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Brian White stars in the upcoming Tyler Perry film, ‘I Can Do Bad All By Myself,’ and has quite the resume, with past movies such as ‘Family Stone’ and ‘The Game Plan’ under his belt.
In addition to his acting feats, Brian White is also involved in charities such as WARM2Kids (We Are All Role Models 2 Kids) and Words Matter Now!, which are both youth-based foundations.
10 Questions with Brian White
1. How did you get involved in acting and what motivates you to continue?
I happened to be in the right place at the right time: Los Angeles. In 2000, while in the process of trying to make my way back into professional sports after sustaining a major injury to my leg, I ended up taking a trip to L.A. and, while there, was approached by a casting director while out. She asked if I was an actor and invited me to audition for a TV series. Long story short, I went to that audition and was fortunate enough to book that job.
Since then, I have been focused on studying the craft and business of acting and have dedicated myself to trying to become the best actor I can be. My goal is to seek out roles with which I feel a strong personal connection and see some social significance. Ideally, my work will inspire discussion among its viewing audience. My promise to myself is to always attempt to seek out material that is challenging: mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
I am motivated by continuously pushing myself to strive to reach my full potential as an actor. But, the single biggest motivator for me is the sheer pleasure I receive in making my living by doing what I love to do: acting.
As a young person, I was taught to try and figure out what you love to do in life and then devise a way to make a career out of doing some or all of those things. If we all could develop careers we enjoy, then daily motivation would be no further away than our own smiling reflection in the mirror each morning.
2. How significant are the topics of cool hunting and trend spotting in the world of entertainment?
I think entertainment has become mostly about trend spotting these days as opposed to entertainment in the 60s and 70s, which I believe was much more about being artistic, groundbreaking and revolutionary. There are LOTS of talented people in the industry today doing many amazing and wonderful things.
But overall in today’s marketplace, rather than trying to create something new, the majority of what we call entertainment is simply a copy of prior work or an exploitation of current trends done over and over until they are no longer profitable due to over saturation, then used up and left for dead.
The irony for me is the fact that riding trends in this way is the exact opposite of my definition of “cool” because it doesn’t allow for much real creativity, innovation or even new approaches to recycled ideas.
3. How do you define cool?
That’s a broad topic, so lets limit the answer to people. To me, the coolest people are unique, educated, honest, grounded, ambitious, humble, loyal, trustworthy, kind, socially conscious, compassionate and have a great deal of integrity in all they do.
4. How do you define a trend?
I think a trend is simply a general direction in which something is growing or changing. Or a recurring pattern that repeats itself more and more frequently over time.
5. What is the coolest aspect of your current/upcoming project?
The coolest aspect of all projects for me has been and is always the people I am blessed to work with. I believe that if you surround yourself with actors from the top of the industry, a few pearls of wisdom will be passed along to you. And with my two upcoming projects I am in great company—opposite Tyler Perry, Taraji P. Henson, Mary J. Blige and Adam Rodriguez in Tyler Perry’s, ‘I Can Do Bad All By Myself’ (opens 9/11); and alongside Ray Romano, Andrea Braugher and Scott Bakula in TNT’s ‘Men of a Certain Age’ (Debuting December ’09).
6. How do you reset yourself to be creative?
Actually, I try to never allow that creative switch to shut off! Creativity is simply a spark. Imagination meets initiative. The challenge is to never allow daily life to extinguish the flame inside of me; and instead to fan those flames in all areas of my life.
7. Professionally, what do you want to be doing in 10 years?
I’m fairly goal oriented. So, I hope to be doing exactly what I am doing now: acting, producing, writing but simply continue to elevate my craft and scale of the projects I am able to make. Also, one day I would also love to direct films. Lastly, I hope to expand the reach of my charitable foundation to encompass all 50 states.
8. If you weren’t in entertainment, what would your dream profession be?
I have explored a lot of careers thus far, from professional athlete to stockbroker, from sales to the silver screen and can honestly say that having tried on all those pairs of shoes, this is the one that fits the best and makes me the happiest.
But… if I had to pick a career other than this one to do forever, I’d probably go find a nice town with great schools, top-notch restaurants and quality theater and arts programs and work my way towards becoming their Mayor one day.
9. What are your most important hobbies?
My most important hobby is working with young people. Specifically, working as Ambassador of Celebrity Relations for WARM2Kids Charitable Foundation and creating new philanthropic initiatives like “Words Matter.”
As a society, we reap what we sow. Shouldn’t we take the responsibility of ensuring the growth and development of successful adults by passing along the wisdom and useful knowledge that we have accumulated in our lives? If we instill a solid foundation of positive values within our youth, the fruits of our labor will surely provide a generous harvest.
10. If you could work with anyone in the world, who would it be and what would you do?
President Barack Obama. Ideally, I’d be an ambassador or liaison to an important office or council to allow me to advance my personal goal of affecting positive change in America’s youth through my philanthropic and community service pursuits.