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Posted by on Dec 13, 2010 in Articles | 9 comments

Single Bryce

This article struck a nerve with many of our readers when it was published in May 2010 when we examined singers and their families.  This is a brutally honest account of what it is sometimes like to be a singer…

by Bryce Smith

I took on this article with excited curiosity.  I wanted to show my angle on the world of relationships and singing.  I wanted to show that being single is fun and fabulous.  However, I found that as I sat down to write it – numerous times – I couldn’t.  I didn’t want to say anything.  I didn’t want to face the fact that I am a single man trying to make a career in a very tough field that can tear you down at times to the very fiber of your being – making you feel like you’re stupid and undeserving to even think about pursuing a career in this industry.
Bryce 1

I didn’t want to point out that I don’t have anyone to pick up the pieces and glue them back together again at the end of the day.  I didn’t want to admit that I do not have that special someone to tell me that I’m wonderful and that the adjudicators are stupid.  No one tells me that I am worthy of a major career despite the rejection that was delivered to my inbox earlier that morning.  I don’t have someone to text me or Facebook me just to say “hey, thinking about you” or “break a leg at your audition” just because they know how tough it is.  There is no one that goes to see every single performance of mine no matter what.  I did not want to realize this or worse yet – put it into writing for everyone else in the world to see.  I did not want to confront the fact that, at the end of the day, I am alone – and rather lonely.

I moved into my own apartment several months ago because I wanted peace and quiet.  I thought it would be an amazing opportunity to have space to share with my friends – to hang out and throw parties all of the time.  However, the friends never came because they were just as busy as me.  It has become more of a storage space for my possessions.  I’m rarely there.  I wake up and go to my job; then hit the gym before heading straight to rehearsal.  I then go home to an empty apartment late at night to get about 5 hours of sleep – alone.  It’s a cycle that I’m in and it works.  At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.

Several relationships have ended because I was too busy for them.  I just assumed that they were not being supportive of my art.  My voice teacher once said that if I wanted to have a major career I would have to be very comfortable being alone.  I thought I would be ok with it – and yet, I’m not.

On the flip side, I look at my friends that are in bad relationships and see how miserable they are.  I see the fights, the stress, the jealousy, the angst and the breakups.  I see the heartaches, the pains, the cheating, the distrust and the back-stabbing.  I’ve been there, done that – and I don’t like it.  That’s not what a relationship should be about.  So, I guard my heart very carefully and open it to very few candidates.  Relationships are not easy – life isn’t easy.  It’s better to be alone than miserable.

If I can’t find the one person that’s supposed to love me no matter what, I’ll find those that will love me for what I create.  Maybe that is why I stay as busy as I do – so I never have to face the truth that, at the end of the day, I am in fact alone.   Therefore, I continue to throw myself into the one thing that matters most, the one thing that my passion is completely unbridled and running wild to be a part of, my first and only love  – performing.

Don’t feel sorry for me.  That’s not what this article is about.  I choose to be alone.  I choose my art.  That’s what matters most to me.  I can’t see myself doing anything else.  Therefore, I make it a point to be as social as possible.  I surround myself with good people and make friends whereever I go.  The world is an exciting place and I take part in it!

Sure, it would be nice to have a significant-other to share life’s experiences – if he/she is the right person.  Therefore, I don’t sweat it.  I know that I will eventually find someone that just fits – no pressure, no stress.  Someone will love me for everything that I do and realize that I value them because I find a way to fit them into my life.  I can’t make my life fit them no matter how much they complain about it.  I am who I am – and I choose to be single – for better or worse, ’till death do us part.  No regrets.
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Bryce Smith (Bass) hails from Lumberton, Mississippi, has been a resident artist with Opera Colorado, Central City Opera, Dicapo Opera Theatre, Natchez Festival of Music and Tulane Summer Lyric Theatre in New Orleans. In 2004, he made his professional concert debut with Handel’s Messiah at Carnegie Hall.

Smith became a D.C. favorite, first performing with the Capitol Symphony Orchestra for the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished American’s 60th Anniversary Inaugural Dinner at Andrew Mellon Auditorium and then performing the national anthem at the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s 18th and 19th Annual National Race for the Cure, the largest race/walk fundraising event in the world with 50,000 participants.

Smith has received many awards from companies such as the Mobile Opera Guild, Denver Lyric Opera Guild and Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. He has been seen in the tri-state area as Zuniga in Carmen, Barone Duphol in La Traviata, Count Capulet in Romeo et Juliette, Ashby in La Fanciulla del West, Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Simone in Gianni Schicchi, Don Giovanni and Mephistofeles in Faust.

This year, Smith will appear as Mephistopheles in Gounod’s Faust with Regina Opera Company and Bluebeard in Duke Bluebeard’s Castle with Opera Manhattan Repertory Theatre.

Learn more about Bryce at: www.bryce-smith.com

Learn more about Opera Manhattan Repertory Theatre: http://www.operamanhattan.com

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9 Comments

  1. What a fabulous article Bryce!! When the time is right, you’ll find someone as wonderful as you deserve.

  2. Thanks for having the courage to tell the truth, Bryce. Not to be the fly in the ointment, but while there may not be someone for everyone, everyone has a purpose (and you know what your is) and I celebrate that you are pursuing it with such vigor and hope.

  3. Do what I do, import!

  4. What a great article! Thanks for sharing, I totally understand you…

  5. Your honesty will serve you well not just in your personal life, but in your art. Truth is what it is all about.

  6. Your message was sent to me by Barihunks.
    As an opera fan(atic) of very many years, I was most interested and touched. Learn to enjoy every day, but one day at a time. If you are any good as a singer, recognition will come in one way or another. The Met has had comprimario singers performing for as long as forty years or more, ending up as The Emperor in TURANDOT, god bless
    em. Many singers have had permanent relationships over the years but no significant others in their lives. I sincerely hope that you find a significant other, he or she, who is willing to share the peripatetic existence of an opera singer – star. Many singers, such as Nathan Gunn and Jerome Hines, have married with children. Others, Peter Pears and Benjamin Britten, for example,did not, and had long lives together. Sincerest best wishes to you for health and success.

  7. Hey Bryce,
    I cant believe found this article via Facebook…I just auditioned for you Last week, and I remember calling my voicecoach after the audition and telling her that one of the panel members was so handsome and adorable I couldnt even make eye contact with him… :D I was extremely nervous as it was because of the audition alone… but you being so CUTE didnt help any.. LOL… I’m kind if new to opera… I love it with all my heart and want to improve in it…(I sing in Churches as a career)..Anyway, you gave me a reasuring smile, even after I felt I could have done better.. To me it was the kind of smile that said ” I know you tried your best and it was fine)… Thanks for that…Like you said in your article, you know how hard it is …but your smile will make going to my next audition a little easier… :)
    I wish your opera company much success in the future… :)

  8. Why do you opera folk think that you are the only ones with demanding schedules that require your full attention? Or the only ones who have to travel for work? There are plenty of us out there who also work full time (and sometimes more than full time) jobs. The film industry is pretty time consuming, for one and often requires extended travel.

    I have been involved with an Opera singer before, one who’s career was the focus of his life. It’s not that there isn’t anyone out there for you or anything of the sort, it’s that you have to make time for someone. And if you can’t, won’t or don’t, then no one is going to put up with your diva. I’m not saying there might not be someone out there who is willing, but it sure won’t last long. Enjoy what you have and the choices you’ve made, but if someone does come along who inspires you don’t brush them aside because you “can’t find the time,” learn how to make time. If you care.

  9. What a touching article. i too am a singer and thought that I would wind up alone because of the demands of my profession. Fortunately, while in rehearsal for a new show, I met someone at Starbucks. It was love at first sight and we have been together for 6 years.
    I was open to it and had faith that someday. somehow, somewhere, my Mr. Right was out there. Who knew I’d find him in Starbucks? Keep the faith! P.S. I listened to your recordings on your website. You are amazing!

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