Doctor Ben Carson - a rising star in the crowded Republican presidential field - causing a stir, making an unexpected stop in the press filing room behind the scenes at the Reagan Presidential Library before taking the stage.
He talked to FOX40 about what it might take to close the four percent gap that stands between him and Donald Trump in the latest national polls.
"I'm already differentiated. I'm already not a politician. I'm not going to go for what's politically expedient. I'm going to go for what's right and what I believe," he said.
As the crowd of reporters squeezed in around us, Carson acknowledges he's the only other candidate in this 15-person race for the nomination with double digit support.
How does he intend to handle attacks from the man on top?
"I would probably handle that like I always handle attacks and that is to say, 'let's move on to something important,'" Carson said.
As he waits for his turn at the podium, some of the lesser knowns are wrapping up their work for the day.
They met in an intimate group, in an intimate setting for four - but there was nothing warm and fuzzy about what happened on stage in the early round of the second Republican presidential debate.
Perhaps more so than their challengers who will debate during the main event - Bobby Jindal, Lindsey Graham, George Pataki and Rick Santorum - are trying to do something, anything, that can get them more attention and launch themselves into the prime time spotlight.
It's just what Carly Fiorina did between the Aug. 6 and Sept. 16 debates.
When it comes to the prime time forum - set to start in an hour - Donald Trump has suggested he might tone down the immigration and anti-woman rhetoric many in the electorate have considered inflammatory.
But will he soften against his opponents?
Reps for two-time presidential candidate Mike Huckabee say Trump won't get away with an unanswered attack.
"Governor Huckabee has a southern demeanor and a southern charm, but when it comes time to show the contrast he's gonna do that," said Alice Stewart, communications director for the Huckabee campaign.
Showing contrast against his nearest competitor may be harder for Trump.
"Ben Carson in evangelical circles is evangelical gold. He's a guy that's got a great life story and evangelicals really take to him," said David Brody with the Christian Broadcasting Network's show 'The Brody File.'
"So... if Trump is really going to go after Ben Carson. He's really playing with fire at that point."