I don’t just want to tell my story. I want to give people the space to tell their own stories. Stories in which people followed their own inner voice. Went in new directions. Broke rules. Grew. Because there are so many unbelievable stories that need to be told!
The story of Daniel Wagner
Who are you?
My name is Daniel Wagner and I am a musical performer. I’d say I’m a fun-loving person. I like to make people laugh and I really love eating. I absolutely adore eating and cooking, that’s what makes me tick.
What is your calling and when did you decide to chase it?
I saw my first musical when I was seven. I’d been to the theater a lot before. When we were little, we always went to the theater with our parents. But when I went then, I was old enough to realize that could be your job. You can earn money by singing, dancing and acting. And it was clear to me that I wanted that, I wanted to be on stage. That’s how I wanted to earn money. And now I can do that. It’s absolutely crazy and I’m so grateful that I am able to follow my calling, that I’m lucky enough to be able to say, I’m following my calling for the time being. Who knows how long for, but at the moment it’s just perfect.
What stumbling blocks did you encounter on your journey?
It’s not always easy. If your path is in the theater and entertainment industries in particular, there are many stumbling blocks. You have to arm yourself against people who want to pull you in other directions. That want you to be this or that, that want you to be green, they want you to be blue or red. The most important thing is to stay true to yourself, to stay yourself, to know who you are and what you can do. Then you usually end up heading in the right direction, because you are yourself and you are genuine.
Are there parallels between your path and the Stranger’s project?
I think the parallel between Project Stranger and life in the theater is that sometimes it seems like your job is a desert. It’s unbelievably hot, there’s no one else there, you’re going around and around in a circle – that’s very negative, and of course it isn’t always like that. But I do think that sometimes it does feel like you’re in the desert, you’re thirsty and hungry and it’s unbelievably hot. And then suddenly out of the nothingness around you in this desert, a piano appears. And you know, if I go over there and start playing that piano, that is the right thing to do, and then I’ll be home. When I saw the project for the first time, I was amazed because for me it was the epitome of a calling.
How would you encourage other people to follow their inner voice?
I think even more important than the word calling is the word intuition. That’s also always what I share with people who say to me: “It’s cool that you’re really doing this now. You always said you wanted to be on stage, and now you’re doing it.” And I think that happened because I’ve always tried to listen to my gut. This is what I have to share with everyone: If your gut or your intuition tells you to do something, then do it. The worst that will happen is you’ll fail, and next time you’ll be able to fail a bit better. So how bad can it be? It can only be good for you, and if not, then you turn around and you look for a different piano in a different desert. So, what do you have to lose?
More about Daniel:
YouTube: Daniel Wagner