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Coach Clayton

I am a New York-based actor in film, theater and television, as well as a filmmaker. Originally I am from Kansas City, where my very astute mother got me into drama programs at age 8! I acted throughout all of my school years, but after graduating from Oberlin College I stepped away to dedicate myself to social work and public health outreach for a time.

Late in my twenties, I made the move to New York, and have been working as an actor ever since. But at first, even though I had the passion, skill and drive to go for my goals, I had no structure, strategy, or relationships—and was saddled with the negative thinking that I had started too late. I got super down on myself for not getting meetings or auditions–but my actions (or lack thereof) were a big part of the problem.

So I sought out help. With guidance and support from coaches I trusted, I learned how important it is to brand myself clearly, pitch myself like a pro, and in my case, produce my own work to propel my career forward. Mastering the art of networking and building and maintaining my relationships in the industry, have been critical in my professional success. Thanks to those things, I have been able to turn my passion into a paying career.

My favorite work includes 30 Rock, Billions, Flight of The Conchords, Louie, and in productions at the Humana Festival, the Barbican Centre, and Transport Group. I was proud to be nominated with the cast of Keen Company’s Outward Bound for a Drama Desk Award for Best Ensemble. Some of my favorite directors I’ve worked with are Steve Buscemi, Neil Jordan, Griffin Dunne, Michael Showalter, Anne Bogart, Tim van Patten, Don Scardino, Jim McKay, and the late Nicholas Martin. I have been fortunate to garner critical acclaim twice in the New York Times, and in other publications including the New Yorker and Time Out NY.

As a filmmaker, I have written, directed and produced a few films and gotten distribution. Off Track Betty, my first film, played the festival circuit for two years and garnered awards including the Best Short Audience Award, Brooklyn Film Festival; Best in Category, Tallgrass Film Festival; and the Kodak Award for Best Work on Film, Queens World Film Festival.

In addition to my love of the entertainment industry, I also am proud to serve as an Officer of Midtown Manhattan’s Community Board Five, and Chair of the Parks Committee. It’s a way I can contribute to my city, and have a hand in how important decisions are made. I also love compelling movies, cooking, traveling, and my adorable miniature schnauzer, Sasha.

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