On Tuesday, ABC Networks changed Beth Triffon’s life after a quick one-month span, offering her a $25,000 talent deal with the television company for the next year.
In early June, ABC announced its search for potential stars through the network’s annual ABC Discovers: Digital Talent Competition. After being given a certain comedy or drama scene to act out in a short clip, actors 18 and older were prompted to submit a video to the competition’s website. Each contestant’s audition tape was judged by both performance power and technical skill set.
This year’s competition site bared a theme of actors’ methods and the process of growing with them. Two videos were uploaded to the website for inspiration to each applicant: one featured actors discussing their personal journeys while the other gave its candidates behind-the-scene peaks of casting a series and the process of working with actors. Randall Park from sitcom Fresh Off the Boat, Wendi McLendon-Covey of The Goldbergs, and Ken Jeong of Dr. Ken starred in the first video, unraveling their acting history and recounting personal ups and downs of making it big in the television industry. The second clip featured Kenya Barris of black-ish, Nahnatchka Khan from FOTB, and Barbie Kligman of Secrets of Lies, who spoke not about their own résumés but instead of the dynamic of cast members and keeping up a tolerable atmosphere on the set of their shows.
Hundreds of performers who felt confident to tackle the seemingly tumultuous life of a TV actor readily entered the competition, sending in their own homemade tapes and background information. ABC’s team of judges, lead by the network’s head of casting Ayo Davis, hand picked the top candidates, settling on 10 finalists and publishing their audition tapes to the competition’s website on July 22. Four days later, Triffon was announced as the winner and signed a one-year talent deal with ABC.
Davis, Senior Vice President of Talent and Casting and head of the Digital Talent Competition, said the network is dedicated to providing the public with various opportunities to become successful in television show biz.
“We’ve always been committed to finding the very best talent through innovative and imaginative ways,” Davis said. “As actors continue to cultivate their abilities and create content to showcase themselves using technology, it makes sense for us to engage and connect with them in this space,” she said.
The Digital Talent Competition is part of ABC Discovers, an initiative that sponsors New York and Los Angeles Talent Showcases, outreach programs for struggling actors who don’t have the necessary funds to launch their careers, and ABC’s annual Actor Audition Workshop Week. The past two winners of the competition have moved on to act on series such as Switched at Birth and Criminal Minds.
Triffon says she hopes she sees her career prosper after being presented with an opportunity such as this one.
“I’m beyond shocked and grateful for this extraordinary opportunity,” Triffon said in an interview with Broadway World. “Acting is my lifelong dream, and winning this is truly a gift. Being an actor, I’ve learned that you must keep working while never knowing when an opportunity might come,” she said.