Recently, Dan White has been making waves as the nefarious Elijah Crowe on ABC’s General Hospital. We had the pleasure of chatting with the actor about his interesting career beginning, his personal connection to the daytime drama, and much more!
He got a “taste of acting” growing up when he participated in high school plays and auditioned for a show called Big Brother Jake on the Christian Broadcasting Network. He would go on to attend CalArts for his MFA degree in what he called a wonderful boot camp where he honed his craft. Over the years, he has starred in numerous projects like the Barbershop television series, Law & Order True Crime, and Chicago Med.
His most notable work has come in the form of voiceover work for several series and video games. A line of opportunity that started when a friend asked him to do the intro to a little show that you may have heard of: MTV’s Pimp My Ride. White admitted that while voiceover work can be taxing, it is an exciting challenge. “Being on camera requires movement. It has a lot of different dimensions to it,” he shared. “Both have their own set of challenges but I think what is common between them are your intentions, point of view, and the characteristics that come from an organic place. There are a lot more parallels than we think.”
General Hospital has been a daytime staple for decades especially in Dan’s family. “As many of us did, we got connected to the soap opera world through our grandmothers. She was big into GH during the Luke and Laura era. My aunt was into the show in the 90s and got my sister watching.” That isn’t the only connection that he has to the show though. He shared that his acting coach, Gloria Gifford, was instrumental in perfecting his performance on the show. “She has been watching for decades and really knew the tone of the show, in addition to being a phenomenal actor herself.”
Interestingly, he also recalled receiving his first professional audition in Los Angeles thanks to GH’s casting director Mark Teschner. It’s almost poetic justice that the beginning of my career would also become the highlight of my career. He kept giving me opportunities and I got this one. I’m so grateful for the show. I feel a very personal, strong connection to the show and the team behind the production.”
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Dan acknowledged about time on set. Elijah could certainly be deemed as a devious character but what makes him fascinating is his charm and relatability. And like he told us, “Shady characters don’t look at themselves as shady.” In Elijah’s mind, he is ambitious. He is trying to help Phyllis and Lenny out of a tight situation like they helped him all those years ago. “Though he is going about in a different way than most people would,” he said.
Who doesn’t love playing the bad guy? Calling it a cathartic experience, the actor told us that “it is fun to go back and forth especially with such an iconic guy like Maurice Benard and this version of Sonny Corinthos. Elijah probably wouldn’t have made it past their first encounter if it had been the real Sonny,” he laughed. “There’s almost this cat and mouse aspect to it. So, who will be the victor?”
What makes White’s portrayal of Elijah Crowe so engaging as a viewer is a sincerity he brings to the character. While we may not understand all of his actions and behavior, we can see that he does care for Phyllis and Lenny. He appreciates that they have someone like “Mike” looking out for them. And dare we say that he truly seems interested in Nina? That’s where as an actor he is able to find a common thread with the character. Sure he has done some bad things but there does seem to be some redemptive qualities underneath the surface as well.
Dan wanted to share that the most beneficial part of his whole experience at General Hospital has been the warm environment. “I just wanted to say that I’ve really felt extremely welcomed since day one from everyone including Frank [Valentini]. He’s given me this opportunity to play this character and to play it my way. He gave me license to have fun and bring my uniqueness to the character. The same thing with Maurice [Benard], Cynthia [Watros], Joyce Guy, and Rif Hutton.”
While we are looking forward to what comes next for Elijah Crowe on the show, Dan has some other exciting things in the works. From new projects to hopefully spending more time with his family that the world seems to be opening back up. As we wrapped up, he shared his enthusiasm for what’s next. “I’m very, very excited about this opportunity. I’ve been blessed to play a multifaceted character. And I’m looking forward to and am hopeful for more opportunities to continue to have fun and be challenged with this character.”
Thank you, Dan!