You might recognise Eline from some of the BBC Three shows ("Miss Holland", "Crazy Science", the "Gender Bias Riddle") she created and starred in. However behind the scenes, she is a successful entrepreneur who runs her own production company, Particle 6, and she is also a qualified scientist.

Eline Van der Velden

Lynsey Carratt ( LC): Tell us a bit about your background?

Eline Van der Velden (EV): "I haven’t had the most straightforward path into media, but always think it’s more interesting to come at something from a different angle.

I went to performing arts (ArtsEd Tring) school at 14 and then studied physics at Imperial, whilst still taking part in every play and musical. It was only once I was in Los Angeles that I thought about writing, directing and producing. Basically, because the female roles at the time were so poor. If they won’t create roles for women, I will and that’s still what I like to think I’m doing today. Roles on and off-screen that is."

LC: Is it true you studied musical theatre before studying Physics at Imperial?

EV: "I did indeed.

I was obsessed with the “making of” VHS tape of the Sound of Music and Britney Spears. Now Britney had gone to performing arts school and so would I."

LC: What attracted you to Physics?

EV: "I like to think of acting as the finding out of “why” in the scene. It’s the ultimate psychology behind the character that I find interesting. Physics is exactly the same thing but with respect to nature. Why does the apple fall down the tree?

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Why does the earth rotate around the sun? I’m just a curious person."

LC: What was your first job after University?

EV: "It was 2008 and there were very few jobs in London after the crash so I decided to go to Amsterdam to see if I could start acting there. Whilst auditioning I had all sorts of interesting gigs, teaching maths and physics to students, super misogynistic car wash flyer-ing in s*xy outfits and pulling pints in a hockey bar.

I had an amazing time, even better than uni I’d say. Uni was all work, work, work, the first year after uni was total freedom."

LC: When did you start Particle 6 and why?

EV: "I was the UK MD of a company called Makers Channel which we sold in November 2016, that allowed me to obtain a little start-up cash to launch my own production company immediately afterwards. I didn’t sit still for a minute, this was what I always wanted to do, I got an intern, a few contracts and we launched out of my living room."

LC: What difficulties did you face starting your own company? What is the hardest part now?

EV: "Cash flow and overheads.

The thought every month that I’m responsible for all these people’s salaries, career fulfilment and wellbeing. Those things are very important to me. I like a healthy happy team, that way we can make really cool stuff. If I cash flow things well, then I can concentrate on the happy stuff."

LC: What are the positives of running your own business?

EV: "I put my all into everything I do and like to please people, but I need A LOT of sleep, so being able to sleep when I need to is very important.

When I had bosses I used to run myself into the ground from time to time. Running my own business allows me to be a little more in control of my own diary, and my sleep."

LC: What makes Particle 6 successful?

EV: "We’re all perfectionist, hard-working individuals and that shows. We really enjoy the work we do. Clients are happy and that’s all we care about."

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