IndependentActor owner Cynthia White is an Actor, Director, Writer, Producer and Acting Coach. She has coached hundreds of professional actors and acting students all over the country and world through IndependentActor, a talent development and career coaching consultancy for Actors and Performing Artists. Her book on acting technique and creative career development, Your Castable Types®: Understanding How The Industry Perceives Your Talent Will Maximize Your Acting Success, is published by Smith & Kraus and available at bookstores in the USA, Great Britain, Australia, Canada, Israel and India as well as online retailers such as Amazon.com. Your Castable Types® has been added to the permanent performing arts collections at forty-seven college and university libraries including NYU, Yale, Columbia, Brown, Emerson, UNC and the Qatar National Library. IndependentActor has been profiled by WomenArts for an amazing 99% success rate with clients auditioning for graduate and undergraduate acting programs and is a past recipient of grant funding from The Women’s Venture Fund, Empire State Development Corp. and Seedco. Ms. White is often sought after for her creative and career makeovers of professional actors working on Broadway, feature films and network television. Cynthia is a frequent speaker on panels discussing acting, directing and careers in the arts at colleges and high schools including NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, St. John’s University, Moravian College in Pennsylvania, Pace University, The Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute program at NYU and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School in New York City. She ran the commercial and on-camera acting program for Modeling Camp NYC for five years and taught monologues and scene study at the New York Film Academy and acting for film and television, commercials and improvisation at the Academy of Cinema and Television in five cities. Cynthia was featured on the London Weekend Television primetime series, NYLON, focusing on her coaching of British actors working in New York City.
A 2002 recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts Artist Award for her performing and directing work, Ms. White graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts with a B.F.A. in Drama, where her academic focus included Jacobean and Elizabethan Drama, Film Theory, 20th Century American and European Avant Garde Drama and Performance. She studied for eight years at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in New York and London, including work with Max Stafford-Clark at the Royal Court, and was a master student of Anna Strasberg for four years. Cynthia trained as an apprentice actor with members of Ireland’s Abbey and Gate Theaters as part of the distinguished Joan White English Theatre Company (no relation) playing the roles of Mary Boyle in Juno and the Paycock, Viola in Twelfth Night, Julia in The Rivals, Helena in All’s Well That Ends Well and Pegeen Mike in The Playboy of the Western World at the famous venues. Ms. White studied Shakespeare, Irish and British dramatic literature and performance at the Universities of Trinity in Dublin, working with renown Samuel Beckett expert, Dr. Ivy Bannister, and Surrey in England, where she performed a small role in the Joan Plowright production of The Cherry Orchard at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre. There, Cynthia and the company apprentices were mentored by Laurence Olivier, Bernard Miles, Peter Jackson and Derek Jacobi. While touring as Imogen in Shakespeare's Cymbeline in Paris, Moscow and St. Petersburg, she taught sensory workshops at the Moscow Art Theatre.
Ms. White’s current project, now in development for the New York stage, is the original, historical drama, King Christina by Martha Kearns, in which she is both directing and performing the role of Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg. She has been seen as Margie in the hit Off-Broadway production of Theresa Rebeck's, Loose Knit, which she also co-produced and directed. Other selected acting credits include the role of Emma in the staged reading of Another Father at Manhattan Theater Club, which she also directed, Maggie in Dancing at Lughnasa at the Rockaway Playhouse, Kilgarden at Circle Rep, the national tour of Play to Win: The Story of Jackie Robinson and Baseball's Color Barrier with Theatreworks USA and independent film, City.com which ran at The Screening Room in TriBeCa. Her voice can be heard on cartoons and commercials for television and radio in the US and Europe for companies including TAG Heuer, YAHOO E-Learning, ePlankton, Comcast Cable, Adopt-A-Waterway, ChevronTexaco, Canadia Diamonds, L'Oreal, USA Networks, Lifetime Television and the international web campaign, Ideas That Matter, produced by Organic Communications. Cynthia is the voice of sci-fi warrior, Kaj of the Fvost in the Black Hammer video game, Supremacy: Four Paths to Power. She also narrates numerous audio books by New York Times best selling authors for Audible.
Additional directing credits include the staged readings Father Amor at the Equity Library and On Demand at Manhattan Theatre Club, the world premiere of Spades at the Pantheon Theater, Lee Blessing's Independence at Pulse, On the Edge at CAP 21, Angevin by Four at the 78th Street Theater, The Rivals, Lone Star and Skirmishes at Theosophical Society in London and the one-woman show, Material Girls, Spiritual Woman at the 78th Street Theater in which she also starred. Cynthia frequently casts for union theatre, film and network television series in the U.S. and Europe.
Ms. White learned the production side of the industry while working at MTV Networks on the shows Remote Control, the Remote Control College Tour (Contestant and Show Coordinator) with Denis Leary, Adam Sandler, Ken Ober and Colin Quinn and Lip Service (Associate and Coordinating Producer) hosted by Jay Mohr. On the latter, White worked directly with some of the biggest names in rap and hip hop at the time, including, MC Lyte, Salt 'N Pepa, Monie Love, T-Money, Biz Markie and pop culture figures such as Dr. Joyce Brothers, Tiny Tim, Henny Youngman, Nipsey Russell, Sally Kirkland, Barry Williams, Butch Patrick and the American Gladiators. Cynthia was the Competition Coordinator for the now legendary 1990 Nintendo World Championships national tour and finals competition at Universal Studios in Hollywood, sponsored by Pepsi, Nabisco and Reebok. A key part of her job was becoming a high scoring expert at playing the video games Super Mario Brothers, Rad Racer and Tetris in addition to writing and producing the event show each week.
Her extensive show touring built great relationships with staging and technical designers, giving Cynthia the opportunity to get hands-on technical experience as a stage manager, sound and lighting tech and production coordinator for large scale concerts for the bands Pearl Jam, Scorpions, Kings X, Mud Honey, Brooks and Dunn, Alan Jackson, The Beach Boys, The Righteous Brothers, Bootsy Collins, Tito Puente, Jody Watley and Chris Issak and events including readings by Dr. Maya Angelou, NCAA basketball games and televised figure skating shows with World and Olympic champions. At many of these events, Ms. White was the only female member of the staging crews. After living on a tour bus with Adam Sandler and Colin Quinn, she was well prepared to deal with the roadies.
Script writing credits include the comedy pilot The Dirty Divas, co-written and performed with comedian Robbyne Kaamil for Sirius Satellite Radio and the comedy short, Sink or Swim. She is now at work on her first documentary film about the poetry readings which took place as part of The People’s Library during the Occupy Wall Street uprising in 2011, titled Otherwise Expressed, showing the interaction of world famous and amateur poets performing together at the historic scene.
Ms. White, a Connecticut native, was first exposed to the arts when she would skip class to see Broadway shows and go to galleries and through an after school/summer job as an admissions clerk and student docent at The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art. There, the late Larry Aldrich would stand by the admissions desk and lecture her on the nuance and context of the works on display, artists and fashion. This wonderful high school job afforded her unique exposure to and understanding of contemporary art under the guidance of museum director Dorothy Mayhall and the chance to meet artists including Lowell Nesbitt, Duane Hanson, Christo and Jeanne-Claude. As a teenager, Cynthia was known to memorize the dialogue, blocking and timing of entire episodes of the classic sitcoms I Love Lucy, M*A*S*H* and All In The Family to understand how the shows and performances were constructed. These early experiences were key elements in the development of White's lauded textual deconstruction ability and evocative production and directing style.
A skilled photographer, mixed media artist, sculler and thoroughly brokenhearted Mets fan, Cynthia is an active member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA. She is a survivor of the 9/11 attacks on the WTC and continues to live in Lower Manhattan with her beloved West Highland White Terrier, Emma, who is the beneficiary of her finest coaching and glue-gunning skills, having won 2009 Salty Paw Puppy Prom Princess, Best Dressed Westie at the 2013 Tartan Parade, the New York Post’s Poster Dog at the first annual NY Mets Bark at the Park Day, starring turns in trunk shows at Henri Bendel and Bergdorf Goodman and multiple features on the website CuteOverload.com.