What's Next?

Ah, the dreaded question, capable of reducing the most eloquent actor to a mumbling, quivering mess. Occasionally fate will smile upon you and, with the knowledge that your next job is safely lined up, you can thrust out your chest and announce your success proudly. Often though, in darker times, you’re lumbered with an empty diary and a massive tax bill and you spend your time thinking up nonchalant responses while panicking that you’ll never work again. I’ve experienced both these things and everything in between. The truth of the matter is, sometimes you’ll have the answer, sometimes you won’t, sometimes you’ll be happy with this, sometimes you won’t.

But this time around I’ve found the question slightly more difficult. Not because I’m crippled with fear or pouring with sweat at the fact I’ve got nothing in the diary, but because it opens up a much bigger question for me,

“What do you do when all your dreams come true?”

To play a lead in The West End has been the realisation of a long standing dream of mine and to do it with ‘Once’, a show that I hold in the highest regard, is really quite astonishing. Glen Hansard’s music is engrained in me. We all have those albums in our minds, ones that found you at the perfect moment and became the soundtrack to your life. For me, my time at LIPA is Jason Mraz’s 'Waiting For My Rocket to Come’, it brings back memories of student accommodation, late night house parties and early morning dance classes. My two years in Sixth Form belong to Train’s 'Drops of Jupiter’ and my early twenties belong completely to 'Once’.

In a unprecedented stroke of luck for yours truly, a group of people woke up one morning and decided to make Once into a musical and by doing so gave me the chance to sing these incredible songs time and time again on the West End stage. I mean, how do you follow that?

Previously when confronted with “Whats Next?”, I could speak of my dream to play a West End lead and, if probed further, discuss my huge desire to play Guy in Once. Now it becomes much more difficult because the fact is, everything I wanted to achieve just happened!

This isn’t to say I’m calling it a day. I have plenty of ideas. There will be other shows, other projects that capture my imagination, but for now my only plan is to reflect; reflect on the wonderful journey I experienced through this show and on the fantastic people I was able to work with and call my friends. I will make decisions, hopefully wise ones, but first I’ll take some time to see which direction I want to be pointed in. Maybe I’ll focus on projects away from acting, maybe it’ll be about starting a family or buying a house, it’ll certainly be about planning a wedding!

I will see family and friends and cook for Tara and write songs and take photos and walk the dog and shuffle around in slippers and, at some point down the line, accept a job. What it will be, I have no idea and for now, I’m happy to wait and see.

The time has come to discover What’s Next and perhaps unearth a brand new dream in the process.

When’s Jason Mraz the Musical coming out anyway?

With love,

DH. x