First, let me say thank you for showing an interest in wanting to get to know more about me. I’ll do my best on this page to present you with enough thought-provoking information about myself, my experiences, my beliefs, and qualifications, for you to better understand me and why I do what I do so you can make an informed decision as to whether I can be of assistance to you. I’ll be succinct at first — and if that interests you, I welcome you to read on for more details.
I was raised in New York by artistic parents. My father was a photographer. As a young man, he was a World War II photographer. He later became a fine art photographer who regularly brought home finished prints of his work. Picasso, Dali, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Rockwell were the greats among an endless ensemble of known and not so well known artistic geniuses. I can remember my mom painting with oils and hanging her canvas’s in the hallways of our house. As a result, I grew up surrounded by art, culture, and creativity, all the while developing an eye and appreciation for quality and excellence! My home was literally a gallery of fine-art. And, I… its student!
Because my dad was one of the very few people in the sixties who owned a movie camera, I was taught to shoot, edit, and project films as a part of my upbringing. I cut my teeth on an 8mm movie camera and flatbed editor. Around age twelve, I was directing my neighborhood friends and shooting and editing my first short films.
Now, let me tell you quickly where the coaching/mentoring comes in? I coach because coaching for me is a gift! It isn’t something I choose, coaching chose me! At the age of twenty-one, I found my way into an educational company and it’s there where I was not only given the opportunity to instruct and manage individuals but taught how to become great at it! And… I did! I went on to become one of the top income producers in the organization advancing to the position of National Trainer, Motivator, and Asst to the President! This was the MacMillan Group, a New York-based Fortune 500 company!
I believe in excellence. I look for it everywhere, and in everything that I do. I have an eye for detail and I believe detail and excellence are key in the development of any great champion! Becoming a professional requires detailed excellence. I do what I do to better improve people in their personal and professional pursuits,
If you care to read on, I’ll switch persons and you can learn more about me.
At age 18, Clay had completed a two-year intensive program in 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, 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 to 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*. A pretty wild ride!
Eventually, he found him! — In Hollywood on the Paramount lot, on the set of M&M. It was the fall of 1979. There is much more to the story, however, it did prompt Clay’s dedication to telling his life story professionally in a screenplay appropriately called, Finding Robin Williams. (DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF ROBIN WILLIAMS – 8-11-14)
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. These are some of the core ingredients of great storytelling. This also allowed him to spend years studying under the teachings of many of the world’s greatest influencers: 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 eight 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 with his improv troop.
During that time, Clay (the actor) landed the recurring role of Lt. Richardson as a series regular in the high-concept action TV show ‘LA Heat’. He’s also worked in movies, on stage, and appeared in upwards of 100 TV commercials.
Presently, Clay can be found heading up Clay Banks Productions & Studio International. CBSI is an LA-based, Empowerment Training Center, 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. He’s exceptionally skilled at bringing out the best in people and helping them to monetize their gifts!
CBSI is more than just an acting studio. It’s a life empowerment center for advanced artistic studies. If you spend any amount of time there, no matter what your profession is, you’re sure to leave a–changed for the better–human being! It’s pretty much guaranteed! [TESTIMONIALS]
Coach Banks not only a communications-behaviouralist expert, he understands both sides of the camera, first-hand. 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 edgy yet powerful 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! Because you’re sure to leave a more knowledgeable, enlightened, and empowered individual. You’ll actually feel your life being changed in the moment! Think of it this way — Clay is an Artistic Life Empowerment Coach – Creative Entertainment Business Coach – On-Camera Acting Coach — all rolled up into one person. Experiencing him is really quite fascinating!