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The Casting Scoop

Get the inside scoop on upcoming castings, workshops and premieres, plus audition tips, Oregon film news and more.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Cast Iron nominated for 2 Artios Awards

by admin

The news just dropped on Deadline: the Cast Iron team has garnered not one, but two Artios nominations for the 2021-2022 award season: one for the streaming series The Birch, and one for short film In France, Michelle is a Man’s Name.

The Artios Awards for Excellence in Casting are conferred each year by the Casting Society of America to select members in recognition of their work in television, film, and theatre. Since there still is no Oscar for casting, it’s among the top honors casting directors can receive in the US.

We love being recognized for our craft, but we love it even more when the teams behind the projects were amazing to work with. Both CryptTV and Em Weinstein’s filmmaking team were a true pleasure to collaborate with, which makes these nominations even sweeter!

Thank you, Casting Society of America, for everything you do to help elevate our profession, to our producers for your trust in us, and to our peers for the recognition. It truly means the world to be in such fine company.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

TRINKETS: Outstanding Casting + 6 other nominations for 2021 Daytime Emmys

by admin

The list of 2021 nominees for the Daytime Emmy Awards has just dropped, and Oregon crew made an amazing showing, capturing five of the show’s seven nominations for the Netflix series Trinkets.

Among the nominations is Outstanding Casting for a Drama or Daytime Fiction Program, for Casting Directors John McAlary, Lana Veenker and Eryn Goodman.

Here’s the list of categories Trinkets was nominated in:


The full list of nominations can be found on Deadline.

The 48th annual Daytime Emmy Awards will air on Friday, June 25 from 8-10 p.m. ET on CBS and ViacomCBS’ streaming service Paramount+.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

The Oscars’ Missing Category: Best Casting

by admin

Kayleigh Donaldson of IGN recently interviewed Lana Veenker of the International Casting Directors Network, and Rich Mento of the Casting Society of America, about the only above-the-line department that receives no recognition at the Academy Awards.

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) added an award for Best Casting in 2020. Will the Oscars soon follow suit?

When Hollywood gets together, either in person or via Zoom, for the 93rd Academy Awards, it will be a moment for the film industry to celebrate the work they’ve done over the past year and beyond during a period of immense strife. Champagne will be drunk, teary speeches will be given, and the various aspects of filmmaking, including many oft-overlooked departments, will receive some much-earned recognition. That is, except for some notable omissions. Actors will win awards, but the people who put them on screen in the first place won’t.

For decades, the job of casting has been one of the most overlooked and easily misunderstood aspects of entertainment, from film to TV to theater to video games and beyond. Yet none of those things work without it. Every time you see a person on stage or screen (or hear them in a radio drama or play them in a game), someone had to cast them. From the central ensemble to the background extras to the voices on the phone, all of those actors were hand-picked by a casting team, and that process is one of the toughest and most widely dismissed parts of the industry.

It’s hard to look at the face of modern entertainment in all its forms and not consider the indelible role that casting plays in shaping that. Consider the work of Sarah Halley Finn, the woman who is largely responsible for filling out the cast of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, thus helping to define the blockbuster of the 21st century, or Nina Gold, the woman behind the multi-award-winning ensembles of beloved shows like Game of Thrones, The Crown, and Chernobyl, not to forget the most recent Star Wars trilogy and no fewer than six Oscar-winning films.

Finn told the Washington Post that she’s cast more than a thousand roles overall for Marvel, from Avengers to background dancers to voices in Tony Stark’s ear. Consider the risks made by Finn and her team in casting Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man at a time when he was considered unemployable by much of Hollywood, or in hiring an unknown Australian soap star as Thor. Not only did Finn have to anticipate whether these actors would be right for a role that could unfold over several movies, but she had to consider harmony between individuals who would not necessarily appear on screen together for years, interactions that fans were clamoring for thanks to their vast knowledge of the characters’ lore. How different would the MCU Spider-Man movies be if Finn and her team hadn’t anticipated that crackling chemistry between Downey Jr. and Tom Holland, putting the young Brit forward for consideration by the filmmaking team as the latest Peter Parker. For many fans of George R.R. Martin’s expansive saga, casting appropriate actors seemed like an impossible task, yet previously unknown players like Gwendoline Christie, Sophie Turner, and Jack Gleeson, to name but three, ended up being perfect choices. Our entire concept of a pop-culture hero has been remolded for a new generation by the behind-the-scenes work of people like Finn and Gold.

Of course, the director and producer are also part of the casting process, particularly on huge projects like the MCU or the like. And that only feeds into the problem for casting in that it’s something of an invisible art. As Debbie McWilliams, who cast the recent Bond films, told the Guardian last year, “If you notice the casting of a film, we haven’t done a good job.” But what goes into the art of casting?

The problem for casting [is] that it’s something of an invisible art.

“”In the same way that production designers and costume designers use their skills, creativity and discernment to bring a selection of options to the director—who then signs off on the final choices—casting directors amass a library of talent through the thousands of hours of auditions they direct, plays and showcases they attend, and films and TV shows they watch,” Lana Veenker tells IGN. She’s the Executive Board Member of the International Casting Directors Network and founder of Cast Iron Studios, which has worked on the casting of projects like American Vandal, Grimm, and Twilight. “The tremendous amount of labor this entails results in a keen eye that allows them to hone in on exactly the right actors for the part, elicit powerful performances in the audition room, and present a tight selection of the most compelling choices to the final decision-makers. When it comes to the cast, they are a production’s best resource, advocates, and guardian angels.”

Link to full article.

Many thanks to Kayleigh Donaldson and IGN for putting a spotlight on casting directors this Oscars season!

Monday, March 15, 2021

The Birch Season 2 drops on March 26th

by admin

The Birch, starring Portland’s own Xaria Dotson in the lead role as Evie, has been a blast for us to work on. And now Season 2 is about to premiere!

Season 1 of this killer Facebook Watch series has managed to tally millions of views so far, and the publicity stills of the next installment look amazing:

New episodes are scheduled to drop on Fridays at 3pm PT / 6pm ET beginning on March 26, 2021. The finale is scheduled to air May 28th.

Check out the synopsis of S2:

Picking up where season one suspensefully left off, the second season of Crypt TV’s The Birch follows newcomer Rory, who calls on the vengeful woodland tree monster, The Birch, to help her combat the cyberbullying and harassment from her peers. As the second season unfolds, Evie gets her shot at redemption as she tries to stop Rory from making the same mistakes she did, leading to many thrilling and supernatural adventures along the way.

You can watch Season 2 on The Birch‘s official Facebook page, as well as on Facebook’s Crypt Monsters page.

Did you miss Season 1? Be sure to catch up here before next Friday!

Keep an eye out for Xaria and other Pacific Northwest talent, coming to a screen near you!

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

#OregonMade: First Netflix film by Game of Thrones creators coming soon

by admin

We recently helped cast around 25 supporting roles in the Netflix feature Metal Lords, written by Game of Thrones co-creator D.B. Weiss, and directed by Peter Sollett (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist). The film shot in Oregon in 2020 and early 2021.

Check out this Entertainment Weekly article introducing the filmmakers and main cast (hat-tip to LA Casting Director Richard Hicks!), and keep an eye out for the Northwest cast on Netflix, coming soon.

Metal Lords, directed by Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist filmmaker Peter Sollett and written by Weiss, centers on two kids who want to start a heavy metal band in a high school where exactly two kids care about heavy metal.

photo credit: NETFLIX

Link to article.

Monday, January 11, 2021

CASTING CALL: Real People for Regional Bank Print Shoot

by admin

Cast Iron Studios is urgently seeking people ages 20-70 who are Portland local hires for a regional bank print shoot.

Also seeking a local family of three that has been quarantining together (ages 5-40).

A broad range of types–including people who are BIPOC (especially Native American and Latino/a/x), and/or people with disabilities–are needed and wanted.

Shoot will take place on either February 4th or 5th, 2021 (4-hour max). Talent will need to be able to clear their schedule entirely for their work date.

Rate is $500 per person for the 1/2-day shoot, including 3 years’ regional use (OR, WA, ID, MT, WY, SD) for all print usage, including outdoor boards.


  • All talent shall be required to be tested for COVID-19 prior to work
  • Rapid test can be scheduled at one of four locations in Portland
  • Cost of the test is covered 100%
  • After the test, talent is required to quarantine for the rest of the day
  • An additional $100 stipend will be paid for this consideration
  • Production shall adhere to all COVID protocols to ensure a safe shoot


To be considered, talent should urgently email the following details to talent[@]castironstudios[.]com (please remove brackets before sending):

  • Name(s)
  • Phone number(s)
  • Home city
  • Four clear photos – SMILING ?:
    • One full-body shot (tightly framed head to toe)
    • Two waist-up profile shots (1 left, 1 right; tightly framed waist to top of head)
    • One chest-up headshot (tightly framed chest to top of head)
  • If submitting for the family of three, please additionally include:
    • Age(s) of any minors
    • A clear and tightly-framed group photo of the three of you (smiling, please! ??????).

Deadline to submit is Thursday, January 21st, 2021 by end of day.

No other roles are casting at this time. No phone calls, please. Thank you and please spread the word!

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Silver Linings

by admin

While 2020 has been challenging–to say the least–it has also been a year of growth, solidarity, and reconnection with what’s truly important in life.

Moreover, it has been a year of extraordinary generosity: neighbors helping neighbors, friends helping friends, and strangers helping strangers to make it through these uncertain times.

We are extremely grateful to our community for its resilience. Over the past year, the fruits of our labor have been a lifeline for millions confined to their homes. And our industry’s passion and creativity have allowed us to continue making content, under even stricter protective measures than the law requires. We were built to problem-solve and innovate our way out of crises; it’s in our nature. We are thankful for the projects that have not only kept the lights on, but that have been such a solace to viewers.

In the meantime, the lighter volume of work has perhaps also been…a boon to our mental health? How many film and video professionals–with our 12-hour (+) workdays and endless fire drills–had time pre-pandemic to bake bread or garden? Or to deepen our relationships with family? There have been many restorative moments amidst the more difficult ones.

Our hearts go out to friends and colleagues who have been personally impacted by this pandemic. We are holding you close and sending our thoughts for better days ahead.

We also need to give a shout out to Oregon Film, the Portland Film Office, OMPA, SAG-AFTRA, IATSE and many others who came together to not only develop protocols for shooting under COVID-19, but who have been a constant source of support for the community. Thank you for your inspiring dedication and tireless work, all while dealing with your own challenges.

And we are grateful, once again, to all of the talent who participated in our Meals for Monologues events in 2020, including actors as far away as Germany and Austria! With hunger levels exceeding those seen during the Great Depression, your efforts provided more than 12,000 meals through the Oregon Food Bank, at a time when the need could not be greater.

Here are the other non-profits and advocacy organizations we were proud to support in 2020. We like to give them a boost, in case anyone is looking to make year-end donations. There’s still time today to throw them a few bucks, if you’re in a position to do so!

Thank you to everyone for standing together this year. We wish you happiness, good health and prosperity in 2021, and hope to see you in-person again soon!

Lana, Eryn, and the CIS Team

Monday, December 7, 2020

Happy Holidays & a Meals for Monologues Report!

by Cast Iron Studios Staff

Just before Thanksgiving, Cast Iron Studios was thrilled to host the 10th installment of its classic Meals for Monologues event.

Can you believe it was our 10th M4M?!

Spurred on by the energy and excitement of the virtual food drive we held this April, our team was inspired to offer talent a live-audition option via Zoom. It was SO NICE to get some face time with actors in the midst of this bizarre year, and coupled with pouring over the clever and inspiring self-tapes, it was quite a festive event!

Ahhh… but what about the numbers you say? Once again, our community showed up big time, raising funds to provide over 6,377 meals for the Oregon Food Bank! That’s a figure that surpasses all previous events, and we’re just so thankful.

Here’s what OFB had to say:

Thank you so much for your generosity!  This [is] such a gift for those facing food insecurity!  I am so inspired by how much our collective support makes a difference, and with 140 people chipping in, it created a HUGE impact.  Thank you so much for your time, your support, and all the energy that went into making this event happen! 

Kathryn Kocarnik, Oregon Food Bank

Coupled with our April coronavirus edition of M4M, our efforts have raised almost 12,300 meals for the hungry this year alone. We couldn’t have done it without you!

We recently learned from Oregon Food Bank’s 2020 Donor Impact Report (see below) that in 2019, hunger in Oregon and SW Washington was on a decline, but now–due to the pandemic, the wildfires, the economic crisis, and inadequate social safety nets–rates of hunger in our area are equal to those of the Great Depression. So the need could not be greater, and we are humbled and grateful to everyone who took part.

As we start to put this unusual year to bed, we’ve been reflecting on what an honor it is to be of service to production, actors, and our larger community. We sincerely hope you find joy in this season, however different it may look. Stay home, stay safe, and we look forward to working together in the New Year!

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

“The Last Champion” announces release date – trailer and poster are up!

by Cast Iron Studios Staff

We’re thrilled to announce that “The Last Champion,” directed by Glenn Withrow, will be released on December 8th on iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play.

We had a blast working on this feature film, and filling many of the roles with familiar Pacific Northwest faces, pictured below.

Top: Ted DeChatelet, Rachael Foskett, Jana Lee Hamblin, Jeanine Jackson
Bottom: Pat Janowski, Nathan Kornelis, Jennifer Lanier, Michael Lowry
Top: Erin McGarry, John Murray, Blaine Palmer, Ted Rooney
Bottom: Florence Schiff, Roy Stanton, Haley Talbot, Ithica Tell

Check out the trailer for a sneak peek, and congrats to the entire production!

To follow the film and learn more, check out their website, read the Collider article, and stay connected through Instagram and Facebook.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Get into the holiday spirit with our 10th Edition of Meals for Monologues

by Cast Iron Studios Staff

Hone your skills & help your community!

It’s time to dust off that favorite monologue you’ve been clambering to perform, and blend it with your newfound, expert-level self-tape & Zoom skills! We’re excited to announce that the 10th edition of our “Meals for Monologues” open-casting-call-slash-food-drive will take place VIRTUALLY on Monday, November 23rd.  

If, like many, you’re adjusting your plans this holiday season—and foregoing travel—why not carve out some time to hone your acting skills, while helping the community?

In exchange for a screenshot of your donation of $5 or more to the Oregon Food Bank, actors are invited to submit a self-taped monologue of two minutes or less–OR sign up for a limited number of Zoom appointments between 10AM – 2PM on Nov. 23rd.  

Self-tape submissions must be received by Monday, November 23rd to guarantee viewing by our casting directors. 

See instructions below for both self-tape submitting, as well as scheduling a Zoom appointment.  

If finances are a hardship, email us, and we’ll find someone for you to “hitch a ride with”. (Interested in sponsoring someone who could “use a lift”? Please let us know!)

Spread the word!


  • Self-taped monologue must be no longer than TWO MINUTES.
  • Smartphone videos are fine, but place phone or video camera on a solid surface or tripod. 
  • Be sure you are framed in LANDSCAPE (horizontal) mode, in a CLOSE-UP (head and shoulders), with good LIGHTING and SOUND. 
  • A neutral backdrop is recommended. Try to keep background noise to a minimum.
  • Typically, you would direct your lines to the side of camera, not directly into the lens (it helps to use a real human off-camera, if possible).
  • Upload your video to Vimeo. You will be sending us the direct link to your video on Vimeo only, not the actual file. Emails containing video attachments will be deleted.
  • You may password-protect your video, but be sure to send us the password with your submission.


  • From our Facebook page, click on the General Auditions tab. You’ll need to access the tab from a desktop computer, as it will not show up on mobile devices. 
  • Look for and click the dropdown arrow next to the “MORE” tab, and scroll down to “GENERAL AUDITIONS”. 
  • You’ll see a page with our Setmore calendar integrated. From there, you can click on “MEALS FOR MONOLOGUES”. 
  • The Setmore calendar will take you directly to the audition date with available appointments. They are all 5 minute slots.  
  • Once your appointment is scheduled, you’ll receive a confirmation email from Setmore.
  • Use this Setmore email to cancel or reschedule your appointment, if needed.
  • You’ll receive a separate email from us with a ZOOM LINK!


  • Go to the Oregon Food Bank website to make your donation ($5 or more suggested).
  • Please list “Meals for Monologues” in the Leave a comment text box on the OFB donation form.
  • Get a screenshot or PDF of your donation receipt to include with your submission.


  • Write us an email with your name, contact information, and HOME BASE (i.e. Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles, etc.). Note: If you are a member of SAG-AFTRA, your home base is the local you are listed with.
  • You may include one headshot and resume (or a link to an online casting profile) with your submission.
  • Include the direct link (URL) to your video on Vimeo (and password, if applicable).
  • Include your proof of donation (screenshot or PDF, per the above).
  • Email your submission to talent[@]castironstudios[.]com, subject heading: M4M – your home base. For example: M4M – Seattle. (Remove brackets in the email address before sending.)
  • Deadline for self-tape submissions is Monday, November 23rd, end of day.  We cannot guarantee your video will be reviewed if received after the deadline.


  • Go for a contemporary monologue, please. We just don’t cast that much Shakespeare.
  • Comedic pieces are always appreciated. We could all use a good laugh these days!
  • We’ll also accept songs, poems, jokes—anything uplifting and fun. But if you’ve never—or rarely—auditioned for us, we suggest you prepare a contemporary monologue close to your type, so we can check out your mad skillz.
  • If you audition for us often—or if you just want to spread joy and not take things too seriously—anything uplifting is game. We love to be entertained!
  • Kids can do whatever they want. School play or musical canceled? Perform a short piece from that, if you like!
  • Don’t forget to include your proof of donation with your submission.

In the meantime, please stay safe, wash your hands and shine your creativity as bright as your holiday lights. If you have a few minutes to give back, consider helping out a fellow actor by coaching them via ZoomWeAudition, FaceTime, or your platform of choice.  

It is artists who are keeping us all inspired through these challenging times. We look forward to getting to know your work, or discovering a new side of you!

Thursday, September 17, 2020

SEATTLE CASTING CALL: SAG National Commercial For Automotive

by Cast Iron Studios Staff







FILMING DATES: Must be available October 14th-18th and October 21st-25th. *Most roles will only work a day or two.

CALLBACK DATES: Must be available October 2nd or 3rd for a video callback session.



Email us at talent[@] (remove the brackets from the address before sending) to request a ZOOM APPOINTMENT TIME.


You can also email us a video, no longer than 2 minutes and include the following:

  • Start with a full-body shot and tell us your full name. *Include your age if you are under 18.
  • Then, zoom in or step closer to the camera, so that we only see your head and shoulders. *If auditioning in a group, just frame yourselves as tightly as possible, so we can see everyone’s faces.
  • For the Outdoorsy / Adventure Submissions: What are your outdoor hobbies? What is your experience level? What are your favorite go-to spots? What’s your favorite equipment? Tell us about your last adventure!
  • For the Small Business Submissions: Tell us about your business. What is a typical day like for you? How long have you had your business and how did it start? How physically intense is your day-to-day? What kind of automobiles do you use for your business?
  • For Families Submitting together: Tell us what kind of outdoor activities you all do together: biking, camping, swimming, etc. Tell us about the best outdoor adventure you’ve had this summer.
  • For Friends and Roommates Submitting together: Tell us what kind of stuff you like to do together: outdoor activities, adventures you had this summer, and any other interesting tales to tell.

*FAMILIES, FRIENDS and PARTNERS: Do you have a partner, friend or family member who wants to participate? Feel free to submit all together!


  • Recording on an iPhone or something similar? Rotate your phone to landscape mode, so the picture is horizontal/wide, as opposed to vertical/tall (and fills the frame properly when uploaded). You can view a visual aid here.
  • Send your email to talent[@] (remove the brackets from the address before sending). Please submit ASAP – (the latest Tuesday, September 29th.) THANKS!
  • Please make sure the video is short (2 minutes max) and easily downloadable ( is great and free!).
  • Be sure to include your Full Names and Contact Phones, and where you are Located.


Monday, August 31, 2020

“In France Michelle is a Man’s Name” awarded Grand Jury Prize at Outfest

by Cast Iron Studios Staff

In France Michelle is a Man’s Name,” the short film by Em Weinstein that we recently cast, has been awarded the 2020 Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Narrative Short at Outfest, the largest and oldest film festival–of any kind–in Los Angeles, and the preeminent and most widely-recognized LGBTQ film festival in the world.

Here’s what the Programming Coordinator said: “I am absolutely delighted to tell you that our U.S. Narrative Shorts jury fell in love with the film and has awarded IN FRANCE MICHELLE IS A MAN’S NAME with the Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Narrative Short. Congratulations!! In addition to the honor itself, this prize officially designates the film as an Academy Award-qualifying title for the category of Best Live Action Short Film.”

A HUGE CONGRATS to the filmmakers, cast and crew!

A full article about Outfest’s 2020 award winners appears in The Advocate. Free The Work also published a great piece about the project.

For more information and updates, please visit the film’s website and follow it on Instagram at @infrancefilm.

“In France Michelle is a Man’s Name” shot in Portland, The Dalles, and surrounding areas last fall. The mostly-Northwest cast included–among others–the talented actors below, who were all hired by our office. BRAVO!

From top Left: Tim Blough, Jerry Carlton, Neil Green, Olga Sanchez & Dan Vhay


Monday, August 24, 2020

Trinkets Season 2: Netflix Announces Release Date

by Cast Iron Studios Staff

We’re Back!

We’re thrilled to report that Netflix just announced a release date for the brand-new season of Trinkets. The series, which takes place and was filmed right here in Portland, will kick off Season 2 with its premiere slated for Tuesday, August 25th, 2020.

The series is fresh off an exciting win at the recent Daytime Emmys, scoring two awards: Outstanding Young Adult Program and Outstanding Writing for a Young Adult Program.  Tune in to 10 new episodes for the second and final season of this incredible series.

Catch a glimpse here:

AND! Don’t miss these Pacific Northwest actors who appear throughout the entire season. We’re excited to have cast so many local actors in series regular, recurring and co-starring roles!


Seth Burnham, Kiah Butts, Dana Green, Parker Hall, Hillary Jones, Enzo Martin, October Moore, Thomas Mor and AC O’Neal



Sebastian Adams, Kiah Butts, Edric Carter, Munther Dajani, Nicholas Ealy-Elder, Dana Green, Parker Hall, Sara Hennessy, Beth Moesche, October Moore and Jessica Lynn Skinner


Quinn Allan, Munther Dajani, Bryce Earhart, Dana Green, Parker Hall, Patricia Hunter, Jacob Skidmore and Jessica Lynn Skinner


Adriana Bordea, Jensyn Clement, Michael Cojocaru, Reed Morris, October Moore, Anna Lynne Nelson, Jacob Skidmore and Jessica Lynn Skinner



Nic Chase, Shannon Day, Degundrea Harris, Paige Johnson Jones, Shelley B. Matthews, Thomas Mor, Anna Lynne Nelson and Jessica Lynn Skinner


Nic Chase, Diane Kondrat, Jonah Kersey, Thomas Mor, Anna Lynne Nelson, Amy Newman, Claire Rigsby and Eric Simons



Adam Dunlap, Dana Green, Parker Hall, October Moore, Katie O’Grady, Katherine Grant-Suttie, Tim True and Sydney Winbush


Nic Chase, Dana Green, Kenneth Woods, William Igbokwe, Parker Hall and October Moore


Jeb Berrier, Nic Chase, Jason Rouse, Sydney Norvell, Anna Lynne Nelson, Jacob Skidmore and Victoria Geil



Enrique Arias, Bryce Earhart, Doren Elias, Kristina Haddad, Anna Lynne Nelson, Jessica Lynn Skinner and Jacob Skidmore

Friday, April 24, 2020

Virtual Meals for Monologues rakes in record numbers

by admin

On Friday, April 3rd, 2020, Cast Iron Studios held its ninth annual “Meals for Monologues” with a coronaviral twist.

Due to social distancing requirements under COVID-19, our open-casting-call-slash-food-drive took place virtually this spring, with actors from all across the U.S. submitting self-tape videos, along with receipts for their donations to the Oregon Food Bank.


We received and reviewed over 150 submissions from Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles, Spokane, New York City, San Francisco, Atlanta, Montana, Colorado, Ohio, and more.

In all, our community raised enough dough (get it? ☺️) to fund around 6,015 meals for the hungry! This surpasses our previous record by over 1,330 meals. An astonishing feat, considering how many in our industry are currently out of work, and barely making ends meet themselves.

The Team at Cast Iron has been inspired not only by your generosity, but by your talent and your spirit.

If there’s one thing this pandemic has proven, it’s that artists and creative content are not just “nice to have,” but are crucial to our health and well-being. Where would we be right now without actors, musicians, filmmakers, animators, video-game creators, and artists of all disciplines?

Joy and Cameron
Joy Park and Cameron Wake were among the many actors who submitted self-tape auditions.

We salute our first responders, our medical workers, our grocery clerks, delivery drivers, and other essential workers.

And we bow deeply to all of the artists who have made this pandemic bearable, by making us laugh, keeping us entertained and inspired, and providing distraction, commentary, education, food for thought, comfort, reprieve, and hope in our darkest hours. Thank you for reminding us of all the beauty and potential of humanity.

May we come out of this pandemic stronger, more compassionate, more appreciative, and brimming with innovation, motivation, and insights.

A profound and heartfelt (virtual) hug to all who participated!

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Virtual Meals for Monologues: Hone your skills & help your community

by admin

The world has gone topsy-turvy, we’re stuck in our homes practicing proper social distancing, and never before have the arts been more crucial.

What better time than now to learn a new monologue, sharpen your self-taping skills, and do a little good for our community?

We’re excited to announce that our ninth annual “Meals for Monologues” open-casting-call-slash-donation-drive will take place VIRTUALLY next Friday, April 3rd, 2020.

3 Logos

In exchange for a suggested donation of $5 (or more) to the Oregon Food Bank, actors are invited to submit a self-taped monologue of two minutes or less.

Submissions must be received by April 3rd to guarantee viewing by our casting directors. See instructions below.

If finances are a hardship, we won’t turn any submissions away, but in the spirit of giving, please consider asking someone to be your sponsor. Alternatively, we will accept proof of a recent blood donation to the Red Cross.

Want to participate in our food and blood drive, but don’t want to audition? You can sponsor one or more actors by making a donation yourself.  Details below.

Please help us spread the word!


  • Self-taped monologue must be no longer than TWO MINUTES.
  • Smart phone videos are fine. Be sure you are framed in LANDSCAPE mode, in a CLOSE-UP (head and shoulders), with good LIGHTING and SOUND. Try to keep background noise to a minimum.
  • Typically, you would direct your lines just to the side of camera, not directly into the lens (it may help to use a real human off-camera, if possible).
  • Upload your video to Vimeo. You will be sending us the direct link to your video on Vimeo only, not the actual file. Emails containing video attachments will be deleted.
  • You may password-protect your video, but you’ll need to be sure to send us the password with your submission.


  • Go to the Oregon Food Bank website to make your donation ($5 or more suggested).
  • Please list “Meals for Monologues” in the Leave a comment text box on the OFB donation form.
  • Alternatively, schedule a blood donation with the Red Cross prior to April 3rd.
  • Get a screenshot or PDF of your donation receipt (or a selfie of you donating blood!) to include with your submission.


  • If you want to use your donation to sponsor an actor, just email us your proof of donation at talent[at]; subject heading “M4M Sponsor.” (Replace [at] with @ in the email address.)
  • Please let us know if it’s for someone specific (and include their name), or if it’s for any actor(s) in need.
  • You can also simply give your receipt to the actor you are sponsoring to submit with their audition.


  • Write us an email with your name, contact information, and HOME BASE (i.e. Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles, etc.). Note: If you are a member of SAG-AFTRA, your home base is the local you are listed with.
  • You may include one headshot and resume (or a link to an online casting profile) with your submission.
  • Include the direct link (URL) to your video on Vimeo (and password, if applicable).
  • Attach your proof of donation (screenshot, PDF or selfie, per the above).
  • Email your submission to talent[at], subject heading “M4M – your home base.” For example: M4M – Seattle. (Replace [at] with @ in the email address.)
  • Deadline for self-tape submissions is Friday, April 3rd at 11:59 PM PST. We cannot guarantee your video will be reviewed if received after the deadline.


  • Go for a COMEDIC monologue, if possible! We could all use a good laugh.
  • We’ll also accept songs, poems, jokes–anything uplifting and fun. But if you’ve never–or rarely–auditioned for us, we suggest you prepare a contemporary monologue, so we can check out your mad skillz.
  • If you come in for us often–or if you just want to spread joy and not take things too seriously–anything uplifting is game. We want to be entertained.
  • Kids can do whatever they want. School play or musical canceled? Perform a short piece from that, if you like.
  • Don’t forget to include your proof of donation with your submission.

In the meantime, stay home, stay safe, wash your hands, prepare your home audition space for future casting calls, and help coach each other’s monologues via Zoom, WeAudition, FaceTime, or your platform of choice.

We’ve been inspired by the creativity of performers all around the world helping others make it through these challenging times. Your work is important, and we can’t wait to see what you’ve come up with!

In solidarity,
Lana, Eryn & John
Saturday, February 15, 2020

Cast Iron Studios Celebrates 20 Years with Fundraiser for Stone Soup

by Cast Iron Studios Staff

On February 8th, the Cast Iron Studios team hosted its 20th anniversary gala at Classic Foods in Northeast Portland.

The Roaring-20s-themed event doubled as a fundraiser for Stone Soup, a new Portland non-profit providing life skills and hands-on culinary expertise to people at risk of homelessness.

Josh Fuhrer, Lana Veenker and Brian Van Flandern
Josh Fuhrer, Lana Veenker and Brian Van Flandern. Photo Credit: Flo Barth

More than 100 guests turned out in their flapper dresses and wingtips to dance the Charleston, and raise a glass to twenty years of Oregon film and TV production.

Katie O'Grady
Katie O’Grady. Photo Credit: Flo Barth

“It was heartwarming to be surrounded by so many friends, family and longtime colleagues, many of whom flew in from distant locations to attend,” said Cast Iron Studios’ Founder Lana Veenker. “We have such a wonderful community, and we know we wouldn’t be where we are without them.”

Gramophone courtesy of Sammuel Murry-Hawkins. Photo Credit: Flo Barth

Many guests commented on how they felt transported back to the era of silent films, sequins and suffragettes. Authentic 1920s music was served up by the Ne Plus Ultra Jass Orchestra, under the deft direction of bandleader Sammuel Murry-Hawkins. Actor and Comedian Jason Rouse kept the audience in stitches as MC.

Sammuel Murry-Hawkins and the Ne Plus Ultra Jass Orchestra
Sammuel Murry-Hawkins and the Ne Plus Ultra Jass Orchestra. Photo Credit: Flo Barth

And a special pre-Prohibition cocktail called “The Last Word” was prepared by master mixologist Brian Van Flandern (author of Vintage Cocktails, named Best Cocktail Book in the World at the 2009 Gourmand World Cocktail Awards in Paris), using Portland’s own Aviation Gin.

Brian Van Flandern and Sean Dodder
Brian Van Flandern and Sean Dodder mix up “The Last Word”. Photo Credit: Flo Barth

Sean Dodder
Sean Dodder. Photo credit: Flo Barth

Elegant hors d’oeuvres, cheese and charcuterie platters were prepared by the staff and students of Stone Soup, with the guidance of Chef Scott Dolich, multiple James Beard Award Nominee and former owner of Park Kitchen and The Bent Brick.

Stone Soup
Staff and students of Stone Soup commandeered the kitchen at Classic Foods to dish out elegant hors d’oeuvres and platters. Photo credit: Lana Veenker

Dolich sourced the ingredients directly from Classic Foods, a locally-owned handmade pasta factory and purveyor of artisan specialty products located in Portland’s Dekum district.

Classic Foods
Searchlights outside Classic Foods. Photo credit: Flo Barth

The art deco building (a former ice house redeveloped in 2010 to include an event space) was perfectly suited as the party’s off-the-beaten-track speakeasy. Classic Foods Owner, Jake Greenberg, had generously opened up not only his event gallery, but his industrial kitchen and warehouse in service of the fundraiser.

Arielle Clark and Jake Greenberg
Arielle Clark and Jake Greenberg of Classic Foods. Photo credit: Flo Barth

A silent auction was held, with packages including everything from Blazers tickets, spa and restaurant gift cards, acting classes and hotel stays, to a private screening room at Living Room Theaters, a coffee date with Grimm star Sasha Roiz, and audition coaching with Grimm star Claire Coffee. In total, the event raised closed to $10,000 for Stone Soup.

Jason Rouse
MC Jason Rouse provided comic relief and served as auctioneer. Photo credit: Flo Barth

In-kind sponsors included Aviation Gin, Barnard Griffin Winery, Breakside Brewery, Cast Iron Studios, Classic Foods, Eunice Chiweshe Goldstein Winery, Oregonic Tonic, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits and Stone Soup.

Craig Gerard
Craig Gerard of Stone Soup. Photo credit: Flo Barth

Auction donors included the Ace Hotel, Acting for Kids & Teens, Artists Repertory Theatre, Aviation Gin, Broder Nord, Claire Coffee, Classic Foods, Gado Gado Restaurant, Hi-Lo Hotel, Hotel Eastlund, Hoxton Hotel, Kimpton Hotels, Kristen Arnett Celebrity Make-Up Artist, Levy Moroshan Photography, Living Room Theatres, My Path Wellness, Portland Center Stage at the Armory, Portland Film Festival, Portland Trail Blazers, Rejuvenation Day Spa, Sasha Roiz, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, Stone Soup and The Studio NW.

Eryn Goodman, Arielle Clark and Brian Van Flandern
Eryn Goodman, Arielle Clark and Brian Van Flandern. Photo credit: Flo Barth

Special thanks go to Arielle Clark, Courtney Bell, Craig & Ronit Gerard, Eric Hertzfeld, Eryn Goodman, Flo Barth Photography, Jake Greenberg, John Srednicki, Lana Veenker, Michael J. Anderson, Michael Sudan, NebCat Photography, Sammuel Murry-Hawkins, Scott Dolich, and all of our event staff and volunteers.

Check out more photos below, and at the following link, courtesy of our generous photographers, Flo Barth of Flo Barth Photography and Deneb Catalan of NebCat Photography.

Misbehave – CIS 20th Anniversary Photos

The crowd enjoying Jason Rouse’s comedy set. Photo credit: Flo Barth

The crowd enjoying Jason Rouse’s comedy set. Photo credit: Flo Barth

Sammuel Murry-Hawkins singing authentic 1920s tunes. Photo credit: Flo Barth

Lana Veenker
Lana Veenker. Photo credit: Flo Barth

Katie O'Grady
Katie O’Grady cuts a rug to the Charleston. Photo credit: Flo Barth

Period microphone courtesy of Sammuel Murry-Hawkins. Photo credit: Flo Barth

Jordi Barnes and Ted Douglass
Jordi Barnes and Ted Douglass. Photo credit: Deneb Catalan

Cholee Thompson, Taylor Harris and Jennifer Arndt
Cholee Thompson, Taylor Harris and Jennifer Arndt. Photo credit: Deneb Catalan

Ronit and Craig Gerard
Ronit and Craig Gerard of Stone Soup. Photo credit: Deneb Catalan



Monday, December 30, 2019

In with the new: Here’s to 2020!

by admin

All of us at Cast Iron Studios want to thank our community for another terrific year. We really have the best clients, and are supported in our work by many wonderful talent agents, managers and actors!

Appreciation also goes out to Oregon Film, the Portland Film Office, OMPA, SAG-AFTRA, our fine legislators, and the hardworking crew and vendors who contribute to our industry year round.

Lana Veenker, Eryn Goodman and John Srednicki, the CIS Dream Team!


Ever cognizant of our good fortune, we were proud to support the following non-profit organizations in 2019.

We’d be thrilled if you were to choose one (or several) to support yourselves. Many are matching donations through the end of the year, so please, please give them a boost!

Access Fund (Climbing Land Conservation)
American Civil Liberties Union (Civil Rights)
Calamity for a Cause (Supporting Animals)
Community Warehouse (Non-Profit Furniture Bank)
Emily’s List (Supporting Progressive Female Candidates)
Gladstone Community Food Pantry (Fighting Hunger)
Goodwill Industries (Job Search, Career Skills & ESL)
Greenpeace (Environmental Solutions)
Harbor of Hope (Helping Portland’s Homeless)
Haven (Supporting Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Victims)
Kiva (Microloans to Low-Income Entrepreneurs around the Globe)
Munlochy Animal Aid (Rescue Service for Animals)
NAMI (Mental Illness Advocacy)
National Foundation for Transplants (In Support of Robert Blanche)
Natural Resources Defense Council (Environmental Advocacy)
Our House (HIV Support)
PAWS Chicago (No-Kill Communities for Animals)
Planned Parenthood (Reproductive Healthcare)
Salvation Army (Helping Neighbors in Need)
Sisters of the Road Café (Meals and Advocacy for the Homeless)
Southern Poverty Law Center (Fighting Hate/Extremism/Bigotry)
Toys for Tots (Christmas Gifts for Low-Income Children)

As we continue to fête our landmark 20th year in business, we wish everyone a happy and prosperous 2020!


Lana, Eryn, John and the CIS Team

Friday, December 20, 2019

Cast Iron Studios hosts Old-School Headshot Happy Hour & Fundraiser

by Cast Iron Studios Staff


Cast Iron Studios celebrated the holidays by launching an all new fundraiser with a collection of old gems! Taking a break from the popular “Meals For Monologues” this year, actors in the community dug out their dusty old, vintage headshots from seasons past and let them shine for charity.


Lana Veenker, Eryn Goodman and John Srednicki


Entrance into the event was an old headshot along with a suggested $5.00 minimum donation.  Participants were instructed to write their favorite charitable organization on the back of their photo and post it on the wall for all to see.  As guests mingled and enjoyed holiday bevs and bites, a secret ballot box collected everyone’s vote for their favorite old headshot.




Thanks to @winebridgeimports for the variety of tasty wines.




The winning photo revealed the winning charity where the evenings proceeds were sent.  A big CONGRATS to ANNA NICHOLAS, pictured below, who was the WINNER.  Her charity of choice was Planned Parenthood and all proceeds from the event went directly to them. Thanks ANNA!



Thanks again to everyone who came down to Cast Iron Studios and participated.  Another page in the holiday history books!

Friday, November 8, 2019

AM Northwest talks 20 years of Oregon casting with Lana Veenker

by admin

On November 7th, Lana dropped in on AM Northwest to chat with Helen Raptis about Cast Iron Studios’ recent anniversary.

As reported by KATU:

Portland’s own Lana Veenker is celebrating 20 years as a casting director! In that time, she’s made a name for herself both here and abroad — having just returned from the Rome Film Festival where she rubbed elbows with Italian film royalty. Lana joined us to look back at the last 20 years of film and TV productions in Oregon. For more information about Lana Veenker, check her out on IMDb.


Many thanks to the team at AM Northwest for helping us celebrate this milestone! We’re so grateful for our community.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Casting Director Lana Veenker on jury at Rome Film Festival

by admin

Plans to celebrate a milestone anniversary for Cast Iron Studios were postponed after the company’s founder, Casting Director Lana Veenker, was invited to serve on the jury of the Rome Film Festival’s Alice Nella Città program on October 26th, 2019.

“Spending my 20th anniversary in casting as a jurist at the Rome Film Festival was an offer I couldn’t refuse,” said Veenker. The other jurists included Talent Agent Frédérique Moidon (France), Cinematographer Alfonso Maiorana (Canada), and Producer Uliana Kovaleva (Russia).

Lana Veenker at Rome Film Festival, October 26, 2019.

Veenker, who spent about a decade overseas before founding Cast Iron Studios in 1999, has always incorporated her love for travel and languages with her vocation in the entertainment industry. She studied theatre in Paris and Cambridge, and performed on stages in four countries and three languages prior to landing a job in a London casting office in the late 90s. She has lectured in more than 20 countries, and in 2008, was one of the sole Americans to have been inducted into the International Casting Directors Network (headquartered in Berlin), where she currently serves on its first official board of directors.

On October 26th (the date of Cast Iron Studios’ first casting session 20 years prior), Veenker was on stage again, this time in Rome to present the DO Cine Rising Talent Award for Best Young Performer (International Panorama), which was awarded to Belgium’s Anna Franziska Jäger for her performance in Cleo. Other award presenters included Carlo Verdone, one of Italy’s most renowned actors, and Screenwriter Nicola Guaglianone.

Casting Director Lana Veenker presents the Alice Nellà Citta DO Cine Rising Talent Award (International Panorama) at Rome Film Festival, October 26, 2019. Photo Credit: Carlo Verdone.


Following a photo call and interviews with the Italian press, Veenker held a master class and Q&A moderated by Italy’s first lady of cinema, Mrs. Piera Detassis, President of the Italian Film Academy (David di Donnatello Awards; the Italian Oscars), with the participation of Actor Lorenzo Richelmy, star of Netflix’s Marco Polo.

Master Class with Lana Veenker at Rome Film Festival, October 26, 2019.


Piera Detassis, Lana Veenker and Lorenzo Richelmy at Rome Film Festival, October 26, 2019.


The day ended with a celebration dinner with Italy’s top casting directors and fellow ICDN members, Beatrice Kruger, Francesco Vedovati, Lilia Trapani Hartmann and Barbara Giordani.

“It was a whirlwind weekend, with an incredibly warm welcome from everyone at the Rome Film Festival, especially Talent Agent Daniele Orazi and Producer Carla Mori,” said Veenker. “Once they learned about my 20th anniversary, they rolled out the red carpet to make it an unforgettable experience.”

While Cast Iron Studios’ anniversary celebration back home has been postponed to a yet-unknown date, the weekend’s events in Rome represented a full circle for Veenker.

“I began my career with the dream of working internationally, and have somehow realized that goal, even while remaining based in Portland. It felt like an affirmation of more than two decades of hard work.”







Click below to listen to one of Lana’s interviews in Rome: