She began performing with the Diemer Theater Company, located on Commercial Street, while in her second year of high school. Against the wishes of her father, White dropped out of high school and, in 1907 at age 18, she went on the road with the Trousedale Stock Company, working evening shows while keeping her day job to help support her family. She was soon able to join the company full-time, touring through the American Midwest. White played minor roles for several years, when she was spotted by the Powers Film Company in New York. She claimed she had also performed in Cuba for a time under the name "Miss Mazee", singing American songs in a dance hall. Her travels as a singer took her to South America, where she performed in casinos and dance halls. In 1910, White had trouble with her throat, and her voice began to fail from the nightly theatrical performances. She made her debut in films that year, starring in a series of one-reel dramas and comedies for Pat Powers in the Bronx. It was at Powers Films that White honed her skills at physical comedy and stunt work. She became a popular player with the company and caught the attention of Pathé Frères.