There’s a rising television star at George Mason University.
Christian White recently appeared in four episodes of the second season of “City on a Hill,” a Showtime crime drama set in Boston that stars Kevin Bacon and Aldis Hodge.
“Working with stars like Kevin Bacon was a surreal experience,” said White, who is majoring in communication with a minor in information technology, and is a member of Mason’s Honors College. “I’ve watched these actors on TV, and now I’m working alongside them.”
Seeing how Bacon and Hodge interact, and getting acting notes from them, was like having a masterclass, White added. And shining in the role of Isaac, a young teen living in the Braxton Summit projects of Boston, was what White called a lesson in confidence.
“I actually had to miss class last year to go up to New York to audition,” said White, who was thankful for the professor who worked with him to make up the work. A couple of days later, he received a text from his manager saying he booked the role.
White was able to film two episodes of “City on the Hill” in March of last year, before COVID-19 hit and the industry shut down for seven months.
Though Mason classes went virtual because of the pandemic, White didn’t have to miss classes while filming on set as he could Zoom into classes at Mason from New York. COVID-19 testing was put into place on-set a few times per week as a safety precaution.
White has other acting opportunities on the horizon. He has booked another show on Amazon Prime, coming out this summer, though he said he is not yet authorized to name the show.
The Spotsylvania County, Virginia, native said he first caught the acting bug his senior year in high school when he took a theater class. While at Mason, White took acting workshops in Maryland and Northern Virginia.
As an actor, White said he is inspired by Denzel Washington and Chadwick Boseman, as well as Daniel Kaluuya, a British actor who just won a best-supporting Oscar for his role in “Judas and the Black Messiah.”
Mason’s diverse campus exposed White to a lot of different cultures, traditions, and foods. He had the opportunity to meet Congressman John Lewis, Jesse Jackson, and actor Craig Robinson.
He also who participated in the Honors College, Black Student Alliance and the Black African Caribbean Coalition.
“As we've watched Christian participate in his classes, we've seen him develop into a well-rounded man who has been able to leverage his classroom knowledge and apply it to real-world situations,” said Catherine Wright, undergraduate program director in Mason’s Department of Communication. “We look forward to watching his successes after graduation.”
After graduation, White plans to pursue an acting career, but also hopes to work in communications or IT.