

Shelley Weisfeld - Accountant

Amy Pollitt

Gillian Thomas
"I have since ventured into the recording studio with my own songs."

Are you a closet Showoff? I know I was!

I have loved to sing ever since I could remember. Trouble was, I could never bring myself to sing for other people and like it. My heart would pound and my voice would shake and it felt AWFUL. I probably sounded worse! I tried to solve the problem on my own and even fronted a band for a while, but one night my nerves were so bad I decided to either quit singing or get help.

When I found Art’s website I knew that I’d kick myself down the road if I didn’t give it a shot. Art challenged me to think about performing in a different way. With lots of encouragement and exercises designed to diminish the stage fright demon, I have come to love what I do. The irony is that the enjoyment factor is what makes a performer really shine: it’s a win-win situation.

I have since ventured into the recording studio with my own songs, played at local open mics and travelled to the States to perform with other Showoffs alumni who live there.

There has been so many benefits of taking the leap and contacting Showoffs: flourishing self-confidence, exercising my creativity, connecting with like-minded people, to name just a few. By far, the biggest reward is the satisfaction of pursuing my passion.

My motto: you never know ’til you try!

John Church - CEO
"This is a huge transformation at my age, 52"

What the workshop meant to me!

I wanted to learn to sing at least one song as well as I could sing it with what I believed, and was led to believe, was a very limited voice. I had tried to find a teacher through the conservatory of music or church choir leaders etc. but nobody was interested in such a small project. My secretary who knew of my plan saw a notice in a newspaper for “Showoffs” and I signed up.

I screwed up the music for the song I wanted learn. Art picked “Happy Birthday” to start me off because I was so unprepared. I practiced with that the first day. He then chose, of all songs, “Danny Boy”, one of the toughest Irish songs to sing. At the closing exercise I sang it. I know I made a number of mistakes but I enjoyed singing it. I now have the confidence to improve on it some more and I believe I can sing.

This is a huge transformation at my age, 52, to have no clue about music and sing all the way through “Danny Boy”, mistakes or not.

Way to go Art! Thank you for your professionalism and support.

Julia Baxter - CEO / Baxter Marketing
"I'm now not only comfortable on stage, I crave the experience!"

Born into a musically talented family, I have a passion for singing and what you might call the musical gene. But until I met Art Nefsky my voice was timid and I performed standing still, staring at an imaginary spot at the back of the room. Those childhood habits of a frightened chubby girl afraid of judgement, imperfection and failure took all the fun out of sharing my passion with others, and enjoying the thing I love most – singing!

In the very first group class, Art pinpointed what was holding me back. His comedic yet realistic and firm yet caring approach helped me get out of my own way. I’m now not only comfortable on stage, I crave the experience! I thank Art and Showoffs for that amazing life change; I’m a confident and calm presenter, speaker AND singer, and all without fear.

Peter Linesman - Singer / Songwriter / Music Mentor Productions
"A fan of his vocal instruction and live artist development."

I have known Art for over 10 years and have numerous clients that we have both had a hand in developing. I have not only worked with Art, I am also a fan of his vocal instruction and live artist development. I have experienced first hand, the improvement both vocally and the artist’s stage presence. The before and after video clips really say it all. We are still in touch and have recently discussed a new music development company that would get us working together again.

Julia Wilson
"I can now speak / present where before I would have been terrified."

I have always been a closet singer, but was terrified to speak let alone sing in front of people. When I describe myself to students at Art’s classes, I describe myself in the beginning as his worst student. But by trusting in Art and his exercises, I discovered that I was having fun and getting better all the while. Art has a knack of reducing the things that stop us from performing, and encouraging us to grow in confidence. It is a paradox, when you discover that, when the voice is not that important, the voice does get better.

Since then, I have performed at many different functions and at many showcases and have always been able to feel that link with the audience, and left knowing that I have shared some emotion with people. I have also been able to use those skills in my working field. I can now speak / present where before I would have been terrified.

Being prepared, and knowing your material is only a small part of it. The intangible portion is being able to sing/talk sincerely with your audience, to respect them and share your thoughts with them. Art is able to bring this intangible out in his students, and that is what makes his classes different and very special. Showoff’s has since become a welcome part of my life.

Thank you Art, for helping me grow.

Tim Progosh - Actor/Producer of Canadian Comedy Awards
"I took 4 lessons. The difference from the first to the second was substantial, but the difference from the first to the last was incredible!"

Ragnar Thorarsen - Real Estate Agent - Iceland
"Magical style in helping people to step out of their own mental prisons."

Hi, my name is Ragnar. I’m 35 years old and I come from Iceland. I have suffered from social phobia and performance anxiety for the last nine years. You could say that I’ve been a prisoner of my unethical beliefs. I never pictured myself on stage doing a presentation or singing. No! THAT, I just couldn’t do.

So I started seeking out help on the Internet. That’s where I found Art.

It took me a year though, to finally take the step. I flew from Iceland to Toronto, Canada to take Art’s weekend workshop.

Well. I was amazed!!!

This weekend workshop was a dream come true for me.

Art has a magical style in helping people to step out of their own mental prisons.

Thanks Art. You’ve given me a new start in life.

Micki Moore - Actress
"I was truly amazed at the incredible transformation that took place in myself..."

I was truly amazed at the incredible transformation that took place in myself, as well as my husband and the rest of the class. Art instills a belief in yourself that allows you to achieve levels never before thought possible. He is ‘the wind beneath my wings’. He’s taught me to soar.

Ashley Alford - Singer
"I've never felt so energized, and so guilt-free about my performance."

I’ve never felt so energized, so truly empowered, and so guilt-free about my performance AND singing in my life. Even though I’ve known you for such a short time, I feel as though I’ve known you for much longer.

I completely respect so many things about you already. Firstly being your extreme professionalism, your frankness and honesty, as well as your expertise at what you do. Your ability to be patient when needed is admirable, but you seem to push people, including myself, in just the right ways too.

Thanks for an absolutely amazing and eye opening weekend, both on my part, and on the part of others I learned from as well.

Patricia McAdam - Actress
"It's helped me to acknowledge and validate my unique self-expression."

The Performance Workshop has helped me to open up a part of me I never knew existed  — all of my dreams and passions that has laid dormant for so long.  I’ve become more confident, more creative and more expressive.  It’s helped me to acknowledge and validate my unique self-expression, and to take huge emotional risks in a very safe and secure setting.

Art’s sense of humor, caring for people, and trustworthy soul (with his magic), has allowed me to see parts (spiritual and emotional) of me that I had denied.  The workshop has been a catalyst for tremendous spiritual and personal growth.  The workshop, and of course with Art’s encouragement and support has helped me to start believing in myself — my abilities and talents, and to believe that dreams do come true if you let them.

Cathy Sanchez - Singer
"This has been such a liberating experience for me"

I’m Cathy Sanchez and I came to Showoffs because in my years of singing in bands and various venues, I have always felt that I was lacking as a performer.  While I knew I could sing, I never was able to open myself up to my audience.  In my visualizations of myself as a performer, I am a dynamic outgoing performer, but I’ve never been able to bring this out in reality.

Art has such a great talent for empowering people to be free and break their barriers.  This has been such a liberating experience for me.  I wish I lived in the Toronto area to work with Art on a long term basis.

Daphne Darling - Singer / Songwriter
"He helped me with stage performance and didn't let me compromise my own style"

A Toronto Independent Music Award winner, Daphne Darling sought out performance coaching and vocal technique from Art for the release of her debut EP ‘The Darling Project’. Darling did a mini tour of the US and opened for country super stars Rascal Flatts in 2008.

“Art was amazing with me. He helped me with stage performance and didn’t let me compromise my own style and personality to make it the way he thought it should work. That meant a lot to me as an artist. I was so impressed with how keen an ear he had to help me develop my voice for recording and performance. His easy going, patient, genuine nature, is what made learning from him sooo simple.”

Deborah Smyth
"Showoffs helped me find my voice"

Finding Art Nefsky and Showoffs helped me find my voice. I’d always loved to sing in choirs and groups but solos terrified me. Art’s uncanny intuition about the barriers that hold you back from feeling comfortable on stage and his ability to help you break through those barriers truly changed my life.

Participating in his fun yet practical workshops and performance classes, transformed me from a stage-fright-paralyzed person to a singer who can now truly feel the joy of connecting with a song and, most importantly, the audience.

I can’t recommend Showoffs more highly or thank Art Nefsky enough.

Ann Martin - Atlanta, Georgia
"I was singing with more confidence and freedom"

My name is Anne, and I live in Atlanta.

I’ve been a music student most of my life, majored in voice in college, been a soloist in my church, and given concerts off and on over the years, but this thing called stage fright kept me from being able to relax in front of an audience.  When I would get up to sing, first of all, I would be so out of breath, that I had no breath support or control.  My hands and legs would shake uncontrollably. My heart, well that’s another story!  All of a sudden, it became a hammer that would beat so hard and fast that I could hardly breathe, much less sing.

I searched for stage fright and found Art’s website!  How exciting to think that there might be some help out there!

Art is an incredibly perceptive teacher who knows how to get past those obstacles and bring out the performer in you.  By the end of the workshop, I was singing with more confidence and freedom and feeling more comfortable on stage.

The workshop, and Art’s encouragement and support have helped me to believe that dreams can come true.  It’s really a wonderful and exciting feeling to know that I can now perform without having to hide behind a pill, mask, piano or podium.

Thank you Art for chipping away things that have kept me from enjoying performing, and being the best performer that I can be!