Sometimes it is hard being friends with singers. Not just because we tend to be a bit loud, dramatic and attention hungry (I can, anyway), but because our career/instrument/calling or whatever you call it is inherently so very personal. I think this is because it’s something internal, invisible to the naked eye which we have to put part of ourselves into and present, naked, for others’ approval. Why ever it is, it can put a real strain on inter-singer friendships.
Singers largely fall into two categories for me, singers I like musically and singers I don’t. In the same way people in general fall into two categories, people I like socially and people I don’t.
So, we can see the problem: what if a great singer is mean or a good friend is not a good singer? The personal nature of singing can make this a really thorny issue, who do I recommend for work, the person I would enjoy working with socially or musically?
I think the obvious answer is clearly the musically more qualified person, however, a small part of me sometimes sighs when I recommend someone very grating for a gig I’ll be at.
The way I deal with this is to try really hard to clearly separate each person I know into two parts, one social and one professional. This means, in theory, I never have to recommend a friend, I only recommend colleagues. In practice it is very difficult, but I still try.