• Chris Banks

“There’s a lot of searching to find the individual within oneself” - David Bowie

Updated: Aug 16, 2019

Sitting down now it’s crazy to realize this summer has truly been the first time I’ve been able to reflect, wholly, on my experience moving to the city 2 years ago. SO much has gone on - so many auditions and so many interactions and so many opportunities!

I feel now like I missed some. But what I’m telling myself is to be expected - when someone just picks up and moves to New York City to act, and has absolutely no experience or formal education in a classroom workshop or theatre - it’s kind of overwhelming. I just immersed myself, into the city and into the profession and thus - into the world of filmmaking.

Morphing my vibration with the vibration necessary to hustle as an actor in New York City was one of the hardest things ever as you gather from my journal entries about the past.

But look, I wouldn’t be the way I am without doing it that way.

I’m going to advocate for that going forward, no hesitation - immerse. Of course you can think about how best to immerse, in whatever you are contemplating, but I definitely think the best way to learn or to do is to just dive into the deep end of the pool. (Just make sure someone is there watching you who knows how to swim ;)

But there is no way I could of learned as much as I did about not only the craft, but the field of filmmaking. The world of filmmaking. I was lucky to move to New York City to get a crash course in the process - being paid.

I’m not even sure how I got away with that magic trick but it worked well for me. I understand so much about not only making movies but why would you want to make movies that I simply just did not understand before. The utility of an actor, the places you can go within yourself, the different ways you can connect and learn from others, the material the objective of it and the fun of it and not to mention the creativity you get to tap into. I’ve been lucky to experience while learning.

The same is true for me and this craft, but I can see how that would be hard to believe for some.

But anyone who’s ever been in an audition room with me has always said the same thing, regardless of booking the job or not. So I’m lucky. I was fortunate to find the frequency I was born to vibrate within. Now I suspect it’s going to be hard to convince the crowd in Hollywood that I belong. That I always belonged. But that I was stuck on the other coast trying to break through my own self doubt and the doubt surroundings and comfort place inside of all of us. It’s why more people who should be mailmen settle to be x y or z. And the same is true for acting. I see and have sadly worked with many actors who are focused on the wrong things. Connections, power, money, access, and easy in, fame - you name it. Everything that people not connected with the world hate about us. Not me. I just want to tell stories. I want to be able to tell my own stories, important stories. Meaningful stories. Stories that when you find out were written by a white dude will hopefully awaken us from our collective slumber. But I won’t be able to do that until I have a sustained career as an actor. That’s why, eventually, I need LA. Because of the work, and solely because of the work. I’m starting to think the answer to why I was able to do and learn so much in NYC so fast is because from the first day I landed - my head was down and my focus was on my craft.

Learning it, experiencing it, practicing it, getting better at it, excavating new grooves that weren’t there before I moved, growing into it, being moved by it, being touched inside my soul by it and finally - understanding it. Now, of course it’s going to be a life worth of learning, even the most accomplished director or actor would never say that they know everything about their craft or the world. But they know and have understood and experienced enough to know where their focus should lie, where their energies should be directed toward and what not to care anything about. Because it’s out of our control. And we only think about the things we can control, and no, we do not manipulate the world around us, or the people in that world for that control. We must listen well enough and with enough good intent to see where the control is appropriate, as well as what is appropriate to control.

It starts within us.

I’ve been lucky enough to get a crash course on this struggle. I feel like if I only had the resources, I’d have the team the story and the ideas all ready to go.

And that’s only my directing side.

As an actor I have reams of experience, EQ, natural ability and endless wells to tap into as an actor.

Kids who know they are actors and have fortunate enough situations growing up that allow them to go audition and develop their craft is one way. The young adult who knows they are storytellers who picks up everything and moves to LA to make it work - that’s another way. Training your entire childhood in a theatre, going to classes and workshops and schools specifically for the craft is whole ‘nother way.

An actor who comes from the theatre and these backgrounds are the worn out paths, but an actor with that natural ability to create and connect who also understands much about emotion human behavior and themes of life in general - now that’s an entirely different type of actor.

That’s Me. And that’s why moving to NYC has been so exciting.

This experience and meeting the countless people from every walk of life shape size and color have started to make me firmly believe you are or you aren’t. Of course, certain people can learn how to be actors just like certain people can learn how to be mechanics. But I’m getting to be pretty firm in believing that you either are something or you are not that something.

Like I believe there are people best fit to be mail men, for whatever reason, maybe they like walking maybe they don’t mind weather maybe they love talking to people and being a part of the blood of a community, maybe they want to serve the country is some small way that didn’t have to do with military or volunteering.

And how amazing and beautiful is that - that some of these people delivering our mail actually love it. Doesn’t that make you feel good? They couldn’t see themselves as being happy doing anything else.

That, I think, is a lesson for us all.

We must take more time in our early adulthood to make sure our decisions regarding our career align with our vibration. And if you do have the privilege of time, or access to loans that allow you to do that - spend your 20s doing a lot of different things. It’s the only way to know what your passion is. People coming out of high school should enroll in college classes that YOU (not your parents) find interesting, and work part time for a job you can get and also have some interest in. That way you’re learning new things while trying new things. What the hell is better than that.

Exactly what your 20s are designed for

Exactly what your 20s are designed for—

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