• Chris Banks

New York City, New York

Updated: May 23

The creativity was there from my earliest memory. It started in wrestling - my friend and I began coming up with our own names our own story lines and creating an actual website (on yahoo geocities) When they took it down years ago I was sad because I thought it would be on the internet forever. UVW it was called, for Ultra Violent Wrestling. Yes, I know. Don’t laugh, we were kids and wrestling was the hottest thing amongst the youth in the 90s.

We had our own storylines to create and keep up with as well as come up with twists and turns and whatever else. For no one other than ourselves and our classmates. We hand made weekly newsletters and handed out all 15 copies to our classmates. Looking back it was hilarious.

But it also spoke to my own need to write, need fo create from my earliest age.

I broke bones wrestling, that was probably my own regret it doing it.

But the creativity itch got scratched.

Doing our weekly vocabulary sketches scratched it as well, having done the sketches in the years after the wrestling buzz wore off.

Then I just got sucked into the playing sports orbit, then to focus on school orbit - I went the practical route. My mother is a first generation American - I have to have a stable financial life. And so I wanted to wear a suit for the rest of my life - the stability of that image was always enthralling to me. The idea I wouldn’t have to struggle like I always have was exciting, and to provide my mother with a better way of life for the rest of her’s was entirely attractive.

So I was the first in my family to graduate from college. 2 colleges. One for my associates and one for my bachelors.

But that’s when the story takes an extreme turn and I guess it’s only the universe that can explain it.

That’s why when I got on a film set I threw everything I had worked for away at that point - nothing was more important than to be able to tell stories, to explore life, to teach, to listen - to create.

So fast forward a lot of time and here I am. Reflecting on my creative youth sporadic early adulthood and the desperate blazing search to reclaim my own destiny - the last two years in New York City have transformed me - into who I was always supposed to be.

I’ve actually had people think the resume that I put in front of them was faked, somehow. That definitely hurt, a lot. I’ve only been doing this for a couple years. I'm so fortunate to be a part of all that I was considering where I was in my career, at the time. But I couldn't have taken as many leaps as I have internally without each and every thing.

It’s hard when you don’t come from the theatre, when you didn’t do plays as a kid. When you only started taking a career in acting seriously in your 20s-Its just hard. It will always be.

It’s hard for anyone in my shoes. It’s hard getting people to take your process seriously.

Once we work together though, the doubt evaporates. Probably the biggest compliment I could receive right now at this stage of my career-People wanting to work with me again. That’s definitely the thing I’m most proud of in my time in the city, not leaving out the humans that have welcomed me into their life, into their circle, and who have given me advice lessons and kindness along the way.

It’s hard finding meaningful work. It’s hard finding any work lol. That’s why i didn’t join the union as quickly as I was eligible to. I had so much to do first- and I only joined to protect myself as an actor. I had done so many shoots were I had to chase pay, where I wasn’t fed, or all sorts of things actors shouldn’t have to worry about when you are present and willing to give every ounce you have.

So far all of my roles are antagonists.

I’m so fortunate, it’s so fun. Like the worst of all humans. It’s fun

But I’d be lying if I said I just wanted to be bad.

I want to embody all sorts of souls. Loner, lawyer, hopeless romantic, drug abuser, lost soul, family man, the funny friend, love interest, a good brother, a curious student -there’s not many that I wouldn’t want to play. It would be an honor and privilege to play a trans person, having learned so much from so many different amazing people.

Just bad is what I’ve been asked to do in my time in the city.

All of my work has been in front of a camera but getting on a stage is something that I do want to do too. And I will, whenever the time happens.

The places we are allowed to go, as actors, are endless, and it’s one of the reasons why I love this work so much.

Acting is just one method in telling a story, directing is something that I’m extremely passionate about as well and the further I get into my own project the more I realize I will directing as many projects as I act in.

Because we find ourselves in an important time, with stories that need to be told - nobody is telling me that I can’t direct just because I’m an actor.

There’s a process, there’s a craft behind each of the jobs on a set - that’s the reason why I love the work so much. Everything about it

I welcome piling it up on my ‘desk’.

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