Corbitt Williams

IG: @mr.corbitt

YT: mr. corbitt

EP 38: Corbitt Williams (autogenerated)

Dane Reis: [00:00:00] You booked it, episode 38. Hey, entertainers and performers of the world. I’m your host, Dane Reis, and welcome to you. Booked it. Where I chat with inspiring entertainers, seven days a week, by digging into their journey. We’re going to discover everything you need to do to be a successful entertainer, you know?

[00:00:25] Cause. Training, usually skips that part about how to actually make your skills work for you in the real world. Fellow entertainers, my drive here at you booked it is to share the inspiring and incredible journeys of successful entertainers. We are here to support your journey. So go to and join the, you booked it, email community, where we dig deep into truly actionable things you can be doing right now to help you book that next audition, submission or gig.

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[00:01:22] Let’s do this. All righty. Let’s get started. I am excited to introduce my guest today. Corporate Williams. Are you ready for this corporate? 

[00:01:34] Corbitt Williams: [00:01:34] Let’s do it. 

[00:01:35] Dane Reis: [00:01:35] Oh, right. Corporate is an actor singer and early childhood entertainer providing classes and concerts all across New York city. As the children’s personality.

[00:01:46] Mr. Corbett, you attended the Boston conservatory and performed for Disney. The owner works USA and various summer stock theaters across the country, as well as writing and directing children’s plays. In December corporate released his first album called mr. Corbett’s songs from Morocco’s available for digital download and streaming on all music services.

[00:02:10] Corporate. That is a quick intro of who you are and what you’ve done. But why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself? Fill in the gaps if you will. Well, you are, and a little bit more about what you do as a professional in the entertainment industry. 

[00:02:25] Corbitt Williams: [00:02:25] Sure. So my name’s Corbett, I’m from a little city called Pensacola, Florida.

[00:02:30] It’s on the Florida panhandle right next to Alabama. So we’ve kind of say it’s flora, Bama. and I live in Harlem in New York city. I’m here with, my main squeeze Ben and my cat Owen. And, before the pandemic started, I was chucking all around the city, teaching early childhood classes for families and, doing concerts all over, whether it was at a major event or an a park or at a birthday party.

[00:02:59]and I was also, writing curriculums and programming for different organizations around the city. so now that it’s a covert time, I’m spending a lot more time, doing some projects that I’ve wanted to do and have been so busy. so I’m creating music and videos, and that’s kind of where I’m at.

[00:03:18] Dane Reis: [00:03:18] Love it. Okay. Well, let’s move on to this next section here. And look, I am a 

[00:03:23] Corbitt Williams: [00:03:23] sucker 

[00:03:24] Dane Reis: [00:03:24] for a good quote. What’s your favorite quote? You’d like to share with everyone. 

[00:03:29] Corbitt Williams: [00:03:29] Okay. Well, I’m going to give you two quotes. Great. So I’m, I’m giving you two quotes just because of the two facets of my life. Artists and more as someone who works with children.

[00:03:40] So mr. Rogers, as somebody who I always look to, and I love his quote, where he says play as often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning, but for children, play is serious. Learning play is really the work of childhood. And so that always helps me orient myself, especially when I’m in the room with children.

[00:03:59]just to be as compassionate as I can as a teacher and, too, Kind of think outside the box. And then for myself in my path as an artist, I always go back to when John Lennon said life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. And that has really guided me as my career has gone through twists and turns and okay.

[00:04:21] It’s something that I kind of live with. Bye. 

[00:04:23] Dane Reis: [00:04:23] Yeah, absolutely. I love both of those quotes so much. I’ve, I’ve heard the John Lennon one before, but of course not the mr. Rogers one at night. That is so. Insightful, especially in such a good reminder for me, because I’ve got a little three year old girl as well.

[00:04:36] And You have to remind yourself because it 

[00:04:39] gets 

[00:04:39] Corbitt Williams: [00:04:39] hard. Absolutely. And I tend to be, I tend to be very black and white in my thinking sometimes when I’m planning or preparing something. And so there’s always a part of my brain that wants things to stay on script and on track, with children and.

[00:04:56] It that idea of, you know, whenever two, my really structured mind something’s going off. that’s usually when they’re learning the most. And so I always have to remind myself of that. 

[00:05:10] Dane Reis: [00:05:10] Yeah. I love that. Well, let’s move on to this section. And corporate, of 

[00:05:15] Corbitt Williams: [00:05:15] course 

[00:05:15] Dane Reis: [00:05:15] you are an entertainer, a professional in this industry, and I am an entertainer.

[00:05:20] And I think that you would agree that this entertainment industry is one of the most subjective, brutally, honest and personally emotional industries in existence. And, you know, as well as I, that order to create 

[00:05:35] Corbitt Williams: [00:05:35] and to 

[00:05:35] Dane Reis: [00:05:35] have a successful career. In this industry, like you’re having now takes a lot of dedication and hard work.

[00:05:42] And while yeah, there is in a radius amount of fun and excitement doing what we do. There are also our fair share of obstacles, challenges, and failures. We are going to experience and we’re going to have to move forward through. Tell us what is one key challenge, obstacle or failure you’ve experienced in your career?

[00:06:05] And how did you come out the other side better because of it. 

[00:06:08] Corbitt Williams: [00:06:08] Well, I had an experience when I was in my early twenties and I was just getting out of college and, I had a really great job in the entertainment industry and I came up with, to the opportunity of, of resigning and, continuing with that company and, someone who was in my life for a long time, and is still a good friend of mine.

[00:06:29]we had a long talk and, and about. What I wanted out of my life, artistically. Yeah. And, wanting something more and something deeper and something bigger. And so, I turned down that contract that I had, and I thought I was making the right decision, a real gutsy heart felt this division at the time.

[00:06:50] And then what ended up being shown to me as, as life continued to unfold was that, Aye. Aye. Aye. It’s going back to the John ledge. John Lennon quote of life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. You know, I had these plans to, Have a very, very artistic and, and I think in my head I wanted to be in control of it.

[00:07:10]but what I discovered is that if I had just let go and taking that next job that was in front of me and just kind of let life unfold as it were, that that would have turned into an artistic opportunity too. And so I. trying to control my path kind of ended up derailing me from it for a couple of years, as I tried to figure out what happened, why did I do that?

[00:07:35] And, how can I use that to inform me going forward? And what it did is just let me say, let me just take any opportunity that’s in front of me, because just by me doing it, that’s something that, that, is artistic to me. I 

[00:07:50] Dane Reis: [00:07:50] love that. And it is so easy to get heady about our path and what we’re doing.

[00:07:55] We absolutely, and we grow up with these ideas of what we want to do, what success equals in our mind, even though it’s. It’s so different for every single person that we try to, like you said, control it. And I’ve certainly myself being very guilty of that through my career. And I personally have found I’m sure you’d agree that when you are on the right path, when you’re really just taking things as they come at you, you, you almost feel like there’s a flow of energy and a flow of life that you’re like, this is all just kind of working and I’m being fulfilled and it’s, it’s great.

[00:08:31] Corbitt Williams: [00:08:31] Yes, absolutely. 

[00:08:33] Dane Reis: [00:08:33] But. You kind of need to experience both sometimes into, and to get derailed so you can see the difference and notice the difference so you can find it. 

[00:08:42] Corbitt Williams: [00:08:42] Absolutely. And something that happens to me a lot, actually continuing on that is that I, when I was growing up before I moved away from Florida, you know, I had all these.

[00:08:51] Kind of visions of my career and what I would want it to be. But a lot of times it was based on things that I’d seen on TV of famous actors and what they said, just experiences that were so far removed from mine. and so, you know, I used to tell myself, I’ll never, I’ll never do children’s theater and here I am.

[00:09:11] And it’s been the most amazing thing that could have happened to me. I used to. Tell myself, I’ll never do a cruise ship, but when I worked for Disney entertainment on a cruise ship, I learned so much about myself and, as a performer and as a person and developed all these new skills. And so it was like, life was constantly showing me that these ideas that I had in my head were, not useful and that, and that it is so much more powerful to just take whatever opportunity comes your way.

[00:09:39] Because you can surprise yourself with, with what you can do and how you can still remain true to yourself. 

[00:09:44] Dane Reis: [00:09:44] Absolutely. I love your take on that in your insight on that. It’s fantastic. 

[00:09:48] Corbitt Williams: [00:09:48] Thanks. 

[00:09:49] Dane Reis: [00:09:49] Well, let’s move on to this section and to a time that I like to call your spotlight moment. One moment in time you realized, yes, I am going to be an entertainer for a living or maybe it was yes.

[00:10:06] This is what I need to be doing as an entertainer in this industry. Tell us about 

[00:10:11] Corbitt Williams: [00:10:11] that. Gosh, well, you know, I was definitely one of those children who always wanted to do this, who was hiding behind the curtains and making my mother introduced me as if I was on like a huge stage over and over again.

[00:10:24] So, so that bug had always been there, but This is kind of funny. So I was in this, big chorus, where I’m from, it’s called the Pensacola children’s chorus. And there are lots of very successful people in the entertainment industry who came from that. So, but you know, it was, it was, an, our town.

[00:10:42] It was a very big deal to be a part of that. And in the summer, the directors would put on these plays and they were usually based on stories from the Bible and they, you know, would have some sort of. Crazy score behind it with a different take and they would write them each year and bring in a guest director, you know, it, to us, it was a really big deal.

[00:11:04] So when I was in, I would say fifth grade or going into sixth grade, I was, I got into that. Summer’s show, which was called. It was based on, David and Goliath and it was called the rock dot, and his greatest hits. So a clever name. Isn’t it. Well too clever, but we love it. shout out to the poets.

[00:11:30]so I, I was in this and I was just in the ensemble, but, I always look back to this moment kind of humorously because I, we were on stage at the very end and, of the show and, the, the finale ends on this big, big, high note, but that’s really short. So, and all of a sudden it’s done. Okay. And, I used to do this thing where I would pretend like I was out of breath.

[00:11:52] Like I had seen performers do like on deep and it would end going, Oh our God is great. And then I would go, and I love that. And I would go down to the dressing room and then I would school all of the older kids on this technique that I was doing to excite the audience and make the show even better. but I always look back on that because that’s when I really started to have some serious intentions about this thing here.

[00:12:19]and some real ambitions and maybe a little bit of delusion, but, all, all fun, nonetheless. 

[00:12:26] Dane Reis: [00:12:26] I I, that is so funny. I love that story. Well, let’s piggyback on that question and let’s talk about your number one book moment. Walk us through that day, the auditions and call backs. If those happened to be part of it, what was going on in your life?

[00:12:43] And what about that moment? Makes it your favorite? Oh, good moment. 

[00:12:49] Corbitt Williams: [00:12:49] Okay. So, when I was thinking about this, I, I kind of switched gears into my life now as a children’s entertainer. And, and I am, you know, I’m so fortunate to do all the things I do and, and, and go to different gatherings and, and people’s homes and businesses and do these classes.

[00:13:08]but okay. There is a, a playground that I’ve worked at with the organization who runs it. it’s called Vesuvio playground and Soho. Anybody wants to go visit, run by the amazing coral Dawson in green, below 14. okay. I, I had done when I, I first got started. She gave me a chance to do weekly concerts there and it, and it built up a, a big base of mine.

[00:13:31] It gave me so much experience at doing what I do and figuring out, what makes it What makes it individual to me. And, and so last year I was invited to go back and do there. Block parties. So they have a big block party with all these different musicians and know science teachers for kids, all these different kinds of vendors.

[00:13:53]and I was there and I brought along my guitarist, and drummer, Matt Gumby, and AIG drums. You guys should look them up. They’re so amazing. . We showed up, they’re kind of not expecting anything. And it was just one of those days where I had a huge crowd. The feeling was right. All the songs were so one.

[00:14:13]my musicians were amazing. everybody was smiling and happy and. I just remember that whole time feeling like this is, I just felt a hundred percent right in the center of where I needed to be and, and doing what I needed to do with my talent and my intentions and how I want to make the world a better place and all that stuff.

[00:14:35] It’s just all in this. 45 minute performance of storybooks and, and other songs that, I just felt like I really feel like I’m on the right path and I’m, I’m doing what I always wanted to do. And it still, and it helped me to see the path forward to my ambitions and all that stuff, even clearer. And I know that might be a little unconventional, but it, it was just, it was just a really magical day that I kind of.

[00:15:03] Showed up thinking, well, let me, let me get another gig under my belt and go buy some lunch. 

[00:15:08] Dane Reis: [00:15:08] I love it. And that day clearly turned out to be so much more than just paying for lunch that day. 

[00:15:12] Corbitt Williams: [00:15:12] Absolutely. 

[00:15:13] Dane Reis: [00:15:13] Aye. I love that story and you were totally on base exactly what we’re looking for with a question like that.

[00:15:21] I love it. Awesome. 

[00:15:22] Corbitt Williams: [00:15:22] Cool. 

[00:15:22] Dane Reis: [00:15:22] And, well, let’s take a moment to talk about the present. What projects are you working on now? What are you looking forward to? And. It’s a kind of a crazy time right now. We’re missed this global pandemic. Yes. Loads of social and racial injustices. Yeah. How do you see the entertainment industry moving forward in the next couple of years?

[00:15:44] Corbitt Williams: [00:15:44] Goodness. Well, I think that, I think it’s going to be a lot of online content. I was actually talking about this with some friends when this, all the pandemic in the quarantine in New York started and we were about a couple of weeks into it and it was starting to sink in for everyone. Okay. But there a part of it that makes me excited is, is there’s so much in the entertainment industry that, is based on tradition based on the way things have always been.

[00:16:14] And, you know, Theater and, and obviously more recently film and all this stuff. It does have a great history that we want to honor, but aye, I think it’s really exciting to think about how the entertainment industry is going to evolve to take the 21st century into account to keep, getting things, having things online, and, including people.

[00:16:36] That would normally be excluded because of privilege and things like that. I just think that, okay. You know, for me personally, this quarantine has been an amazing reset and I think it really could be that for the entertainment industry too, just an accessibility. I think that we could gain so much from, from this time and what it’s forcing us to do just to survive.

[00:16:58] Dane Reis: [00:16:58] Yeah, absolutely. I absolutely agree. 

[00:17:01] Corbitt Williams: [00:17:01] Yeah. 

[00:17:02] Dane Reis: [00:17:02] Well, let’s move on to one of my favorite sections in the interview. I call it the grease lightning round. I am going to ask you a handful of questions. I want you to answer them as quickly and concisely as possible one after another. Are you 

[00:17:18] Corbitt Williams: [00:17:18] ready? Yes. 

[00:17:20] Dane Reis: [00:17:20] Well, let’s do it.

[00:17:21] First question. Well, what was the one thing holding you back from committing to a career as an entertainer? 

[00:17:30] Corbitt Williams: [00:17:30] Failure. 

[00:17:31] Dane Reis: [00:17:31] Oh, such a, it’s such a very relatable thread for all of us 

[00:17:37] Corbitt Williams: [00:17:37] retainers, fear of failure, shame from failures that, you know, perceived failure failures. Yeah. 

[00:17:43] Dane Reis: [00:17:43] And I think you just said it right there is perceived failure.

[00:17:45] I think that is, that’s what we are so afraid of. Cause when we really look at what happens when we failed, w basically where we started absolutely things, weren’t really all that bad, you know, and. It’s just a perception of how we see these failures. And in some ways I think you, the goal then is to switch the perception, too lessons.

[00:18:07] Corbitt Williams: [00:18:07] How do you grow? Absolutely. And the fact that you’ll always be you and nobody can take that away and there will always be something next. 

[00:18:16] Dane Reis: [00:18:16] Absolutely. And the second question, what is the best piece of advice you have ever received? 

[00:18:23] Corbitt Williams: [00:18:23] So my piece of advice, I sort of had to glean the advice from this, but it was from my acting coach.

[00:18:29] She was also director and a playwright in Pensacola, her name’s Yolanda, and, and Pat Simmons as well. They one day, we’re having a conversation about the course that I was in Pensacola, children’s chorus, and they’re an amazing place, but she said, she said, the thing that you guys learned so much over there is stage presence.

[00:18:47] You know, you all learn your stage presence, but when are you going to learn what the deeper things that will make that stage presence even more powerful. and, and I think about that constantly. Yeah. You know, there has to be something underneath what you’re doing. 

[00:19:02] Dane Reis: [00:19:02] Absolutely. You’re saying it can’t just be the end of a number in big gasping breaths.

[00:19:08] Corbitt Williams: [00:19:08] Exactly. Although I am very good at this. 

[00:19:11] Dane Reis: [00:19:11] I know. And it’s, it’s fantastic. 

[00:19:14] Corbitt Williams: [00:19:14] All right. 

[00:19:14] Dane Reis: [00:19:14] Third question. What is something that is working for you now, or if you’d like to go pre COVID, what was working for you before our industry went on? Pause. 

[00:19:25] Corbitt Williams: [00:19:25] So I’m going to go with, what’s working for me now, and what’s really working for me now is taking my time.

[00:19:32] I did not give myself the opportunity to do that. A pre COVID just going after all of the things that I wanted to do. And yeah. And, and now I just get to really take my time and listen to myself and my artistic processes. I’m working on these new projects. So I’ve been really enjoying that. 

[00:19:49] Dane Reis: [00:19:49] I love that.

[00:19:50] And I think. A lot of us are finding this call when that time too, to work on us a little bit, because we get so caught up in the hustle of life and hour careers that it’s so easy to just you almost, you don’t even realize how exhausted you are become. Over the past handful of years doing what you do, but still loving what you do.

[00:20:13] Corbitt Williams: [00:20:13] Yes. 

[00:20:14] The 

[00:20:14] Dane Reis: [00:20:14] fact that we’ve been forced to slow down for a second, it has been so enlightening, 

[00:20:19] Corbitt Williams: [00:20:19] at least for me. Yes, me too. And it’s been amazing. I’ll say one more thing. It’s been really amazing because I am. In what I do and what so many of us do, I, I rely on a transference of energy between myself and the people I’m teaching or performing for.

[00:20:36] And so, so many of us are doing online live content. I’m I’m doing that as well. And. Yeah. Okay. Missing that connection so much and, and finding a way to replace it with just being sure of what I’m doing and what I’m saying, has been a real, a real teacher for me during this time. 

[00:20:57] Dane Reis: [00:20:57] Absolutely. And the fourth question, what is the best resource?

[00:21:03] Whether that’s a book, a movie, a YouTube video, a podcast, maybe it’s a piece of technology that you found is helping your career right now. 

[00:21:12]Corbitt Williams: [00:21:12] so I always go back to this book called boys and girls superheroes and the doll corner. and it’s by a woman named Vivian, Gus and paly. And she has spent so much of her life studying, young children, preschoolers and kindergartners, and especially studying the way that they make believe and the things that naturally come out of children.

[00:21:32] The stories that they naturally tell and make up. Okay. that has that. I got it when I was writing plays for children. And, I just always think about the points of view that she, that she comes across the children have. And I always try to frame my content around those. 

[00:21:49] Dane Reis: [00:21:49] Love it. 

[00:21:50] Corbitt Williams: [00:21:50] Yeah. 

[00:21:50] Dane Reis: [00:21:50] And the fifth question, if you had to start your career from scratch, but you still had all the knowledge and experience you’ve collected from your career in this industry, what would you do or not do.

[00:22:05] Would you do anything differently or would you keep it the same? 

[00:22:09] Corbitt Williams: [00:22:09] I always think about this. and I try to not have it be a Rick, regret, but, I always think that I should have left college after about a year and just gone out into the world. but what I think that really says is that I, I spent a lot of years not listening to myself and my, my inner voice.

[00:22:30]and, and so that’s part of that. 

[00:22:32] Dane Reis: [00:22:32] Absolutely. And I think it’s just so important to try to have those conversations with as many people as you can. Yeah. If you’re feeling something, try to explore it because. It could be the best thing you could do, put you on a different trajectory. Trajectory, get used to doing something that you’re more passionate about because at the end of the day, it’s your life and it’s you who will define your own success and you have to live with you every day.

[00:22:58] So put yourself first so you can. If you’re in the wrong place, that’s fine. It’s okay to be there. And then you can trust 

[00:23:05] Corbitt Williams: [00:23:05] him. Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it’s just, I, I spent a lot of years of my early twenties having this such a specific plan for myself with hardly any, give to that plan. And I just missed so many opportunities, just from, not just from not even, listening to people or listening to.

[00:23:25] Things that were happening in my life and letting that inform me. it took me a lot of years to get that under my belt. So yeah, as many people would say, I wish I had gotten there when I was younger. 

[00:23:34] Dane Reis: [00:23:34] Okay. Yeah. And the last question, what is the golden nugget knowledge drop you’ve learned from your successful career in this industry that you’d like to leave with 

[00:23:46] Corbitt Williams: [00:23:46] everyone?

[00:23:47] Trust yourself, trust yourself and the voice inside of you and the things that you want to do. Yeah. The more that you do that and, and ignore the fears, the more that you’ll get closer to what you really want to do in a way that you can really, contribute to the world. 

[00:24:04] Dane Reis: [00:24:04] I love that. That is incredible advice for everybody.

[00:24:06] Hmm. And to wrap up this interview, it is time to give yourself a plug. All right, where can we find you? How do our listeners connect with you? Is there anything you want to promote? 

[00:24:19] Corbitt Williams: [00:24:19] Yes. Okay. Deep breath. So you can find me on YouTube if you search mr. Corbett. So my name is spelled C O R B I T T. I’m also on Instagram at mr.

[00:24:31] Corbett. I’m on Facebook. At kids. That’s actually where you can find a lot of my live classes and my archives for you people out there with young children. And then finally, I have my first album on iTunes modifying any, any of the streaming services, mr. Corbett’s songs from maracas.

[00:24:52] Dane Reis: [00:24:52] Beautiful. 

[00:24:53] Corbitt Williams: [00:24:53] Well 

[00:24:54] Dane Reis: [00:24:54] Corvette, thank you so much for joining me today. It has been absolutely fantastic. 

[00:25:00] Corbitt Williams: [00:25:00] It’s been amazing. Thank you so much, Dane. 

[00:25:03] Dane Reis: [00:25:03] Thank you so much for joining us today. My one call to action for you is to go to and join our free email community. Where we dig deep into a continually growing resource of truly actionable things you can be doing right now to help you advance your entertainment career.

[00:25:24] Don’t miss an episode. We have a new guest, seven days a week search for you, booked it on Apple podcast or your favorite podcast app and subscribe today. All the best to you. We’ll see you tomorrow.