Basis was born in Brooklyn, New York, where he attended Mark Twain Intermediate School 239 and Midwood High School. While majoring in theatre at Binghamton University, he performed in the title roles of "Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead" and "I Hate Hamlet", in addition to several original productions. After graduation, he joined the Actors Studio MFA program, where he received a Master of Fine Arts in Acting.
As a struggling actor in New York, Basis worked as a bartender, a bouncer, a busboy, a cater-waiter, and a substitute teacher while performing in independent and student films, and Off-Off Broadway plays. He also co-created and performed in an improv & sketch comedy show called "Mmm...Comedy" that ran for seven months. Austin's television debut was in the Comedy Central film Porn 'n Chicken (2002) (TV). In 2004 he was cast in an episode of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (2001). Austin then landed a role in a Warner Brothers TV pilot for FOX called Spellbound (2004) (TV) with Christine Baranski, Barry Bostwick and Dave Annable. At this point he moved to LA. Austin has since appeared on numerous television shows, among them: "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" (2006), "Supernatural" (2005), "Life on Mars" (2008) and "Life Unexpected" (2010-2011). His film credits include Dorian Blues (2004), Boxboarders! (2007), American Zombie (2007), My Sassy Girl (2008), and The Other End of the Line (2008) - traveling as far as India to shoot them. He has appeared in a number of commercials as well, including spots for Toys 'R' Us, Wendy's, Dr. Pepper, State Farm, and Burger King. He also plays Benjamin Bankes the Pig in the Ad Council's "Feed the Pig" campaign.