David Evan Smith was born in Burbank, California, to James C. Smith Jr. and Grace C. Flynn-Smith, a graphic artist and a homemaker. As a baby he moved to Beechhurst, New York, where he grew up. He attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for Music, Art, and the Performing Arts, a specialized high school in Manhattan, majoring in Visual Art. While attending Manhattan's CUNY Hunter College, Smith discovered his passion for acting and declared a major in Theatre. During his time at Hunter College, Smith held roles in the university's productions of Zooman and the Sign, Woyzeck, and the lead role of Tom Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie.
Smith is gay and considers himself a student of LGBTQ film and television. He has stated that he has an extensive DVD collection and views everything he owns with a critical and studious eye. His interest in giving a voice to the LGBTQ community has shaped his numerous projects over the years. Smith left college after two years, citing "lack of personal discipline" as his reason, not feeling the structure of college worked for him. He loved theatre, but reportedly neglected his other studies and couldn't pull up his grades enough to stay enrolled, because he wasn't committed to anything but theatre. After college, Smith worked for years in retail management, for companies such as The Children's Place, Gap, Inc., and American Eagle Outfitters.
Early Fiction WorkEdit
DSmith's GH Fan FictionEdit
David Evan Smith's work in fiction writing dates back to 1997, when he was a 14-year-old devoted viewer of ABC Daytime programming, including All My Children, One Life to Live, General Hospital, The City, and Port Charles. Smith began writing his own scripts for General Hospital, taking the series in his own direction, and creating new characters, including one for himself to play, which would become a recurring theme in every project he would write. On his version of General Hospital, Smith wrote the role of Jared Cassadine for himself, and became the villain of his character's generation on the series. Jared was scripted as a child of Stefan Cassadine (Stephen Nichols) and Miranda Jameson (Leslie Horan), explaining a dropped storyline that aired on the actual television series, which portrayed the post-plastic surgeried Miranda as terrified at the sight of Stefan. This incarnation of Smith's General Hospital lasted for 42 scripts.
The City FictionEdit
When The City was canceled, Smith wrote a continuation of the series, and wrote the role of A.C. for himself, who turned out to be Sandy Masters, the son of Alex Masters (Randolph Mantooth) and Ava Rescott (Lisa Peluso). Smith wrote three months of installments, April 1997 through June 1997.
Parallel General HospitalEdit
In 2001, Smith was so disillusioned with General Hospital that he created a new fan fiction online, which he posted at GeneralHospitalHappenings.com, as well as at his own website, where he began a "Parallel GH" that started from the resolution of the "Endgame" saga and took GH in Smith's own direction, running "parallel" to the real GH and having no further connection to what was happening on the actual television-aired series. Smith originally vowed not to create new characters, only bring back former faves to revitalize the series, but later broke this rule and eventually introduced several original characters, including his previous Jared Cassadine creation, now a doctor, but still a villain. This version of Jared was the offspring of Stefan Cassadine (Stephen Nichols) and Julia Barrett (Crystal Carson), making Jared a nephew of Brenda Barrett (Vanessa Marcil). Other notable stories featured returns by characters like Brenda and Julia Barrett, Tracy Quartermaine (Jane Elliot), Rick Webber (Chris Robinson), Heather Webber (Robin Mattson), Robert Scorpio (Tristan Rogers), and Jonathan Jackson as Lucky Spencer. Ironically, many of the returns and story points that occurred in Smith's "Parallel GH" would end up surfacing on the actual General Hospital much later, including a storyline where Lucas Jones (Ben Hogestyn) came out of the closet as gay. Parallel GH is Smith's most widely-known and best-regarded work from his early days writing fiction online, and installments were written from November 2001 through December 2002.
Parallel All My Children and Parallel One Life to LiveEdit
Smith would go on to create "Parallel" versions of One Life to Live (where he played Chase Jackson, who turned out to be CJ Roberts, gay son of Tina Lord (Rebecca Staab) and Cord Roberts (John Loprieno), from April 2004 to February 2005, and All My Children, where he played Trent Orsini, a vengeful long-lost son of Tad Martin (Michael E. Knight) and Marian Colby (Jennifer Bassey), from May 2004 to November 2004. Smith had plans to create a Parallel version of Port Charles, tentatively titled "Port Charles: Reflections", which would have been a story reminiscent of "Through the Looking Glass" where Serena Baldwin (Carly Schroeder) walked through a mirror that took her to a world where all the people she knew were backwards versions of themselves. Smith's role would have been Kyle, a previously undiscovered relative of Karen Wexler (Marie Wilson), but the series never materialized past the planning stages.
Beyond the HorizonEdit
Beyond the Horizon is an original soap opera written exclusively for the internet by David Evan Smith, a lifetime fan of daytime serials, particularly such long-running soap operas like General Hospital, One Life to Live, All My Children, Port Charles, and The City. At various points in time, Smith had written "fan fiction" versions of each of the soap operas he grew up watching, but in January 2007, Smith decided to take on the task of creating his own fictional serial, completely from scratch.
One ongoing frustration Smith had with daytime serials was a lack of commitment to gay characters and their storylines, which was the inciting reason for deciding to launch his own series. Conversely, Smith enjoyed series that chronicled the experiences of the gay community (i.e. Queer as Folk), but criticized their inability or unwillingness to document the interaction between the gay and straight communities in a consistent and realistic light. The interaction between the LGBTQ community and the heterosexual community would become the foundation for Beyond the Horizon.
The title of the series originated from a previous attempt at an original series, a collaboration between Smith and friend Lee Meyer, but the project never quite got off the ground. Years later, Smith felt that the title (and the series logo he created) could be salvaged from the defunct project and work well for his new idea. Smith felt the title embodied the mystery of the unknown and was very intimidating, alluring, and hopeful, all at the same time. Smith has stated that "a phrase like 'Beyond the Horizon' inspires the idea about exploring uncharted territories, both within and without. Life is about self-discovery, and the title really calls that to mind."
After coming up with solid ideas for the original cast of characters and initial storylines, and deciding on the cast, Smith launched the series with a debut date of November 5th, 2007. Being that the series is a fiction written for the internet, there are no actual actors, but Smith has chosen real actors to "represent" the characters, a typical method for fictional online series, in order for the reader to envision a face when reading a name, and identify a particular actor's abilities and persona while reading the character's dialogue. Beyond the Horizon is Smith's most enduring project, having written a year and three month's worth of installments, over the course of five years. The longest previous work of Smith's was Parallel GH, which aired a year and one half month's worth of installments.
Christian Avery FieldEdit
As David Evan Smith had done with all his previous writing work, he created a role for himself on Beyond the Horizon, but deliberately made the character what he called a "satellite character", meaning disconnected biologically from any of the show's core families. Part of the role of Christian Avery Field is autobiographical, from his theatre aspirations to his commitment to using his middle name professionally. In 2009, Christian was revealed to be biracial, of both Caucasian and African-American descent, which mirrors Smith's own heritage. Smith said his original concept for the role of Christian was loosely based on General Hospital's Carly Roberts (originated by Sarah Joy Brown), in that they came to the series disconnected to the canvas, became intertwined with several characters, romantically involved with an older man, stirred up a lot of drama, was adopted, and as a result was a walking open wound that was always their own worst enemy.
Initial storyline for Christian supported that description of the character, as Christian's intentions were decidedly murky from the beginning of the series, as he stood to gain a considerable amount professionally from a relationship with acclaimed theatre producer Terrence Applewhite (Walt Willey), and had a mischievous flirtatious edge with Terrence's heterosexual son Rodney (Forbes March). Within the first five months of the series, Christian softened considerably, and while Rod's obsession with Christian grew more disturbing, Christian's legitimate love for Terrence became apparent and their commitment was solidified, with Rodney eventually supporting his father's relationship with the much younger man. Things were shaken up a great deal when Terrence was diagnosed with AIDS and died a few short months later, and Christian and Rod made love while sharing their grief over their mutual loss. The edgy decision to bring those two combustible characters together at such a sensitive time was widely well-received by readers of the series, and supported. Rodney's long-time girlfriend Crystal happened to discover she was pregnant by Rod at the time he chose to dump her to pursue a romance with Christian, which led to a complicated new story that has Rod torn between his intense attraction for his late father's love, and his duties to his unborn baby and the woman he scorned.
Incidentally, Smith created a role for his long-time real-life roommate, William Shew, in the form of Dominic Soletti, Christian's long-ago foster brother. Dominic appears to harbor some unresolved romantic feelings for Christian, which seem unrequited, but Smith insists that this is not based on their real-life relationship, and they are only and have only ever been good friends. Any other levels of the Christian/Dominic relationship are purely dramatic license.