The Two Worlds of Dennis White
Dennis “L.A” White is “tearing the hinges” off the door of success. To some, Dennis would be most memorable for his role as “D’Roc”, the best friend of the late rapper Biggie Smalls in the movie “Notorious.” What many may not know is that Dennis White has been in the game for a long time. As a matter of fact, you can say that he is in the family business. I was fortunate enough to have a chat with Dennis White, as he talked about getting into the business, his alter ego, and his legacy that he hopes to create once he steps down from the entertainment field.
Dennis got into the entertainment field at five years of age. He was lured into the beauty of it following his mother, famed Grammy nominated singer, Becky White. This allowed Dennis to go into larger venues as he went on to tour with acts like Rick James and a few gospel acts like John P. Kee, as he was a part of the group, Black & Mild.
His parents were a huge source of his success. He has stated, “My parents are unquestionably my greatest influences. My father doubted me enough to work harder. My mother encouraged me to make it, which made me work harder.” Entertainers in the industry like John P. Kee built a solid foundation for him in being the entertainer that he is today. Dennis states, “He would always tell me what was going on with him, and the people he had to deal with, and I really didn’t know why he was telling me this. I was getting annoyed because I really didn’t care, but now I look back and I see what he was talking about. Now, I’m glad that he told me what he told me.” Dennis continued to work on his craft throughout high school by being in the high school theatre program. He was also a member of the forensics team, which was a lot of fun.
His extra-curricular activities and his professional grooming from an early age led him to many acting endeavors, including his first film, “Swimming”. Dennis says, “Swimming was my first movie and after I did it, I knew that acting was for me. That film made me eligible for SAG, which made me look at movies from the business perspective and say to myself ‘I could get used to this.’” From there, Dennis went on to play in many other movies and television series such as “The Seventh Son” and “Third Watch”. As Dennis is building a large screen credit, don’t expect him to star in anything “fluffy”, because as he said, “Every role that I play, I want it to be powerful. I want to make people think. I have integrity for my class, my brand, my family, and my friends.” Most notably, White portrayed D-Roc in the movie “Notorious”, which is his favorite role that he has portrayed.
Aside from acting, Dennis White is doing a lot of moving in the music industry as well. Under his rap name, “Dennis Da Menace”, he is working to drop his sophomore album, “E Pluribus Unum”, soon. I asked him about the history behind his name and the differences between Dennis White and “Dennis Da Menace”. “Dennis White is smooth and debonair, the nice guy, whereas, Dennis Da Menace is wild, brash and aggressive, he answered. He continued, “I was called this in my younger days. People would call me that when I got mad, now I just use it. I have both entities.”
Dennis White is doing a lot of shaking up in the game today, but don’t think he is going to slow down anytime soon. He hopes to keep pushing, because he hopes to be a director and producer and have his own studio; and will not slow down until after he is retired and living with his family on his own private island.
As Dennis was leaving, he told me to keep following my dreams. He said, “If you are not going to follow your dreams now, when are you going to do it? Will Smith said, “You may look better than me, be smarter than me, act better than me, but you are not going to beat me on the treadmill because I’m not going to give up. I live my life with no plan B’s in effect, you will never see me sell insurance because that’s not what I want to do.”
If you want to learn more from this uprising star, he is offering classes to help you. To get more information, please visit www.alyknyc.eventbrite.com. He is setting up classes in New York City, but more locations will open up soon.