Clay Banks’ passion for the arts began in New York at age 12 when his father first introduced him to an 8mm movie camera and flatbed editor. He took to it quickly as he directed his neighborhood friends — shooting and editing his first short films.
By age 18, he had completed a two-year intensive program New York at a Technical Arts School where he studied professional photography. This is where Clay developed his skilled eye for composition, lighting, and framing. After graduating from photography school, Clay advanced on to college where he continued his studies in filmmaking, acting, theatre and the psychology of human behavior.
It was while he was in college studying acting and performing his one-man-show where Clay had been compared to another new actor on the scene named ROBIN WILLIAMS. Not knowing who Robin Williams was at the time, Clay searched out Robin only to find him playing Mork, the lead character on the hit spin-off show Mork and Mindy. Robin impacted Clay greatly — prompting him to set out to meet this crazy and unique new talent. Clay instantly quit college, packed up his van and headed off in search of ROBIN WILLIAMS*.
After his short first visit to Hollywood (and eventually meeting Robin), Clay’s life took an interesting turn when he landed a job with a New York-based Fortune 500 Company. That entry-level position soon turned into the more prestigious position of National Instructor, Business Coach & Motivational Speaker. This decade-long run provided him with opportunities to develop advanced coaching, mentoring and communication skills while furthering his knowledge of people, human behavior, social structures, and life overall, some of the core ingredients of good storytelling. This also allowed him to spend years studying under the tutelage of many of the world’s greatest teachers: Napoleon Hill, Zig Ziglar, Og Mandino, W. Clement Stone, Mark Victor Hansen, Wayne Dyer, Tony Robbins, and countless others. Clay also was part of an elite group of company men known as… The President’s Advisory Council.
After years of extensive travel throughout the United States and twenty-two other countries, he finally landed back in Hollywood. At that point, Clay shifted his focus from the corporate business world back to his original passion — the arts.
Over the following two decades, Clay went on to coach and direct thousands of actors. He’s produced and directed countless shows and eventually became the Improv Director and Comedy Coach at The World Famous Comedy Store on Sunset Blvd where he eventually recruited Robin Williams to guest-play on his improv team.
Presently, Clay can be found heading up Clay Banks Productions & Studio International. CBSI is an LA-based, On-Camera, Film & TV Acting Studio and Independent Production Company. He teaches a powerful Meisner/Method-based on-camera film acting technique that’s strongly grounded in the art of working honestly and truthfully, moment to moment – specifically for professional on-camera work in FILM & TV.
Coach Banks not only understands both sides of the camera, first-hand, but he has an amazing gift to inspire and motivate others. He also possesses a unique talent for understanding where people are and even better… how to get them out of their ‘stuff’ and onward to where they’re going!
Check out this testimonial from awarded screenwriter and novelist, G. Thompson — “If Michael Jackson had a friend like Clay around to set him straight every once and a while, he’d still be alive!”
If you haven’t yet been in one of Coach Banks training/empowerment sessions, do it soon! You’re sure to leave a more knowledgeable and empowered individual. Your life will actually be changed! Think of it this way — Clay is a Life Empowerment Coach – Entertainment Business Coach – On-Camera Acting Coach — all rolled up into one person. He’s really quite fascinating!