Good Morning! Here's Corbin's latest post:
"Up early with the sun and the birds this morning. My mom loved the mornings, one of many great things passed on to me. Continuing where I left off yesterday, recollections of my mom during this "memorial week" ...
Watching the Y&R tribute yesterday I once again realized what a wonderful actress my mother was. You have to understand, "inside" the family, she's was always just "mom." We knew she had this other life, but to be honest, didn't always plug into it. To be honest, I didn't watch much of Young and Restless over the years. I knew some highlights of what was going on and certainly the "big stuff"; face lifts, playing two characters and all that. But it wasn't appointment TV for me. Now to be fair, I'm not sure my mom saw more than a handful of Psych episodes either or much of what I did the years before that. We actors are odd like that, most of us. We love the work, doing the work, but watching it, our own and others we know, that's another story.
But yesterday, in a very condensed version, I got to see a career of incredible work from a gifted actor. And it made me think back to when I decided to become an actor...
I had done a small part in a movie that my dad produced called Three The Hard Way. In short, I was 19 and I got to make out with a hot girl in the back seat of a Rolls Royce, say a few lines to the legendary Jim Brown (Football player) and got paid $900 bucks! "This is the career for me," I shouted out loud to no one in particular! I went to my mom, who certainly heard some form of that exclamation, and said, "that's it, I know what I want to do, I want to be an actor, like you!" Now mind you, I had been "thinking" about acting for some time so this wasn't completely out of the blue and certainly had been inspired by my mom and her career. I had been blown away often as a kid watching her work, going to the sets - witnessing the transformations of character and place. Bonanza - the Ponderosa on a sound stage in the middle of the Los Angeles! Gilligan's island, a small pond in Studio City! But then the defining moment; I saw mom in the play The Miracle Worker at the La Jolla Playhouse when I was about 10. I stayed with her in La Jolla for the entire run - half to watch her incredible performance over and over as Annie Sullivan, the other half to collect coins out of broken pay phone nearby that nobody knew was kicking back each caller's dime in the return slot after they hung up. Suffice to say, acting, one way or another was in my blood and at nineteen I said, this is it! I'm an actor!
Not so fast....
I remember very specifically my mom measuring me up, really wanting to see if that was a "truth" - wanting to be an actor - or did I just want the money and the girls and whatever else comes with it. She waited a moment, continued to study me and then said, "you'll only have my blessing if you go to school, study it, know it. You must learn to love it and respect the history of it." Wow, all that just for girls... sounds like a lot of work I thought! But she had me right where she wanted me. And I understood it. It was a reminder of what I already knew to some degree and expressed to you yesterday... to become an actor is fine and dandy, to survive the journey is another story altogether. To know and respect the craft is THE ONLY THING that will get you through and over the bumps in the road. My mother knew that, she lived it and wanted me to know it too if that was to become my journey. She also didn't want people "in the club" who didn't get it. Screw them, stay out if you're not serious.
So, I looked her square in the face, truth time for me, and assured her that while some of the "perks" were certainly interesting, I truly wanted to act. I wanted to do that thing she does. I want to create those transformations, that magic. I very quickly left San Diego State College where I was majoring in partying and enrolled in UCLA where I got my undergraduate degree in Fine Arts and then my Masters in Playwriting. The best things I could have ever done - all courtesy of my mom.
There is one story from UCLA that this is all leading to...
I was directing a one act play I had written called The Devil's Violin. A tense piece about two brothers fighting for their mother's affection; one blind and without hope, the other with all the gifts God can give you; looks, intelligence and an ability to play exquisite music - the violin - but also a bit of a pompous jerk. Well, the play was a tragedy where the blind son associates the sweet sounds of his brother's violin with the devil, tormenting him as it lures his mother away from him and toward his brother. So there we are... it's opening night, 250 strong in the theater at UCLA and my play begins. I'm in the audience about two rows down from my mother who is sitting in an aisle seat just behind me. The curtain goes up and we're off to the races - 25 minutes of nonstop love, hate, anger, tension and conflict. All is proceeding perfectly as designed as we approached the climactic moment where the blind son, finally having had enough, the brother's violin screaming in his ear, destroying him... he's on the verge of killing his brother but restrains himself from attacking. Good triumphing Evil. And suddenly all goes quiet. You could hear a pin drop... just as I had fashioned... exactly...then, out in the darkness, two rows back I heard a voice whisper LOUDLY... "NICE." My mom! That gravely voice! Even in a whisper it was deafening and somewhat embarrassing, breaking the moment... not the plan!
But in that moment, I also realized something far greater... I had passed her test! I had worked hard to learn and respect the craft as she had demanded. I had succeeded in her eyes and now had her "blessing" to enter her world... And if not for that lesson, I know with great certainty I would have crashed and burned long ago. Thank you mom. Your legacy continues in me and all those you have nurtured who call themselves an actor."