The initiative, part of Disney/ABC’s ongoing commitment to "find, foster and champion diverse talent," will host its showcase tonight, at the El Portal Theatre Center for Performing Arts in North Hollywood, where 20 featured actors, selected from nearly 7,000 candidates who submitted resumes and approximately 700 who auditioned for ABC casting executives in Los Angeles, will perform one-act original scenes written by industry professionals. And following the showcase, the actors will work closely with ABC casting executives, who will mentor and guide them throughout the year. The actors will have the opportunity to audition for ABC’s current slate of series and pilots, so good luck to them all!
This year’s showcase performers include: Daniel Bellomy (Detroit, MI), Jasmin Savoy Brown (Springfield, OR), Julissa Calderon (Miami, FL), Vinny Chhibber (Point Pleasant, WV), Jon Ecker (San Marcos, TX), Luis Fernandez Gil (Los Angeles, CA), Kirby Howell-Baptiste (London, England), DaJuan Johnson (Miami, FL), Khalilah Joi (Hampton, VA), Cindy Luna (Miami, FL), Mapuana Makia (Kihei, Maui), Vera Miao (New York, NY), Amy Okuda (Torrance, CA), Michelle Ortiz (Tucson, AZ), Eddie Ramos (Queens, NY), Byron Reo (Los Angeles, CA), Cornelius Smith Jr. (Detroit, MI), Manny Streetz (Jacksonville, FL), Jim Titus (Queens, NY), and Tom Williamson (Washington DC).
The one-act original scenes are written by John Cariani, Robbie Chafitz, Wendy Mateo and Lorena Diaz, Chum Ehelepola, Avi Glijansky, Angelo Ierace, Kristine M. Reyes, Andrew Sanford, Christy Smith-Sloman, and Joseph Vargas and directed by Sue Hamilton, Jaffar Mahmood, Jude Weng and Ellen D. Williams.
Keli Lee, Executive Vice President, ABC Casting, said, "After a successful showcase in New York just weeks ago, we can’t wait to now spotlight our enormously talented group of 2014 West coast showcase actors. I can’t say it enough; our priority for the past 13 years has been and will continue to be finding, mentoring, and developing talent with authentic voices reflective of our world. We know these actors will bring the projects of creative visionaries, storytellers and producers to life in new and exciting ways."
Many of the actors selected were submitted through showcase partners like SAG-AFTRA, East West Players, and other theatre companies and organizations throughout the country. .
Disney/ABC Talent Showcases continue to serve as a launching pad for discovering diverse new talent, including names you’ll recognize like Jesse Williams and Lupita Nyong’o to name 2.