It isn’t false modesty when I say this, but although I am supposed to be a famous person it doesn’t mean anything to me. I just sit at home and work.
I know I had my equivalents in Adrian Lester and Lenny James when I was at drama school. I remember David Harewood doing ‘Othello’ at the National, and Adrian Lester having done Cheek by Jowl’s famous ‘As You Like It and Company’ at the Donmar. Not necessarily performances I saw, but just the fact they happened was massively encouraging.
On the other hand, when I give it closer thought, I realize I’m not enough of a dictator to conduct an orchestra because it requires a pretty awful person. When you read these biographies of famous conductors, they are all awful people who fail in their private relationships.
I think success right now is not about how famous you are or how much you’re getting paid, but it’s more about if you’re steadily working and you’re happy with what you’re doing.