I had the pleasure of attending the Hollywood to NC CameraWork Acting Workshop with Dennis “LA” White and Michael Buie Director and owner of Platinum Productionz, LLC. This workshop was for anyone (all ages) with a passion to act and wanting to enhance their skills and learn from a successful actor. Dennis shared the importance of understanding your character and doing the proper research to play your role effectively. He shared how to learn your lines especially when cold reading and memorizing lines so that you can really shine during a audition. If you want to be a strong actor you need to be comfortable on camera and be comfortable on set. You need to be great in an audition, on set and on camera. Dennis shared to always pay attention to “your mark” where you stand for optimal lighting and camera position. Build your character analysis, and why your character is saying something (that particular line) to overcome your nervousness. your saying it because you feel it! Find your voice and your tone! Dennis said… “You can conform to your event, trust yourself and your choices.” These were just the tip of the ice berg that Dennis “LA” White shared with his students. There were actual scripts learned and performed within the workshop. It was exciting!
I was able to interview Dennis after the workshop, here’s what he had to say based on my questions…
1. Jen: What prompted you to start your acting workshops?
Dennis: Getting bombarded by people asking questions. How To? In front of and behind the camera. He had the answers. People aren’t knowledgeable of the ins and outs of the industry. people get training formally but, teachers aren’t working actors in the industry. It takes lots of Trial & Error.
2. Jen: What was your “big break”?
Dennis: Dennis doesn’t know if he’s had his big break yet. Fuse television would be a runner up. His 1st series under contract. Miracle Boys, no contract and a regular on the show. Networking leads to bigger opportunities. Notorious helped expand his brand.
3. Jen: What is the most important piece of advice you’d give an aspiring actor/actress?
Dennis: Two Fold: As an actor stay focused on your goal, keep learning, keep building and don’t quit. Learn how to build your brand, understand who you are and how to brand yourself in this industry. Some opportunities get booked based on popularity via Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook Followers Etc.
4. Jen: How long did it take you to become a successful actor?
Dennis: I measure success differently. It’s like getting paid to do what you love. I didn’t take a baseball scholarship to pursue my dream of acting. It took about 10 years to understand my niche. I had to accept and overcome personal setbacks. My niche is being a strong character. I play very strong men! (most of the time)
5. Jen: When did you discover acting was your calling?
Dennis: I was always acting and doing theater in high school. I knew that I had something special. I was always in the arts and performing, it’s second nature. I loved sports and to sing and act. I enjoyed doing plays in high school. I took the initiative.
6. Jen: What’s next for you? Upcoming projects?
Dennis: I’m starting a film called Vault, my 1st feature film. Regina King is slated to play my wife. I’m planning a one man show in LA called Die Laughing. In October 2015 I’m writing and directing my 1st feat. called… “Fit the Description”. It’s about racial profiling and police brutality. I’m planning to potentially shoot it in NC.
7. Jen: What area of acting do you like most to work on theater, feature film, or TV series? Within these three areas where does your passion lie?
Dennis: Television 1st , then film it lasts longer, theater is where I started.
Dennis “LA” White plans to schedule another workshop in North Carolina in the near future. He will focus on the audition process during the next workshop. I’ll keep you posted on when that will happen. Dennis also offers virtual coaching classes online. Stay Tuned…