Inspirational teens series: Phoebe Shergold-Willis


Blonde young woman pulling a silly face

In this week’s guest ‘Inspiring teens’ blog we feature Phoebe Shergold-Willis. Phoebe is Director and Founder of St Albans School of Acting (SASA) which she started when she was 19. This is Phoebe’s story.

I was born and brought up in East London and I moved to St Albans six years ago; I have been performing and involved in theatre arts since the young age of four and then I really found my passion for drama and directing at my secondary school. But when it came to doing A-Levels, I really struggled and found the whole two-years extremely stressful and would panic at the prospect of exams and revision. Ultimately, I didn’t feel that University was right for me, despite being told by many people that ‘University is the only way.’ So, I decided to take a gap year.

Wanting to evolve my acting and directing skills, during my gap year, in September 2015, I couldn’t find any suitable acting groups in St Albans. After further research, I realised there was a gap in the market, which is why I decided to set up SASA. I wanted SASA to be about me sharing my knowledge of the GCSE and A Level curriculum alongside my passion for the theatre arts and the creative process. SASA has given me the platform to help teenagers become the best actors and actresses that they can be through a wide range of drama exercises ranging from Frantic Assembly inspired physical theatre pieces, to monologues and emotion memory. Recently I’ve set up a Private Sessions section of the company. These sessions will be taught by me to teens, who need help with monologues, duologues, group pieces, school presentations either for GCSE’s A-Level’s, College, Sixth Forms, BTEC’s and auditions. This could also apply to monologues for auditions for scholarships, shows, schools and more. The overall aim is to help improve confidence and with potential to boost grades. At the moment I’m really pushing this section of my company, as I feel I can give invaluable advice and help to teens who need it.

It hasn’t always been a smooth journey for me, I’ve had to deal with my parents splitting up, issues of my own with Anxiety and mild OCD, as well as my dad battling with mental health problems. But acting has really helped me to get through the struggles of the situation. I believe my mum and my nana have played a big part in my building my entrepreneurial spirit. They both have always been extremely hard working, committed, supportive and inspiring to me. My Nana is a particular inspiration, even now at 81 years of age, she still teaches three keep-fit classes a week, and has amassed awards for her choreography and group work. They are both strong women, which I think we need more of in today’s world. They will never stop inspiring me to strive to be a better person.

A year on, and I’m aiming to expand the company even more, I’m also studying and nearly at the end of my First Year in Theatre Arts and Directing at Middlesex University and loving every minute of it.

So, what’s next for SASA? In September 2017, I’m aiming to put on a second St Albans class, a class in Hendon and a class in Abingdon too. I’m hoping to do this all by myself but don’t want it to interfere too heavily in my studies. I also want to expand the company and thus my skills by going into schools and doing inspirational talks, Q & A sessions and presentations about my life and how I got to start my business and to talk about further education after Secondary School and how University isn’t the only route. I’m really excited about future plans with St Albans School of Acting as I feel that there is so much to do out there in supporting and inspiring young people. We live in a world today where we need to support, nurture and help young people become our world leaders of tomorrow.

If you are an inspirational teen and have a story to tell or know someone who would like to be featured in our series, then please email us we'd love to hear from you.

Recent posts

Keeping Safe While Babysitting During COVID-19

Looking Back at One Year of Our £5 for 45 Programme

Earn, Save, Learn.. Global Money Week 2021

Celebrating Our Team on International Women's Day 2021

Top Tips to Support Young People Learning Financial Literacy

Young People: Good Financial Behaviour Habits for Christmas and for Life!

Child Trust Funds - know what they are? If you are turning 18, you should

Helping to Build Financial Capabilities of Young People in the Time of Covid-19

MyPocketSkill Skills Day 2020

Student Ambassador Spotlight: Charlotte Wills, East Sussex

Student Ambassador Spotlight: Lola Yuille-Clough, Kent

COVID-19: How are teenagers coping? With inspiration and innovation..

Three new (year) rules that will form good financial habits for my kids

So, do you want your kids to make a difference?

How do you nurture financial capability in children and young people?

What is the best age to start volunteering? We say start young!

Inspirational teens series: Phoebe Shergold-Willis

Babysitting: let us think outside the box

Pocket money revolution: how can teens earn pocket money

Debate: Will a lie-in help to improve my teenager's grades?

From tasks to start-ups … how young entrepreneurs really start...

Skills Development 1: What practical steps can I take to improve my chances of securing a place at a medical school

Instagram for Small Business: how to attract new followers



May 2021 Apr 2021 Mar 2021 Mar 2021 Mar 2021 Dec 2020 Oct 2020 Jul 2020 Jun 2020 May 2020 May 2020 Apr 2020 Jan 2020 Mar 2019 Sep 2018 Mar 2018 Feb 2020 Apr 2017 Oct 2016 Feb 2017 Oct 2020 Mar 2020 Sep 2021