"You Are Responsible for Everything!"
Rona Barrett's Daytimers, June 1981
by Patricia Kearney
Article Provided By Wanda
Michael Pavel is creating quite a stir on Ryan's Hope. As a very enterprising young man, he is not only learning how to make his way to the top in the business world, but is bedding his teacher, too. He could be playing a dangerous game, though, because while Rae is happy to accommodate her prize pupil in and out of bed, her newly arrived nymphet daughter, Kim, has found this young, handsome man equally exciting. Just what type of fireworks will ignite when mother, daughter and lover uncover the facts about each other will have to wait.
Pavel is a totally delightful adventurous young man, and the same can be said about his creator, Michael Corbett. However, while Pavel is hungry for quick success, Michael is willing to gather his step by step, building a strong foundation.
"Acting sort of picked me," states Michael about his very successful career thus far. When I was in high school (he was an honor student) for some reason I was always doing the leads in the musicals. I had always wanted to sing. When I went to college, I went to The University of Pennsylvania to become an International Relations major. That's political science. I wanted to be an ambassador or diplomat, because I thought that would be a way to help mold the direction of society. Realizing that was pretty useless - I was getting frustrated because I'm the kind of person who really likes to accomplish things and see things accomplished--I left it and went to a theater school, Boston Conservatory."
That Michael turned to politics at first is not unusual. His father, Victor, was the chief of collection for the IRS before he retired. He then became a manager of political candidates.
His parents, however were not thrilled about Michael's change in major. In fact, they hated it! He says with a smile and a lot of affection. "My father kept saying 'get a job. When are you going to get a real job?' I moved to New York and I really did well. I worked from the third day I was here. I got my first job on Love of Life and about a month later I got my first Broadway show. I'll never forget this. The day we opened this Broadway bomb called Nefretiti (which starred former daytimers Andrea Marcovicci and Michael Nouri), that morning my father called me at my hotel room and said, 'okay, you've been in a Broadway show. Why don't you go back and get a real job now?' I couldn't believe it!"
Still not daunted in his acting dreams, Michael continued to pursue his career. "I did a lot of work for a year, and I'd saved up. And if for no other reason than to make my parents happy, I bought a house near their home as an investment. I thought this will prove to them I'm doing well! Still, they gave me a lot of flack."
"Even when I starred in a huge pilot for CBS," Michael recalled with a chuckle, "which was another huge bomb called CoEd Fever (I had signed a long contract with lots and lots of money), even then they weren't real happy! But they're happy now! They like Ryan's Hope because they can see me every day. My mother calls me up every now and then and says, 'You know, you're losing weight. Your hair's too long.' So they sort of feel a little closer to me."
As a Gemini on the cusp of Cancer, Michael describes his sign(s) as the 'traveler-adventurer and the person who likes a home. I definitely have a dichotomy. I definitely have strong passions. Pick almost any subject and I have very strong feelings both ways and they're both very valid at particular times."
"I'm very strong in my opinions but I usually have two of them" he laughed. "I like to argue about morality - society's effect on morality; society and the way people are sort of forced into things; monetary values; whether they're good or bad; career values, and things like that."
Asked whether his opinions have ever gotten him in trouble, Michael responded "not in trouble, but into a lot of arguments! If for no other reason that an argument's sake, I like matching of the wits, so to speak. And not many people have the time, energy, or the wits to do it. When you finally settle into doing that, its a great challenge and I enjoy it a lot!"
One challenge, however, that has Michael down a bit, is his lack of social life since beginning the show. He had been engaged to a young woman but, "I really ended up not having enough time for it. You feel like you're cheating the other person, and she's too good for that. So we decided to break it off."
"I'm very career oriented, and I always have been, especially since I've been out of college. That's where a dichotomy is. I like security and I like really pushing myself. Yet sometimes there is nothing I would rather do than be on a farm just working my rear end off plowing or something like that. Totally away from all the manipulation, etc. that goes on in Manhattan. But I love what I'm doing!'
Pushing himself in his career may be Michael's way of staying on top of things, but others might feel that fate had a hand it it, too. After all, it's a bit unusual for a young actor to arrive in New York and find himself employed in just three days. With all his confidence about his abilities, however Michael does admit he did play it way safe upon his arrival.
"I've always been very determined and all that," he began, "and I think I knew that I was going to do well. But you know you have some doubts, and you're a little scared, so when I first moved here, I said to myself, 'I'm going to do it, period. I'm going to be successful and that's it.' And that very first day I applied as a waiter, got hired, and they told me to come in on Thursday. By then I had gotten my first job, so I never, thank God, had to be a waiter!
"That just reminds me of a personal value that is important to me," Michael continued. "I really believe that when you decide something for yourself, you do it. There's really very little you can't accomplish if you want it badly enough, against all odds. I think if you set yourself that goal, disregarding everything else, you'll get it. If you have that attitude, you'll go much further. I think the moment you start limiting yourself, you'll get to your limit and that's it."
"I think you have to set your ultimate goal and specific goals along the way. And each time you meet one goal, you still have
another one past that. But you know you're going to meet each goal, eventually. You just have to keep working at it.
"There's a specific line of thinking that says you are really totally responsible for everything that happens to you, and every
circumstance in which you find yourself. You can't blame anyone else. You have to say, 'all right, I'm here because I said to
myself at some point I allowed this to happen.' So you have no one else to blame but yourself. If you're ever in a bad
circumstance, it's nice to have a scapegoat, but you really can't. You're responsible for it!"
Michael came upon this philosophy through reading and talking "with a lot of people whom I respect. I guess it's basically a
really positive attitude that whatever you want, you can get, but you've got to work for it. No one is going to give it to you."
"You know, sometimes everybody has self-doubts. I do. You go through those anxiety attacks, but then you think this is ridiculous! If anything, you can look back on your own track record. You're proving things to yourself, too, as you accomplish things. You have to develop and have a lot of self-confidence, because you can be so easily shot down."
At this point in his life, it won't be easy for anybody to 'shoot down' Michael. While Michael Pavel is being noticed by the residents of Ryan's Hope, Michael Corbett is definitely making himself noticed in the theater world!
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