Taryn Southern (born
July 16 1985, Wichita, KS) was first introduced to the public in 2004 when
she made American Idol
season three's Top 50.
Taryn Southern in 2009
She later went on to star in and
executive produce DirecTV
's first original
Born and raised in Wichita, Kansas, Southern was extremely active
in large-scale music theatre productions, starring in the
pre-Broadway premieres of Jane Eyre and Violet. During her senior
year of high school, she was offered the chance to host a regional
teen talk show for The WB called Real ACTION, in which Southern
discussed public awareness topics such as teen sex, drug abuse, and
drinking with area teenagers.
After graduation, Taryn traveled to LA and auditioned for American
Idol. Although she was just beginning college on a
full scholarship to the University of Miami, she began the process of traveling back and forth
to LA for the American Idol Hollywood finals.
eventually caught up to her, and Taryn didn’t make it into the
final Top 32 round after forgetting her lyrics on stage.
Taryn then returned to UM, receiving several grants to conduct
studies in South America. She spent time in Iquitos, Peru, studying
the shamanic use of ayahuasca
rainforest communities, Glover’s Reef Island off the coast of
Belize, researching the impact of local fisherman on the marine
ecology, and Key West, Florida, as a field archeologist for the
Audobon Association. Southern was Miss University of Miami in 2005.
She also was active in UM’s long distance running program, and
competed in the 2006 Miami half-marathon, winning first place in
her age category.
At 20 years old, Southern graduated from the University of Miami
with degrees in Journalism and Anthropology and headed to Europe
for a three-month backpacking and photography trip. Upon her
return, she was approached to host a show, inevitably leading her
back to Los Angeles to pursue a career in television hosting,
acting, and writing.
Southern has appeared as a red carpet host for (2008 Grammys
, 2007 Golden Globes
, 2006 Young Hollywood Awards
and as the face for Cosmopolitan
On July 2 2007
released a YouTube
video called Hott4Hill
in support of the presidential campaign
of U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton
video, which she wrote and performed, shows her singing and dancing
in a jokingly suggestive manner about her personal admiration of
Clinton and how much she would like to see Clinton win the
election. The video quickly earned more than 2 million online views
and was featured on “Good Morning America,” PEOPLE, MSNBC, Inside
Edition, FOX, NBC, CNN, and USA TODAY as one of the most
influential videos of 2007. In a later interview with MSNBC's
Hardball with Chris Matthews
Southern explains that the video was a parody of another video made
by "Obama Girl
" for Barack Obama
. In answering an overtly jestful
question about the evocative tone of the video, she said in a
July 11 2007
that she is straight
Shortly after the release of HOTT4HILL, Southern starred in her own
weekly show on Heavy.com
, THE HEAVY SHOW,
in which she wrote and played different characters spoofing current
events, celebrity gossip, and politics. She also became the face
for Cosmopolitan.com, and starred in series and specials for
CBS.com, MySpace, and MSN. On her own time, Taryn continued writing
and producing videos, including a spoof of THE GOLDEN GLOBES for
TVGuide.com, NOT MY SOCK with Jamie
for T-Mobile, and more.
Shortly thereafter, she was featured in Maxim Magazine
as one of the top internet
celebrities of the year, and won Spike TV’s 2008 Guy’s Choice Award
for her Hott4Hill video.
In the film world, she played a supporting role in Senior Skip Day
opposite Jackson Rathbone
. She also was one of the
leads alongside Jessica Lee Rose
) and Mikaela Hoover (Prom Queen, Sam
has 7 Friends), in Warner Brother’s first ever web series,
series debuted on September 8th, 2008 on theWB.com.
In November 2008, Southern and her producing partner, Jessica Rose
, launched Webutantes, a new media
Also in 2008, Southern wrote/produced her first comedic musical web
series, Private High
, which was released across various viral
platforms. The project was produced in association with 60Frames'
Red Band. In 2009, Taryn sold "Private High Musical" to MTV and
teamed up "Family Guy" executive producer David Zuckerman
to write the half-hour
Her website, taryn-southern.com, features daily blogs and musings
by the actress about her misadventures in Hollywood.
Southern is currently writing and producing Tit for Tat
6-episode campaign for breast cancer awareness, with actress
She's also featured in the Break video "Wrong Hole" ,