A Moment With James “Big Sexy” White
TheatreArtLife features articles written by live entertainment and theatre industry professionals across the globe. Contributor James “Big Sexy” White received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Arts with an emphasis in acting from California State University, San Bernardino. He has worked with Second City, The Groundlings and IO Comedy Sports. He has performed in a variety of shows and musicals including Keep Hedz Ringin (A Hip Hop Opera), The Rocky Horror Show, Othello, Hamlet: The Artist Formerly Known as Prince of Denmark, and The Last Emancipation. In 2009 Big Sexy relocated to Las Vegas. He began hosting with Karate Karaoke and rejoined the improv community, performing with The Lost Episodes, heavy involvement in the All You Can Improv Jam and S.E.T. which were weekly improv shows where he performed with his troupes Big Fun, The Lumberjacks, Phil ‘N Sexy and Words With Frienemies. He was a cast member of FREE BEER! The Improv Show, Evil Dead The Musical, The Aussie Improv Comedy Explosion at the V Theater, and Alibi The Show. Big Sexy is currently the School Program Director for the Shakespeare Institute of Nevada. He volunteers as an Improv coach at Mojave High School and works with Drama Kids International. Constantly writing he is now writing his first musical Reservate This!
Join us as we spend a moment with James “Big Sexy” White
How did you get started in your career?
I truly began acting for serious in high school after my then band director was a jerk. I quit band and joined the theater and haven’t looked back.
What is the best role/job/gig have you done and why?
This is a toss up between Alibi The Show, Evil Dead The Musical and The Aussie Improv Comedy Explosion. Each one for different reasons. Alibi because I get to be silly and have a more intimate connection with my audience. Plus how great is it to play an Elvis impersonator without having to really impersonate Elvis?
Evil Dead was a chance to perform a semi-well known musical almost every night for a paycheck. I was a side character but I had the BEST death scene and ate it up every time.
The Aussie Improv Comedy Explosion represented my dreams and goals in one show; my very reason for moving to Vegas: to perform improv professionally on The Strip. The show was at Planet Hollywood and it was my highest paying per show gig I had ever booked.
What was the worst task you were given when you were starting out?
I have been fortunate that any work I have done in the industry has been desirable.
What do you think is your best skill?
Improv, poetry and establishing a comedic connection to an audience.
What do other people think is your best skill?
Comedic timing within my improv, burning intensity, teaching and song improvisation. (as told to me by my wife and some friends)
What advice would you give your 18-year old self?
Get to work, Take as many classes on your craft as you can. Audition more, move to your grandparent’s house in LA and give it the best damn shot you can. Don’t be afraid and don’t worry about a back up plan. The universe is on your side and will provide when you need. You are lovable and that will work for you but don’t rely solely on that as a skill. Hone your craft. And Move to Vegas as soon as you can, you’ll love it there.
What is your job now?
I have so many. Here’s the list…
- Writer/Director/Actor/Teacher with Ants In The Pants Productions
- Director/Actor with Shakespeare Institute of Nevada
- Teacher with Drama Kids International
- Coach with High School Jesters Improv
- Full Time Reservations Agent with Golden Entertainment
- Occasional Wedding officiant and/or DJ
- Occasional Karaoke Host with Karate Karaoke