This Could Be It. Me, Daniel and My Ecuador Blend.

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There are these 5 words, that string together to form one of the most anxiety-inducing questions known to performance-folk everywhere. It’s a question that you could hear from your friends, you’ll probably hear it from your family, but you will definitely hear it from your colleagues.

Picture this. You’ve just come out of Covent Garden. You have to be at work in 15 minutes so you’ve got time to take a detour, and head to work via that fancy Coffee shop. You walk in, get in line, and start eyeing up todays choice of coffee blends, when you hear your name being called. You still have your headphones in, so you can’t be sure, but there it is again? Someone saying your name with a weird combination of excitement and urgency. You take your headphones out, and do a pan of the room, barely recognising the person trying to get your attention. Is he someone from college maybe? Or could it be that guy you spoke to before your finals last week? Either way, you smile, wave and start turning back to the Ecuador roast you’ve just decided on.

Oh. Yay. Old friend / ex-colleague / audition bae has got out of his seat and is approaching you. Anxiety builds as you try to remember his name. Daniel?... Joe?... No it wont be Joe. Joe was the other one... taller. Odd socks. Before you can work out who he is, he’s in your face asking how you are. Surprisingly, the conversation is pleasant enough. There’s something refreshing about talking to someone that you don’t remember, but with the underlying ground work of a pre-conceived relationship. Within 5 minutes, you’ve divulged an unhealthy amount of information, but it’s all good, Daniel (still unsure) eventually pauses, acknowledges the awkward silence and decides to go for the jugular. Those 5 words I was talking about earlier:

So... What’s Next For You?

And just like that, you’re thrown and scrambling to put together a confident response. Of course, you knew the question was coming, what other reason could Daniel (100% not his name) have for coming in between you and your coffee? After all, It’s the juiciest form of small talk known to actors everywhere! After the longest 10 seconds of your life, you land on your default response. “Ya know!... Just auditioning and stuff. Looking forward to a break though! *insincere laughter*” You quickly close the conversation by pretending you’re late for work. You have an awkward hug with ‘Daniel’ (definitely, absolutely, undeniabley not his name) and you leave the coffee shop vowing never to return.

The End. I mean - yeah. I just dramatised an entire situation to comically tell you what I consider to be the most anxiety-inducing question in the book of small talk, but I’ve had that conversation with so many ‘Daniels’ recently that I just thought I’d put it into a blog post.

Dear Daniels of the world,

Please don’t ask me what’s next, because I’m painfully aware that there might not be a next. As far as I’m concerned, This could be it. I hope there is more, I would love there to be more, but I’m not naive enough to assume that there will in-fact, be more.

I’ve come to terms with it, and will continue to have this conversation with removed-family members at special occasions, but I for one will not be letting any more ‘Daniels’ come in between me and my Ecuador blend.Until next time! Or not... Because ya know, this could be it. ;)

Ryan Carter