In Philadelphia on Friday with his popular acting workshop "Act Like You Know," actor Dennis L.A. White shared his expertise via coaching and applied techniques with actors of various ages and experience, from students to working. Many will know him from the 2009 Notorious B.I.G. biopic "Notorious," in which he portrayed Damion 'D-Roc' Butler. During the three-hour workshop, White challenged participants to think outside the box, and offered tools to help them take more control of their respective careers.
When asked why he was so passionate about coaching other actors, especially beginners, White shared,"Initially, it started because a lot of actors were calling me and asking for advice. And I would be on the phone with them for hours, giving information I’d learned or had. I was like if they are (asking), then other actors don’t know. And I’m not just an actor – I’ve been a PA, done background work, been the principal (actor), and produced. So I have a vast knowledge, and want to give students that knowledge." It's the reason he's titled his workshop "Act Like You Know," further stating, "I want them to know before they get into the game and get the tools necessary to be successful."
And the one thing White says he wished he'd learned starting out is that, "it’s a business. As entertainers, we always think that our talent is bigger than the business, but it’s never that. I wish I had learned how to do my business and market myself a long time ago. It’s a marriage, it’s called show (plus) business. Learning and knowing the business initially is a big help."
Last September, White and actress Cherie Johnson reported being racially profiled by police while travelling through South Carolina. Fueled by the incident, past experiences with racial profiling, and an outpouring of support and shared stories of similar experiences by others, White started the foundation M.O.R.P.H. - the Movement Opposing Racial Profiling and Harassment. Speaking about creating the foundation, he shared, "I’d been racially profiled before but just knowing that there were so many people this was happening to everyday, there needed to be a way for them to get their story out and get vindication. I started the foundation to get a network of people together, like law officers and attorneys, so we would have information of what to do when racially profiled and have someone to call." People can get additional information at the official website, www.themorph.org, and email firstname.lastname@example.org to contact the foundation.
White has the upcoming film "Diamond Ruff" due out this September, and also will begin production on the project "Dreams," for which he is also serving as an associate producer. Students that have participated in his acting workshop will receive an exclusive opportunity to audition for the latter. To get information about his upcoming workshops, and to find out if one will be in your area, go to www.actlikeyouknow.org.