UCP’s Flip the Script was held in partnership with casting director Tracy “Twinkie” Byrd. The contest was established to identify and develop diverse on-air talent and to create unique opportunities within scripted platforms across NBCUniversal networks (USA, Syfy and Bravo) and for linear and streaming platforms across the industry.
Twelve-hundred video submissions were received for the contest. Out of those, 12 finalists were selected to perform at a live showcase hosted by comedian Jasmin Brown at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood on Thursday, June 6. Following the performances, Oluwole was named the winner and recipient of a $25,000 talent-holding deal. As part of his win, Oluwole will also receive private lessons with an acting coach, a headshot package, an Uber gift card, and ongoing mentorship with UCP’s casting executives led by Steven O’Neill, EVP casting and talent development, UCP.
The panel of judges consisted of: Dawn Olmstead, President, UCP and Wilshire Studios; Bill McGoldrick, President, Scripted Content, Entertainment & Lifestyle Group, and President, Unscripted USA & Syfy; actress Yvette Nicole Brown (Mom, Community, Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G.); and Michael Beach (If Beale Street Could Talk, Aquaman).
“All of the performances at UCP’s inaugural Flip the Script competition were superb, but Blessing Oluwole’s performance really blew us away,” said Olmstead. “At UCP we strive to discover and cultivate new talent, from writers and directors to producers and actors. We are really looking forward to working with Blessing and giving him the platform and resources to do great things. He is a talent to watch for.”
McGoldrick added: “It was an honor to witness the collection of talent assembled in the Flip the Script competition. Blessing and all of the performers showcased last night have bright futures in our industry.”
Oluwole said: “I really want to thank God because the only time of the day I was unafraid and complete was when I was able to perform. With so much talent amongst the 12 of us, I know the judges must have had a difficult time, and I am simply grateful. So thank you to everyone because I have the opportunity and privilege to say, let’s work.”
Oluwole was born in Nigeria before moving to the states at a young age. He’s lived in New York and California and began acting in college through their theatre program at El Camino Community College.
UCP is the studio behind Amazon’s Homecoming, Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy, Hulu’s The Act, USA’s Mr. Robot and The Purge, Syfy’s The Magicians and YouTube Original’s Impulse, among others.