MICHAEL JAI WHITE
Teacher / Martial Artists / Actor
Michael Jai White is a black belt in seven karate styles and he has won 26 martial arts titles, including U.S. Open, the North American Open, and he was the New England Grand Champion. He made his feature debut in The Toxic Avenger II and has performed Off-Broadway in "Raisin in the Sun" and "To Kill a Mockingbird".
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Michael was raised between impoverished Bridgeport and Westport, Conneticut, which has the highest percapita income in the US. Michael, raised between two very different financial worlds grew comfortable in either surrounding. By the age of 14, he had already gained the reputation of being a fearless, tough street fighter and his hatred for bullies often forced him to seek them out for battle. Left partially on his own, the very mature looking Michael began offering karate lessons at the local YMCA and also earned money by competeing in karate tournaments and dance contests. He graduated high school with honors and set his sights on college.
Not sure where he wanted to end up, Michael moved from university to university, and major to major, taking a few acting classes in between. Eventually finishing college, he became a junior high school teacher who specialized in working with emotionally disturbed children. Michael loved acting, but didn't want to abandon his students. He started auditioning in Manhattan and taking parts in his spare time. Eventually, with the blessings of his students, he quit teaching and pursued acting full time. Michael started in commercials, theatre roles and bit parts in soaps, eventually landing roles in such movies as Universal Soldier in 1992 and Full Contact in 1993. After playing Mike Tyson in the 1995 television movie Tyson, the Michael was cast in the role of a double-crossed assass seeking vengeance from Hell in the much anticipated movie adaptation of the cult comic book, Spawn. He later appeared in Breakfast of Champions in 1999 and Exit Wounds in 2001. Says White, "Done correctly, acting can teach people about themselves as well as others. It has the power to touch and change the lives of millions at a time.".