Growing up in New Jersey, Tiffany Ward was a film and television buff, but Hollywood dreaming seemed impractical.
“New Jersey is so far away from Los Angeles. I always wondered about who created these incredible stories,” she remembers, “but I never knew anyone who actually worked in television.”
As a Princeton student, she got her break in the TV business thanks to an alum, Charles Gibson. She never knew him, but, as a Princeton grad, he had opened the pipeline for interns from the school to ABC News.
While she did regular intern duties like making coffee, her eyes were opened to the possibility of a career in the business: “I thought, 'Wow, there's a whole bunch of people who get to do this for a living.'”
She did well enough that she landed an internship at Showtime and then, after graduating from college in 1995, won a fellowship to teach in the film department at Ngee Ann University in Singapore, where she also worked on a documentary.
After a year, she returned to ABC News as a desk assistant. She enjoyed the buzz of the news world but longed to be a part of the film and television business she always dreamed about.
Her next step was to land a job at William Morris, but it was centered in the publishing world. So she took a chance and moved to Los Angeles, landing a job for Wendy Finerman Productions, where she would rise to the role of VP.
At Finerman, she had only one television project but met some employees at rival agency CAA and eventually made the jump to become an agent there in 2002.
Today, she represents writers and directors, working in both series and long-form television. Among her clients are Sanford Bookstaver, who just directed the finale of Jericho, and young comedy writer Betsy Kelso, who just sold a backdoor pilot called Going Places as a two-hour project at ABC Family.
“I've always been fascinated by storytelling,” she says. “So to be a part of it now is exciting every day.”