From Grand Coulee Dam area, he's now making movies in Los Angeles
Last updated 8/29/2018 at 10:51am
After being kicked out of the Grand Coulee Dam School District in 2006 for not taking school seriously, Devin White moved to the Vancouver-Portland area, where he earned his graduation equivalency diploma and began to be classically trained in theater and film acting.
White has studied at Clarke College and with the Portland Actors Conservatory, the second largest theater in Portland; the Artists Repertory Theatre; Blanche-Rooney Studios; the Actor Experiment; with Jana Lee Hamblin at ActNow Studios; and with Alan Feinstein in Los Angeles.
White gained experience working with other actors and learning from those who have been in the trade for years.
In Portland, White made a number of films with people he met, including "Arizona," where White performs a monologue; "Power of Three," about a librarian who uncovers a genie, then gets kidnapped by buffoons whose leader White plays; "Of the Week," in which White plays a criminal; and "Notes the Series," where White plays a high school kid in a few episodes.
These movies are available on YouTube.
Moving to LA in 2017, White signed up with Central Casting, a casting agency that specializes in background roles.
Through Central Casting, White got a background role as a prisoner in the FX show "Get Shorty," travelling to an empty prison in Los Angeles County to film.
White is also in the background of a pilot for a series called "Less Than Zero" which will be on the Hulu streaming service.
The biggest role White has played in LA so far is the lead in a short-film called "Peace Out Past," a short film by Antonio Renaldo that will premiere at Warner Brothers sometime in the near future, and which White describes as "Vincent Van Gogh meets Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Story.'" White's character is a troubled painter who has painter's block. A friend invents a time machine and shows him who he really is. "There's soul searching, there's healing," White said about the film.
Without a drama club while in school at Lake Roosevelt to help nurture his talents, White opted to try to make little films of his own with a couple of friends. "It's your own secret club," White said. "Only you did it, no one really seemed to care. That was fine."
Had there been a drama club, White said, he would have taken school more seriously, especially if he needed to in order to stay in the drama club.
White did, however, greatly enjoy playing Oberon in his seventh-grade production of William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream."
"I loved it," he said. "It was one of the very first things I did where I felt I was good at it. It felt really good. I took a liking to it. I remember taking it very seriously and loving the reads we did, reading the script out loud in class. Preparing for it, it was something I really focused on compared to my other studies."
White has made several of his own short films himself, leaning his smartphone against a tree when there is no one there to point the camera.
White, inspired by Paul Newman and old black-and-white films, wanted to play an alcoholic, and did in his film he called "The Last Drop."
Inspired by Johnny Depp and Tim Burton's film "Ed Wood," about the amateur filmmaker from the 1950s, White filmed a short titled "Bela Lugosi's Gravestone" at the gravesite of Bela Lugosi, who played the original Dracula and was friend to Wood. "I found out Bela Lugosi's burial site was a couple minutes up the road, so I wanted to play Ed Wood showing up at the grave," White said. "It was paying respects to Bela Lugosi as a man and an actor, and to Ed Wood and to Tim Burton films."
Making a living as an actor isn't easy, though.
"It's not like go to college, make a resumé, and apply," White said. "There are so many ways to break into films; it can take seven years or seven days. It's important to have a plan B."
White has worked a few odd jobs while in LA, including working at the Arclight movie theater, where he has seen celebrities come in to watch a movie. While working there, White has seen Nick Jonas; Slash, from Guns & Roses; Jon Voight; Damon and Marlon Wayans; Andy Garcia, and several more.
White is currently working by taking photos at Universal Studios.
There wasn't too much culture shock for White, moving from Portland to LA. "The biggest thing was the palm trees really stuck out," he said. "The drivers are more arrogant and cut in front of you. Other than that, it's like any other city. It looks like Grand Coulee Dam, actually. Ironically, it looks like Grand Coulee, the desert."
Some of White's films can be seen in YouTube videos, one of which will be linked in the online version of this article.