Patrick White is an up-and-coming young actor from New York City who has worked on a variety of television shows, including the Discovery Channel’s Fatal Encounters. Recently, Patrick launched a Kickstarter campaign to garner support for his new comedy project, Murphy’s Law. In the following interview, I had the pleasure of chatting with Patrick about his exciting new project, how his experience at the MN Acting Studio and as a personal trainer prepared him for acting, and what roles he hopes to play in the future. Check it out below!
What inspired you to go into acting?
There wasn’t any one moment. A lot of choices that I made as a younger person contributed. I was involved in a lot of local community theater and, being involved in the community, everybody supported me. Eventually, I made the decision after working in theater for so many years to venture out into the world of TV and film and since then, I’ve just been working and doing everything I can as far as acting.
I read that you studied at the MN Acting Studio, under Matt Newton. What has that experience been like?
That experience is very rewarding. He has a lot of experience and knowledge to lend young actors. I’ve learned a lot, and I can probably credit a lot of the success of my career to Matt specifically.
What is the most important lesson that you have learned there so far?
You need to learn to accept rejection as an actor. You know, going and auditioning day-to-day, sometimes for life-changing roles, and then being told no over and over again—a lot of people can’t really handle that aspect of it. Working with him [Matt] and having him instill that it’s not necessarily a bad thing, being told no all the time, and being able to understand that is probably one of the most valuable lessons that I’ve learned there.
How has your experience as a personal trainer prepared you for acting?
You learn a lot of discipline in the world of fitness if you want to reach your goals. Being disciplined in all aspects of your life is extremely beneficial. Especially production can sometimes be tedious, difficult and emotionally challenging but being able to discipline myself and work through a lot of the different aspects of that is definitely beneficial.
I also read that you’re very involved in your community. What kind of volunteer work do you do?
I have done lots of different volunteer work. I did a lot of volunteer work for Habitats for Humanity all over Long Island, New York. I grew up with volunteering at a day camp. That’s actually where I spent the first sixteen summers of my life, volunteering there. I’ve done a lot of volunteer work at food shelters, soup kitchens and stuff, in the Long Island area in New York. And that’s pretty much it as of right now. I hope to eventually focus more on my philanthropic endeavors later on in my career, but for right now I’m trying to focus on getting things kickstarted.
What charities are you passionate about?
Habits for Humanity is a great charity that is really one of the only ones that I’m familiar with personally. When the tornadoes hit Oklahoma a couple of months back, we built houses and worked on remodeling and stuff like that. I was personally affected by Hurricane Sandy when it happened, living on Long Island. So it was nice to be able to be involved in that effort to help rebuild. It was kind of an experience to be able to not only go and help people who have experienced things that I never have but also have a hurricane devastate the areas that I live in and helping those people. So, I would definitely say that I am passionate about Habitats for Humanity.
Let’s talk about Murphy’s Law, your new project. What can you tell me about it?
Murphy’s Law is loosely based on my life but using my character, Murphy. Murphy’s Law, for those that don’t know it, says that anything bad that can go wrong will go wrong. Basically, there’s an event that you’ll see in the teaser trailer when it comes out that causes my character Murphy to have this bad luck. The film itself shows all the crazy situations that he finds himself in and basically he’s laughing at all the funny situations that he finds himself in.
What about Murphy’s Law excites you the most?
Being an actor and working in acting and film and everything like that, as much as you can try to find your own voice in the characters, writing a character that’s based off of your own experiences is probably the most exciting part. You know, getting to tell your own story is extremely exciting.
What made you decide on a Kickstarter for this project?
Well, I’m filming it in New York. I’m working with a lot of New York actors that I have worked with previously—a couple of them are close friends of mine. I’m trying to involve the community in which I’ve grown up and which has benefited me in order to help them out a little bit. I’ve been in talks with a lot of local places about filming locations and stuff like that as well as trying to help get people involved as far as principal photography. I want to try and film most of it in the community in which I grew up. I figured that a crowd-funding project would be the best way to get the community involved.
How long do you envision production on Murphy’s Law will take?
I’m hoping to finish principal photography toward the end of the year. And then I want to be a part of the festival circuit in 2016 so I’m hoping that post-production won’t take more than a month, two months tops. So, I’m hoping to be done by late January.
How is Murphy’s Law different from past projects that you’ve worked on?
It’s 100% different being behind the camera rather than being in front of the camera. There are a lot of different aspects and jobs that you aren’t really aware of when you’re just in front of the camera. To me, it’s a whole new respect for producing and stuff like that because of being behind the camera, and in front of the camera, and writing the script; altogether, it’s just one of those things that are once in a lifetime experiences, that you’re experiencing for the first time. That is basically what’s been different from previous projects: being able to be involved in each different aspect during pre-production, production and post-production.
How can fans show their support for the project?
I understand that not everyone can donate to the project but sharing the project, letting people know who might get excited about the story and who may want to donate to the project are all great ways to support it. Basically, following us on Twitter, following the story and sharing our story are all ways to support. Once the movie is finished and put out there, people can check it out and share it. There’s so much everybody can do. Just sharing it and getting the story out there is really the main goal.
You mentioned a two-minute teaser. How long will it be until that is released?
I’m hoping to shoot that in the next two weeks and that can be released almost immediately. It’s only a two-minute teaser, I believe, so it’s not going to be that long in post-production. I’m hoping to get that done sometime in August.
What has been your favorite role to play so far as an actor?
There was a TV show called Fatal Encounters based on an event that happened locally that actually happened in my community. Then the Discovery channel decided that they wanted to do a reenactment based on what happened, and it was really ironic and weird. About 7 years ago, there was a murder that involved a couple of high school students from a neighboring county and it caused huge racial tensions and racial reform in a town called Patchogue, and when the Discovery channel decided to do a reenactment for it, I had auditioned. The problem is that I had actually known the person so I thought it was really cool to be involved in that.
If you could play any character on a television show or in a movie, who would it be, and why?
I would probably choose a superhero. I love the physical aspects of all of those projects. But if I had to pick one, it would probably have to be Oliver Queen on Arrow. I’m a huge fan of comic books and all the things that Marvel has been doing lately.
I am, too. That’s a really cool show, too.
Yeah, Stephen Amell is definitely great. I don’t want him to come find me and beat me up for trying to take his role, but that would be an awesome project to work on.
What advice would you give to aspiring actors who are just getting in to the business?
My advice to young actors is to just work. Work on student films, get behind the camera, go off and take classes. Find a coach that believes in you as much as you believe in you and just continue to work. If you create beautiful work consistently, it’s going to be noticed and people will put you in touch with the people who can help you.
Patrick’s campaign is active for 11 more days! You can donate to and/or share Patrick’s Kickstarter here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1841077263/murphys-law-0