• Elspeth Dale

    Elspeth Dale

Elspeth Dale


5 bits of advice to my teenage self…

  • Getting the best grade every single time is really, really not the most important thing in life. There will come a time when those gazillion A*s suddenly won’t seem to matter so much. And that one B- won’t actually haunt you forever… promise. You’re worth a hell of a lot more than a letter on a piece of paper.

  • It’s easy to say and basically impossible to do but TRY to stop worrying what other people think about you! For the most part, they’re too busy worrying about what others are thinking about them anyway to even bother forming a bad opinion of you.

  • Stop and think before you say something you’ll regret. Being mean to someone else won’t make you feel any better. Being kinder to yourself will do that.

  • Everything feels HUGE now and like you’ll never get over it, but you will. In a few years’ time you won’t even remember that thing that felt so terrible.

  • Let yourself make mistakes, let yourself get stuff wrong, and let yourself feel your feelings. Above all, try to enjoy yourself because it all gets much more complicated from here!

About me

As a teenager…

I cared way too much about my grades and about what other people thought of me. At school my whole ‘thing’ was being ‘book smart’. I would be completely devastated if I didn’t get an A* in absolutely everything and I basically forgot to let myself have fun and be a teenager. Looking back I think I had a harder time than I realised and it’s such a shame because all the things I fixated on weren’t even important in the end. Going to sixth form college was amazing for me; a change of scene, meeting loads of new people, and really exploring the stuff I loved (and still love!) to do like theatre – onstage and backstage – and even working as part of the tech crew on outdoor concerts! It gave me my first proper taste of the industry I’ve gone on to work in.

After school…

I always knew I would go to university (and it was the best thing ever!). I actually thought I would be one of those people who does every single stage: bachelors, masters, PhD, maybe even becoming an academic afterwards, but that was not the case! Just as I started my masters’ year (unfortunate timing, I know!) I got the itch to go out and do. So the first chance I got, I started applying for arts jobs and I set up my own theatre company in Lancaster where I’d started to build up my creative network! This was when I also FINALLY realised that getting the best grade every time is not the most important thing in life, and that one B- won’t actually haunt you forever… promise.

I actually got Lymphoma while I was studying abroad in the US and that was a big turning point for me. It helped me to see what really matters, what I really care about, and to try and remember to be grateful for the good stuff, and even to be grateful for the small but manageable stresses like an impending deadline – imagine being grateful for a deadline!? I got treatment and now I’m 5 years clear. It feels like a lifetime ago, and even though it was incredibly tough, I wouldn’t change the person that the experience made me.

Now I’m…

A really happy person! There are still a million things I struggle with and worry about but that’s okay. I do work that I love, I surround myself with people who love me, and I laugh a lot. I’m really excited to work with E2M because I would have adored all the creative opportunities they provide to young people when I was a teenager.