Carmen is a success. Not a financial one, not yet, but certainly an artistic success. Although the audiences have not filled the theater, they have applauded long enough that we have taken two and three company bows. So clearly, a lot of something is going right.
It is not, however, a personal success. I'm not enjoying the performances. I spend a lot of time backstage, and I think about what I want to be writing. Which I would be doing, if I wasn't in this opera. Don't get me wrong, I'm working with remarkable people who are very artistic and completely not divas. They're all down-to-earth and very practical about their work, and good fun to be with.
But I'm not enjoying it. I'm not getting a thrill out of audience attention, I'm not serene and satisfied at the end of the performance. It's just work. Hot, time-consuming, unpaid work during which which I am frequently uncomfortable. What am I getting out of this again?
It feels like acting, like writing, is something a lot of people aspire to, and those who love it will pursue it. As a result, there is a glut of wanna-be-actors, and directors feel that can do as they wish because there's always someone else who wants to act (or, in this case, sing).
It's significant that I didn't audition for this part, as the majority of the rest of the cast did. In fact, I understand the competition to get in this was pretty fierce. But I didn't have to audition, I just walked into the part.
Not again soon, I think.
On a different topic, David Conyers has a thoughtful essay on why he enjoys collaboration. I don't link to this specifically because he mentions me, but he does mention me.