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.
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.
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