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1430 SE 3RD AVENUE, No.100
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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Cast Iron Studios announces 2018 Talent Diversity Initiative Scholars

by Cast Iron Studios Staff

While TNT is no longer participating as a fiscal sponsor of Cast Iron Studios’ Talent Diversity Initiative (TDI), the Portland Film Office and Oregon Film Office both expressed a wish to continue supporting the program, whose goal is to increase opportunities for actors of color in our market.

Thanks to them, and to the generous sponsorship of several of our top local acting coaches, including Katie O’Grady of The Studio NW/Acting for Kids & Teens, Ted Rooney, Scott Rogers Studios, Kristina Haddad of The Actor’s Lab, and Shelly Lipkin, we were able to offer scholarships to 17 local actors to attend the acting course of their choice.

Special thanks go out to Brian Lord of the Portland Film Office/Prosper Portland, who encouraged us to keep the program going, even if on a smaller scale; to Tim Williams, Executive Director of Oregon Film, for his unwavering support over the years; and to the coaches, who helped us to nearly double the value of our available funds.

We are thrilled to have these wonderful and talented actors as part of this year’s Talent Diversity Initiative!

Kady Lorenz
Eva Calderon
Kayla Banks
Angela Chandra
Anthony Martore
Bobbi Mackenzie
Billy Boudavong
Tom Avila
Connie Wellman

Grace London
Tonea Lolin
James Dixon
Jenny Meeker
Renee Rose
Gihee Jong
Noelle Rainey
Anna Clark


From left to right: Kady Lorenz, Eva Calderon, Kayla Banks, Angela Chandra, Anthony Martore, Bobbi Mackenzie, Billy Boudavong, Tom Avila, Connie Wellman, Grace London, Tonea Lolin, James Dixon, Jenny Meeker, Renee Rose, Gihee Jong, Noelle Rainey, and Anna Clark.
Tuesday, October 20, 2015

More Good Day Oregon on NW Talent Diversity Initiative

by admin

In case you missed it, here’s the segment about our Talent Diversity Initiative on More Good Day Oregon with Stephanie Kralevich, which aired on KPTV Fox 12 on Tuesday, October 20th:

Portland Casting Director Lana Veenker of Cast Iron Studios is partnering with TNT on a talent diversity initiative that provides acting opportunities for local actors.

KPTV – FOX 12

Link to source.

Friday, February 6, 2015

6 Tips for Making the Small Roles Count

by admin

Coming off the heels of the critically acclaimed “Wild,” here’s some advice from Lana on making the small roles count, courtesy of Backstage.

Lana Veenker CSAWhen our office was hired to cast 40 supporting and featured roles in “Wild” (around 30 of which ended up in the final cut), director Jean-Marc Vallée wanted to ensure that each actor fit seamlessly into the fabric of the film, no matter how small the part. If even one actor felt like he or she didn’t belong, it could ruin the mood and the veracity of the film.
His attention to detail paid off. Not only did Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern turn out award-worthy performances, but the supporting cast, culled from talent proposed by casting director David Rubin’s office in L.A. and ours in Portland, has apparently been a frequent topic at Q&As and in the press. Even Bruce Dern said he hadn’t been this touched by a film in 60 years, crediting the entire cast for their performances.

So, how can an actor make the most of an audition for a minor or even non-speaking principal role, like many of the characters in “Wild”?

1. Come prepared. Just because it’s a cinch to memorize two or three lines, doesn’t mean you don’t have to do your homework. A well thought-out backstory will bring depth and originality to your character. And seriously, if you can’t be mostly off book for a handful of lines, you might be in the wrong business.

2. But don’t overdo it. Small roles often convey everyday occurrences or simple objectives. As we sometimes say in our office, “It’s not the movie about COP #3.” Just because you worked out your character’s life history in your preparation, doesn’t mean you need to stretch, “May I see your ID, sir?” into a soliloquy.

Get in, pursue your intention—as if this is something you do every day—and get out. Your homework will infuse your character naturally, without you having to hit us over the head with it.

3. Immediately establish the given circumstances and the moment before. Is it hot? Is it cold? Are you out of breath? Have you just woken up? Did your character just witness a crime? Does this scene pick up in the middle of a conversation or argument? Did you just hike 14 miles in the desert? Bring that into your performance.

4. Be present. You don’t have much time, so really listen and connect with your scene partners. Don’t just wait (im)patiently for your turn to speak, allow their lines to trigger your responses. Practice being in the moment.

5. Bring your A-game. Even the smallest role can generate your next gig. One female actor we hired for “Wild” had an improvised scene with one of the leads, but none of her lines ended up in the final cut. That didn’t stop the director from telling her he wanted to work with her again.

On another project, a director who recently landed his first big feature specifically asked us to read actors we’d cast in his low-budget thriller a year earlier. Their prior faith in him was rewarded with an opportunity to land a juicy role in a well-known franchise.

6. Do your best, then let go. If a realtor shows you a dozen houses, you may like things about each of them, but only one may suit your current situation. Perhaps you need a garage and a quiet street. Next time around, you might want something more central with a bigger yard. It’s all relative.

Likewise, what we’re seeking is the right palette. We’re not judging your acting ability as much as we are identifying an ensemble that best tells the story at hand. That’s out of your control, so just give it your all, thankful to be a part of this amazing industry.

Link to original article.

Casting director Lana Veenker began her career in London and, upon returning to her Northwest roots, founded one of the top location casting companies in the country, Cast Iron Studios.

Her recent projects include “Wild,” starring Reese Witherspoon, four seasons of NBC’s “Grimm,” ten episodes of “The Librarians,” and 64 episodes of “Leverage” for TNT. Gus Van Sant, Robert Benton, Guillermo Arriaga, Catherine Hardwicke, and Tim Robbins are among her past film clients. Commercial accounts include Nike, Apple, and Nintendo, and international campaigns from Shanghai to Santiago.

Veenker is a member of the Casting Society of America and the International Casting Directors Network. She frequently lectures across the U.S. and abroad, most recently at the Finnish Actors’ Union in Helsinki, Amsterdam School of the Arts, the Actors Platform in London, the Acting Studio in Berlin, Studio Bleu in Paris, and Prague Film School.

Veenker has been featured in The Hollywood Reporter, USA Today, MSNBC.com, MTV.com, AccessHollywood.com, and Wired, among others.

 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

5 Ways to Recognize an Acting or Modeling Scam

by admin

Lana’s latest expert column, courtesy of Backstage.

Lana Veenker CSAOne day, when I was about 19, my friend Rich* showed up on my doorstep gushing that a “talent scout” had stopped him on the street on the way over.

The scout was seeking young, attractive teens for music videos, Vespa and Coca-Cola commercials, he said, and Rich had exactly the look they needed. Rich eagerly gave the man his address and phone number. They arranged a meeting for him to give Rich all the details.

When Rich arrived at his office a few days later, the scout apologized: “I’m sorry, but those commercials have been cast, and the music videos are on hold, but there’s still an opportunity for you to appear in some movies…if you’re interested.” Little by little, it came out that these films were of a pornographic nature. By then, the man had spun such a web of riches and fame that Rich began to believe this scout really did hold the keys to his success.

Bedazzled, Rich announced he was moving to Los Angeles. He explained that he would only have to appear in one or two of these films, after which the scout had promised he could move onto more mainstream projects. I was horrified, and tried to make Rich see how he had been tricked. “Someone might try to drug or hurt you!” I warned. Away from the smooth-talking talent scout, the spell wore off, and Rich realized this man was a con artist. He immediately called to say that he had changed his mind. The man urged him to reconsider, but Rich stood his ground.

This would have been the end of the story, except that Rich had given this man all of his contact info. For about a week, the scout called Rich at all hours, and showed up at his apartment unannounced. Holding his breath each time the doorbell rang, Rich sat in the dark pretending he wasn’t home. One day, the man came around the side of the building and started yelling in the window, threatening him. As he hid from sight, Rich shouted back that he was going to call the police. At last, the man fled, and Rich never heard from him again.

How could anyone fall for such a scam or believe that porn could help one’s acting career? Under normal circumstances, Rich never would have agreed to something so dubious, but his desire for fame—coupled with youth and inexperience—clouded his judgment. He began to think the sacrifice would be worth it, if only he could have the lifestyle he dreamt of. In fact, this scout was an excellent (and dangerous) con artist. He knew exactly how to target and spellbind susceptible young people.

Bait-and-switch is a common technique used by scam artists. You hear a radio advertisement or spot an online ad touting “Paid gigs for actors and models, no experience necessary!” Or someone stops you in a shopping mall, saying you’ve got the look to be a star, and invites you to an audition at a “talent agency.”

When you show up, no one seems interested in your background or skills (or alternatively, they rave about how amazing you are, without knowing much about you). Their true goal, you discover, is to sign you up for expensive “talent competitions,” classes, or photo packages. They use the lure of fame and fortune to cloud your judgment and get you to open your pocketbook:

No, you can’t go home to think about it. You have to decide now. If you don’t buy today, the price will go up. If you’re not willing to fork over the cash, you’re obviously not serious about your career. Now, please sign on the dotted line. 

Here are some reminders to help you avoid talent and modeling scams:

1. There’s no harm in someone teaching acting classes or selling headshots, as long as that’s what they are advertising. If you thought you were going to an audition or a meeting to discuss representation, but the conversation is all about you buying something, that is a bait-and-switch!

2. Some casting calls may be “no experience necessary,” but they should be exactly that: a casting call. You come in, fill out some paperwork, get your photo taken, and are perhaps recorded on video. They’ll call if they decide to hire you. No one tries to sell you anything, and there’s no fee to audition.

3. Reputable model and talent agencies are highly selective. If you show up and they are immediately willing to sign you regardless of your experience or suitability, question their motives—especially if they ask for money.

4. Bona fide agencies don’t require you to take their classes or use their photographer. They may provide a list of recommended coaches or photographers in your area, but they should not pressure you to use a specific one, or try to sell you something in their agency agreement.

5. Legitimate agents make a commission off the gigs they find for you. If they engage in hard-sell techniques for classes, photos, contests or representation, beware. That’s how they’re making their money, not by finding you work.

*A version of Rich’s story previously appeared in Lana’s Tools for Actors newsletter. His name has been changed to protect confidentiality.

For more articles on recognizing scams, check out this post on Lana’s blog.

Like this advice? Check out more from our Backstage Experts!


Casting Director Lana Veenker began her career in London and, upon returning to her Northwest roots, founded one of the top location casting companies in the country.

Recent projects include “Wild,” starring Reese Witherspoon, NBC’s “Grimm,” now in its third season, and 64 episodes of TNT’s “Leverage.” Gus Van Sant, Robert Benton, Guillermo Arriaga, Catherine Hardwicke and Tim Robbins figure among past film clients. Commercial accounts include Nike, Apple and Nintendo, and international campaigns from Shanghai to Santiago.

Lana is a member of the Casting Society of America and the International Casting Directors Network. She frequently lectures across the U.S. and abroad, most recently at the Finnish Actors’ Union in Helsinki, Amsterdam School of the Arts, The Actors Platform in London, The Acting Studio in Berlin, Studio Bleu in Paris and Prague Film School.

Complete her survey to be entered into a contest for a free career consultation here.

She has been featured in The Hollywood Reporter, USA Today, MSNBC.com, MTV.com, AccessHollywood.com, and Wired, among others. Follow her on Twitter @lanaveenker.

Link to original article.

 

Friday, April 19, 2013

What Casting Directors Are Looking For on Your Resume

by admin

Check out Lana’s latest Expert Column, courtesy of Backstage:

Lana Veenker CSAI have news for you: No one reads resumes.

Okay, that’s not entirely accurate. But it isn’t far from the truth either. I learned this while working at my first casting job at a London office that specialized in international features and mini-series.

Before the days of electronic submissions, we assistants were in charge of opening the daily mail and sorting through the stacks of headshots. Every available desk was piled high with manila envelopes. The casting associates would rip them open, glance briefly at the photos, and throw them into the appropriate pile according to role and project, or into the “Reject” pile.

As a recent convert from the acting world, I would flip the headshots over and peruse the resumes, much to their amusement.

“No one reads the resumes!” one of the associates chortled.

“But this guy went to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts! He has worked with Peter Brook!” I raised one poor actor’s resume, horrified.

“Let me see,” she countered. I showed her. “Nah, he’s a reject. Toss it.”

I took her cold reaction like a stab to the chest for all my years of acting and for all the actors I knew who were pining for a film career. Placing him gently in the “Reject” pile as if it were his final resting place, I bit my tongue and vowed never to become so jaded.

I’ve learned a bit since then. Now, I realize that she recognized most of those actors from prior auditions or from film and television appearances. She knew they needed to be of a certain caliber for the producers to consider them. Her many years of experience enabled her to make quick judgments.

Nevertheless, her comment stuck with me because I discovered there was truth in it. No one reads resumes, even when they do read them. What they actually do is scan them.

That’s right. Just as people scan headlines when reading the news, casting directors and other industry folk scan actor resumes and only absorb the information they’re looking for.

When we glance at your resume, we’re looking for things we recognize: A production company, a director’s name, a well-reputed acting coach, etc. We’re also looking for credits that stand out. A guest star role on a network show carries more weight than one on an unknown web series (although that is quickly changing with the rise of high-quality web productions. If your web series is garnering 10 million hits an episode, you might want to include a parenthesis to that effect).

The key is to keep your resume crisp and clean so that our eyes go straight to the most important details. Put your credits by and large in chronological order (without listing dates; those only date you), pushing your more impressive ones towards the top where they’re more visible.

If the director is well known, but the production company isn’t, be sure we see who the director is. By the same token, if the studio is highly reputed, but the director is a newbie, ensure that the studio’s name stands out. If you’ve yet to land any impressive credits, make certain that you’re training with the best of the best.

I still feel a little pang whenever an actor’s hard work goes unrecognized, but nowadays I understand the need for speed in the casting process. Like my former colleagues, I’m now able to glean much of the information I’m looking for with a quick glance at the page. You can help by giving us things we can scan and internalize quickly. Short and sweet wins the day.

_____________________________________________________________

This article was adapted from one of Lana’s Tools for Actors newsletters. Subscribe here!

Casting Director Lana Veenker began her career in London and, upon returning to her Northwest roots, founded one of the top location casting companies in the country.

Recent projects include NBC’s Grimm, now in its second season, and 64 episodes of TNT’s Leverage. Gus Van Sant, Robert Benton, Guillermo Arriaga, Catherine Hardwicke and Tim Robbins figure among past film clients. Commercial accounts include Nike, Apple and Nintendo, and international campaigns from Shanghai to Santiago.

Lana is a member of the Casting Society of America and the International Casting Directors Network. She frequently lectures across the U.S. and abroad, most recently at The Actors Platform in London, IfiF Productions in Vienna, The Acting Studio in Berlin, Studio Bleu in Paris and Prague Film School.

Complete her survey to be entered into a contest for a free career consultation here.

She has been featured in The Hollywood Reporter, USA Today, MSNBC.com, MTV.com, AccessHollywood.com, and Wired, among others. Follow her on Twitter @lanaveenker.

Link to original article.

 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Interview with Casting Director Christine Scowley

by admin

Lana gave Kids’ Casting Director Christine Scowley a buzz this morning to chat about her workshops for kids and parents in Portland on April 5-7, 2013. We love her warm demeanor and encouraging approach. Perfect for working with kids!

Have a listen:

Use this link if the player above doesn’t work in your browser: Scowley Interview

There are still slots available for the Friday night “Parents’ Boot Camp,” featuring a panel with Casting Directors Christine Scowley, Eryn Goodman and Lana Veenker, as well as for the kids’ weekend workshops “Acting Like a Pro.”

CastIronStudios_Logo_Small

2013 CASTING DIRECTOR MASTER SERIES

ROUND ONE: Kids’ Casting Director Christine Scowley CSA

Young actors can join us on April 6-7, 2013 for a two-day acting workshop (morning sessions for ages 8-12; afternoons for ages 13-17) with Kids Casting Director Christine Scowley CSA.

We’re also offering a PARENT ONLY night on Friday, April 5th, featuring a panel with CDs Christine Scowley of Christine Scowley Casting and Bizzy Blondes Entertainment, and Eryn Goodman and Lana Veenker of Cast Iron Studios. This will be your opportunity to learn straight from casting directors how to help your young actor succeed in film and television.

Your child does not need to be enrolled in the weekend workshop in order for you to enroll in the Parents’ Boot Camp. Please also note that the parent night is at a different location than the workshops.

More information on future Master Series guests coming soon. (We could tell you whom we’ve lined up, but then we’d have to kill you! Suffice it to say that we’re FREAKING EXCITED.)

BIO: CHRISTINE SCOWLEY CSA

Christine ScowleyScowley is the Casting Director of the hit Nickelodeon series HOW TO ROCK and Disney Channel’s MOVIE SURFERS. She also cast the series SMASH CUTS for the CW and conducted the nationwide search for the pilot HUGE for ABC Family.

Her Nickelodeon credits include pilots such as BIG TIME RUSH and EVERY WITCH WAY (to air this coming year), and a special episode of TRUE JACKSON, VP. Scowley also casts for DisneyFamily Online. She has several upcoming projects in the works for various networks and she’s currently consulting on a music project for Sony Music International.

Additionally, Scowley created and produced the series ROCK THE CRADLE with Fremantle Media for MTV, which featured the children of rock stars competing in a sing-off.

She often conducts nationwide searches, traveling the country to uncover new talent. She loves working with actors and music talent, and is continually inspired by all those who work tirelessly at pursuing their creative goals!

__________________________________________

PARENTS’ BOOT CAMP
With CDs Christine Scowley, Eryn Goodman and Lana Veenker
No kids allowed!

A chance for parents to learn everything they ever wanted to know about navigating the shark-infested waters of the entertainment industry and preparing child actors for a potential Hollywood career (or not!). You’ll hear the Northwest perspective as well as the Los Angeles one, and have plenty of opportunities to ask your burning questions about kids and acting. Topics may include marketing materials, representation, training, resume building, managing a child’s acting career and more.

Friday, April 5, 2013
7:30 PM to 9:30 PM

University of Oregon Portland Extension
White Stag Block
70 NW Couch Street
Portland, OR 97209
map

ANY PARENT OR INTERESTED ADULT CAN ATTEND. REGISTER NOW!

$75 for up to two parents or guardians (OPTION E)
*$49 for up to two parents or guardians, if child is registered for Acting Like a Pro (choose OPTION B or D)

__________________________________________

ACTING LIKE A PRO
With CD Christine Scowley
Morning Session (ages 8-12)

This workshop will feature a business of acting component tailored especially for kids to help them navigate the adult world of show biz. Christine will engage them in improvisational exercises, teach the art of hosting for kids’ shows, and cover audition and cold reading techniques. Then they’ll be assigned scenes to rehearse and perform for the Sunday session in a mock audition setting, using sides from real projects that Christine has cast. Young actors will have ample opportunities to ask questions and get advice from one of LA’s top kids casting directors!

Saturday, April 6, 2013
10:00 AM to 1:00 PM
&
Sunday, April 7, 2013
10:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Cast Iron Studios
1430 SE 3rd Ave, Suite 100
Portland, OR 97212
map

ONLY 16 SPACES AVAILABLE. REGISTER NOW!

$199 (OPTION A)
Add on Parents’ Boot Camp for only $49 (a 35% discount), total $248: choose OPTION B

__________________________________________

ACTING LIKE A PRO
With CD Christine Scowley
Afternoon Session (ages 13-17)

This workshop will feature a more prominent business of acting component, tailored especially for teens to help them navigate the adult world of show biz. Christine will cover audition and cold reading techniques, and teach attendees the art of TV hosting. They’ll learn how to break down a script, and take home scenes to rehearse and perform for the Sunday session in a mock audition setting, using sides from real projects that Christine has cast. Actors will have ample opportunities to ask questions and get advice from one of LA’s top kids casting directors!

Saturday, April 6
2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
&
Sunday, April 7
2:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Cast Iron Studios
1430 SE 3rd Ave, Suite 100
Portland, OR 97212
map

ONLY 18 SPACES AVAILABLE. REGISTER NOW!

$199 (OPTION C)
Add on Parents’ Boot Camp for only $49 (a 35% discount), total $248: choose OPTION D

__________________________________________

Please note: This workshop is an educational experience. It is not an audition or employment opportunity. The presence of a casting director is neither a guarantee nor a promise of work. As such, casting director will not be retaining, nor be given access to actors’ headshots, resumes or any other promotional materials after the workshop. This workshop and its facilitators voluntarily adhere to CSA teaching guidelines approved by SAG-AFTRA.

Due to the vagaries of the film and television industry, guest facilitators may occasionally have to cancel their appearances. Cast Iron Studios and Tools for Actors reserve the option to replace a canceled guest facilitator with an industry professional of equal or greater caliber.

REFUNDS: A full refund will be issued if registrant cancels at least one week prior to start of workshop. All hardships will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. For any cancellations or refund requests or concerns, you must contact us directly at toolsforactors[at]castironstudios.com.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Announcing ‘Casting Director Master Series’ with first guest: Nickelodeon, Disney CD Christine Scowley

by admin

Cast Iron Studios and its educational division, Tools for Actors, are thrilled to announce an upcoming master series of workshops featuring prominent LA and NY casting directors. Even more exciting, the first of the series is aimed at KIDS and their parents! Don’t miss this rare opportunity.

CastIronStudios_Logo_Small

2013 CASTING DIRECTOR MASTER SERIES

ROUND ONE: Kids’ Casting Director Christine Scowley CSA

Young actors can join us on April 6-7, 2013 for a two-day acting workshop (morning sessions for ages 8-12; afternoons for ages 13-17) with Kids Casting Director Christine Scowley CSA.

We’re also offering a PARENT ONLY night on Friday, April 5th, featuring a panel with CDs Christine Scowley of Christine Scowley Casting and Bizzy Blondes Entertainment, and Eryn Goodman and Lana Veenker of Cast Iron Studios. This will be your opportunity to learn straight from casting directors how to help your young actor succeed in film and television.

Your child does not need to be enrolled in the weekend workshop in order for you to enroll in the Parents’ Boot Camp. Please also note that the parent night is at a different location than the workshops.  UPDATE: Both events will take place at Cast Iron Studios.

More information on future Master Series guests coming soon. (We could tell you whom we’ve lined up, but then we’d have to kill you! Suffice it to say that we’re FREAKING EXCITED.)

BIO: CHRISTINE SCOWLEY CSA

Christine ScowleyScowley is the Casting Director of the hit Nickelodeon series HOW TO ROCK and Disney Channel’s MOVIE SURFERS. She also cast the series SMASH CUTS for the CW and conducted the nationwide search for the pilot HUGE for ABC Family.

Her Nickelodeon credits include pilots such as BIG TIME RUSH and EVERY WITCH WAY (to air this coming year), and a special episode of TRUE JACKSON, VP. Scowley also casts for DisneyFamily Online. She has several upcoming projects in the works for various networks and she’s currently consulting on a music project for Sony Music International.

Additionally, Scowley created and produced the series ROCK THE CRADLE with Fremantle Media for MTV, which featured the children of rock stars competing in a sing-off.

She often conducts nationwide searches, traveling the country to uncover new talent. She loves working with actors and music talent, and is continually inspired by all those who work tirelessly at pursuing their creative goals!

__________________________________________

PARENTS’ BOOT CAMP
With CDs Christine Scowley, Eryn Goodman and Lana Veenker
No kids allowed!

A chance for parents to learn everything they ever wanted to know about navigating the shark-infested waters of the entertainment industry and preparing child actors for a potential Hollywood career (or not!). You’ll hear the Northwest perspective as well as the Los Angeles one, and have plenty of opportunities to ask your burning questions about kids and acting. Topics may include marketing materials, representation, training, resume building, managing a child’s acting career and more.

Friday, April 5, 2013
7:30 PM to 9:30 PM

University of Oregon Portland Extension
White Stag Block
70 NW Couch Street
Portland, OR 97209
map

UPDATED LOCATION:

Cast Iron Studios
1430 SE 3rd Ave, Suite 100
Portland, OR 97214
map

ANY PARENT OR INTERESTED ADULT CAN ATTEND. REGISTER NOW!

$75 for up to two parents or guardians (OPTION E)
*$49 for up to two parents or guardians, if child is registered for Acting Like a Pro (choose OPTION B or D)

__________________________________________

ACTING LIKE A PRO
With CD Christine Scowley
Morning Session (ages 8-12)

This workshop will feature a business of acting component tailored especially for kids to help them navigate the adult world of show biz. Christine will engage them in improvisational exercises, teach the art of hosting for kids’ shows, and cover audition and cold reading techniques. Then they’ll be assigned scenes to rehearse and perform for the Sunday session in a mock audition setting, using sides from real projects that Christine has cast. Young actors will have ample opportunities to ask questions and get advice from one of LA’s top kids casting directors!

Saturday, April 6, 2013
10:00 AM to 1:00 PM
&
Sunday, April 7, 2013
10:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Cast Iron Studios
1430 SE 3rd Ave, Suite 100
Portland, OR 97214
map

ONLY 16 SPACES AVAILABLE. REGISTER NOW!

$199 (OPTION A)
Add on Parents’ Boot Camp for only $49 (a 35% discount), total $248: choose OPTION B

__________________________________________

ACTING LIKE A PRO
With CD Christine Scowley
Afternoon Session (ages 13-17)

This workshop will feature a more prominent business of acting component, tailored especially for teens to help them navigate the adult world of show biz. Christine will cover audition and cold reading techniques, and teach attendees the art of TV hosting. They’ll learn how to break down a script, and take home scenes to rehearse and perform for the Sunday session in a mock audition setting, using sides from real projects that Christine has cast. Actors will have ample opportunities to ask questions and get advice from one of LA’s top kids casting directors!

Saturday, April 6
2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
&
Sunday, April 7
2:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Cast Iron Studios
1430 SE 3rd Ave, Suite 100
Portland, OR 97214
map

ONLY 18 SPACES AVAILABLE. REGISTER NOW!

$199 (OPTION C)
Add on Parents’ Boot Camp for only $49 (a 35% discount), total $248: choose OPTION D

__________________________________________

Please note: This workshop is an educational experience. It is not an audition or employment opportunity. The presence of a casting director is neither a guarantee nor a promise of work. As such, casting director will not be retaining, nor be given access to actors’ headshots, resumes or any other promotional materials after the workshop. This workshop and its facilitators voluntarily adhere to CSA teaching guidelines approved by SAG-AFTRA.

Due to the vagaries of the film and television industry, guest facilitators may occasionally have to cancel their appearances. Cast Iron Studios and Tools for Actors reserve the option to replace a canceled guest facilitator with an industry professional of equal or greater caliber.

REFUNDS: A full refund will be issued if registrant cancels at least one week prior to start of workshop. All hardships will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. For any cancellations or refund requests or concerns, you must contact us directly at toolsforactors[at]castironstudios.com.

Monday, March 18, 2013

12 Steps To Surviving Open Casting Calls For Parents

by ranielle

Lana Veenker CSAWhile we rarely conduct open calls, sometimes clients request them for specific reasons. And so it was that several hundred babies, kids, and toddlers recently tottered through our doors over the course of a long Saturday. Afterwards, my team and I compiled this list for parents to make the process easier.

Courtesy of Backstage.

 

 

 

 

1. Confirm that it’s a bonafide audition, not a bait-and-switch. Real casting calls are free. If it turns out they’re selling classes, photos, or talent competitions—or someone offers to “represent” your child for a fee—it’s not an audition, it’s a sales pitch. Research, read up, and ask around.

2. Make sure your kids fit the specs exactly. If we’re looking for 5-year-olds, we’re not looking for 11-year-olds. Children who don’t fit the specs slow the process down for everyone.

3. Don’t burn them out on the lines. If there are lines to learn, consider soliciting an acting teacher’s help, if you’re not an actor yourself. Kids can have a certain delivery drilled into them by well-intentioned parents, rendering them impervious to direction. (Check out this article for more great advice!)

4. Read carefully and follow all instructions (photos to bring, wardrobe, arrival time, etc.). Don’t be the dad who shows up on the wrong day, or the mom who clogs the casting director’s inboxes with questions that have already been answered.

5. Dress and groom kids appropriately. Keep outfits simple. No fancy dresses or weird shoes; it’s not Easter. Barring specific requests, we want kids being KIDS in their regular play clothes. (Please, no heavy make-up or high heels on young girls. That’s just creepy.)

6. No sugar prior to the audition. Well-behaved children often start bouncing around like ping-pong balls or succumb to mood swings after consuming empty carbs. This creates chaos in the waiting area and reduced focus in the studio. Keep healthy snacks on hand and distribute sweets afterwards, if you must.

7. Leave siblings and other miscellaneous humans at home. It’s not always feasible, but your efforts to help are truly appreciated. We may only be auditioning 200 youngsters, but with parents and siblings in tow, it can add up to 600 people over the course of the day, wearing everyone down.

8. Have your child’s info handy and current (height, weight, date of birth, clothing/shoe sizes). And please relay it to whoever brings the child to the audition (grandma, dad, etc.).

9. Be patient. Casting directors try to run a tight ship, but sometimes there’s still a wait. Bring something quiet for you and your children to do.

10. Smile: It’s your audition, too! Our clients are just as interested to know if you’re going to be easy to work with as your offspring!

11. Don’t force a child to audition. And no need to be embarrassed if your child acts up on a particular day. Kids go through phases and just because they aren’t into it today doesn’t mean we’ll overlook them next time.

12. Celebrate afterwards. Help kids enjoy the experience, without putting too much pressure on them.

Link to original article.

Casting Director Lana Veenker began her career in London and, upon returning to her Northwest roots, founded one of the top location casting companies in the country.

Recent projects include NBC’s Grimm, now in its second season, and 64 episodes of TNT’s Leverage. Gus Van Sant, Robert Benton, Guillermo Arriaga, Catherine Hardwicke and Tim Robbins figure among past film clients. Commercial accounts include Nike, Apple and Nintendo, and international campaigns from Shanghai to Santiago.

Lana is a member of the Casting Society of America and the International Casting Directors Network. She frequently lectures across the U.S. and abroad, most recently at The Actors Platform in London, IfiF Productions in Vienna, The Acting Studio in Berlin, Studio Bleu in Paris and Prague Film School.

Complete her survey to be entered into a contest for a free career consultation here.

She has been featured in The Hollywood Reporter, USA Today, MSNBC.com, MTV.com, AccessHollywood.com, and Wired, among others. Follow her on Twitter @lanaveenker.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

8 Tips for Networking at Film Festivals

by admin

On assignment at this year’s BerlinaleLana Veenker CSA, Casting Director Lana Veenker asked actors from a dozen countries for their top networking tips. Here is their best advice!

Courtesy of Backstage.

 

 

 

 

1. Commit. If your film is accepted in a festival and you can afford to go, GO! It’s an excellent opportunity to meet people in the context of your work. Relationships may form and doors may open. You’ll also feel like you have a reason for being there. You’re not just a hanger-on, but an integral part of the festivities.

2. Prepare. Once you’ve committed, conduct a little research. Which films will be screening? Who would you like to meet? Be realistic and read up on the smaller independent films. Chances are slim you’ll be hanging with Tarantino or Clooney, but an up-and-coming director whose work intrigues you could turn into a good contact so familiarize yourself ahead of time and purchase screening tickets. Some multilingual actors even reach out to attending filmmakers to offer their services as translators. Smart cookies!

3. Get Invited. Festivals occasionally post lists of the major parties on their websites. If you contact them early enough, you might score some invites. Seek out Facebook pages or other groups organizing parties or get-togethers. Join the conversation and you may already have friends on the ground when you arrive. Be sure to pack business cards that include your photo, contact info and a link to your reel.

4. Sleuth. Once you’ve touched down, identify where people hang out. Clock the nearest fast food joint to the main theaters. One actor said everyone from movie stars to producers zip over for a quick bite between screenings, and he’s met a lot of people this way. Nearby restaurants and cafés will do the same trick. For longer conversations, hotel lobbies and bars are prime hotspots.

5. Participate. Certainly attend screenings of your own film, but check out others as well then stick around afterwards to chat. The best icebreakers are conversations about the movie you just watched (and preferable to simply talking about yourself). Perhaps you’ll click with someone or meet the filmmakers and cast. Hit up the panels and seminars as well. Learn from the pros and make friends at the same time.

6. Enjoy. Don’t just be on a mission to hand out postcards or collect business cards. The best exchanges happen when you’re being yourself, having fun, and taking the time to really get to know people. If you’re feeling negative or needy, psych yourself into the right mood or stay in.

7. Beware. Festival parties are primarily for producers, directors, financiers, and distributors. Actors are there, but they’re not the main focus, so don’t impose yourself or hover. If you interrupt a conversation, you might make a bad impression, especially if you’re not directly involved with the project. You risk choosing the wrong moment or gushing. Be open to opportunities, but aware of how you’re coming across and always have a professional approach. If you’re desperate or slutty, they won’t take you seriously. Above all, don’t drink too much! Crossing paths at sloshed o’clock in the morning with the one person you wanted to meet can be disastrous.

8. Follow-Up. Once home, follow-up with your connections. Depending on the contact, it might be appropriate to email them, add them to your social media accounts, or make plans to reconnect. Look for ways you can help your acquaintances, instead of asking for things, and they’ll be more receptive to staying in touch.

Link to original article.

Casting Director Lana Veenker began her career in London and, upon returning to her Northwest roots, founded one of the top location casting companies in the country.

Recent projects include NBC’s Grimm, now in its second season, and 64 episodes of TNT’s Leverage. Gus Van Sant, Robert Benton, Guillermo Arriaga, Catherine Hardwicke and Tim Robbins figure among past film clients. Commercial accounts include Nike, Apple and Nintendo, and international campaigns from Shanghai to Santiago.

Lana is a member of the Casting Society of America and the International Casting Directors Network. She frequently lectures across the U.S. and abroad, most recently at The Actors Platform in London, IfiF Productions in Vienna, The Acting Studio in Berlin, Studio Bleu in Paris and Prague Film School.

Complete her survey to be entered into a contest for a free career consultation here.

She has been featured in The Hollywood Reporter, USA Today, MSNBC.com, MTV.com, AccessHollywood.com, and Wired, among others. Follow her on Twitter @lanaveenker.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Don’t Miss Lana’s Workshops in Paris and Vienna This Month!

by admin

If you’re based in Europe, don’t miss Lana’s workshop in Paris on Monday, September 26th or in Vienna on Thursday, September 29th! Details below.

What people are saying about workshops with Lana Veenker:
 “It’s always useful for an actor to meet a casting director in a non-audition situation, and if that casting director is as motivating a person as Lana, the experience is pleasurable as well as useful.” 
“As an American actress in Paris, this workshop opened my eyes and helped put into perspective the things I need to be doing in order to advance my career on both sides of the ocean. As actors, we are so often bombarded with information from other actors as to what they ‘think’ is useful, that it is so nice and streamlined to have a Casting Director break everything down into what you NEED to be doing and explain why it works, it makes the task of marketing yourself seem less overwhelming.” 
“It has been a real pleasure to attend Lana’s workshop because not only it allowed me to meet her and receive some credible, relevant infos on the job & Hollywood market but also to meet other actors. Thanks to Lana, I feel more confident now about the fact of moving to L.A since I have now some tools about CVs, photos and how to contact CDs and I feel relieved about my choice of the Lee Strasberg school.”
“Very interesting !!! Every actor (or aspiring actor) who’d like to move in the USA should first take notes by Lana Veenker’s workshop. Very important for the resume and the headshot and how to behave in front of agents and professional. Thank you Lana for helping us in our first steps ;);) “

“It [was] a real delight to attend Lana Veenker’s workshop. She understands how Europeans work so she can very clearly explain to us the main differences with the USA. It is a real plus value in the pursue of my career. Thank you very much.”

In the Hot Seat: On-Camera Audition Workshop
with Casting Director Lana Veenker
Presented in English by Tools For Actors
Have you ever wondered what it is like to audition for film & TV in the United States?  Join American casting director Lana Veenker for this three-hour workshop and:
 

  • Learn how film & TV auditions are conducted in the States
  • Discover what directors, producers and casting directors are looking for
  • Practice auditioning in English with scenes from Lana’s past projects
  • Improve your on-camera audition technique


Lana Veenker CSA (“Twilight,” “Paranoid Park,” TNT’s “Leverage,” NBC’s “Grimm”) has built a career helping actors OUTSIDE Hollywood break into the business. If you want to learn what it takes to succeed when there’s an ocean between you and Hollywood, don’t miss her workshops in Paris and Vienna.


———-



In the Hot Seat: On-Camera Audition Workshop with Casting Director Lana Veenker
Monday, September 26th, 2011
18h-21h
Studio Bleu
7-9, rue des Petites Écuries
75010 Paris
Métro Château d’Eau, Strasbourg St Denis

EUR 95.00
Register by 23:59h on Wednesday, September 21st, 2011


———-

In the Hot Seat: On-Camera Audition Workshop with Casting Director Lana Veenker

Thursday, Sept 29, 2011
19h-22h
IfiF Productions
Bennogasse 24/2/14
A-1080 Wien

Strassenbahn 44 (Schottentor) to Hernalser Gürtel (15 minutes)

EUR 95.00
Register by 23:59h on Saturday, Sept 24, 2011

Monday, October 19, 2009

Lana Veenker to Teach Acting Workshops in Florida!

by admin

Do you live in the St. Petersburg, FL area? Ever thought about breaking into the acting business? Now’s your chance! We are pleased to announce that Lana will be teaching two workshops at the Sunscreen Film Festival!

WHEN:
Saturday, October 24, 2009 and Sunday, October 25, 2009
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Saturday begins with an Uta Hagen workshop by acting coach Marc Durso of Act True in Miami and concludes with Lana’s “How to Break Into the Business If You Don’t Live in Hollywood”. On Sunday, Marc continues his teaching in the morning, and the weekend wraps with Lana’s “How to Audition for TV & Film” workshop.

WHERE:
Studio 620
620 1st Ave South
St. Petersburg, FL

FEE:
$125

In addition to weekend workshops, the festival will be screening four films at the Muvico 20 Theaters at Baywalk as part of the “Sunscreen After Dark” series, just in time for Halloween. Films include DEADFALL TRAIL (recently picked up by the “8 Films to Die For” series), EVIL THINGS (one of the headliners at London’s Fright Fest), and I SELL THE DEAD (starring Dominic Monaghan and being hailed by early reviews as this year’s SHAUN OF THE DEAD). Two films will screen on Friday, October 23 and two on Saturday, October 24. Saturday will also include a Halloween party.

Acting workshop fee includes film screenings and Halloween party.

To register for the acting workshop, please head to http://sunscreenfilmfestival.com.

HOW TO BREAK INTO THE BUSINESS IF YOU DON’T LIVE IN HOLLYWOOD
Dream of being an actor but don’t know where to start? Lana Veenker cast several actors in TWILIGHT, LEVERAGE and other projects who didn’t live anywhere near Hollywood! This session will help you take the first steps in building your acting career. Learn about headshots, resumes, agents and casting directors, and how to get your first on-camera credits.

HOW TO AUDITION FOR TV & FILM
What happens if you actually get the opportunity to audition for a movie? Try your hand at auditioning with real film and television scripts. Learn techniques and get feedback from Lana on how you can improve your chances of being hired!

Both workshops are geared toward beginners, with some intermediate material.

DON’T MISS LANA ON “DAYTIME”!


On Monday, October 26th, Lana will be interviewed on syndicated morning show “Daytime”. The show airs across the Southeast on these stations. Check your local listings for times.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Workshops in Ellensburg, Washington THIS WEEKEND!

by admin

UPDATE 10/15/09: Unfortunately, workshops in Ellensburg this weekend have been CANCELED. Don’t forget, if you’re interested in attending workshops in your area, no matter where you are, be sure to use the Demand! widget in the right sidebar of the blog.

There are still spaces available for the following workshops with Casting Director Lana Veenker THIS WEEKEND! With a busy schedule, a busy casting office, and plans to take these workshops on the road beyond the Pacific Northwest, there’s no telling when these workshops will be offered in the area again, so register soon!


WHEN:
Saturday, October 17, 2009

11:00 AM – 1:00 PM – “How to Break Into the Biz if You Don’t Live in Hollywood”
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM – “Auditioning for TV and Film”

WHERE:
Gallery One
408 N Pearl Street
Ellensburg, WA 98926

FEE:
$69 for one workshop, $110 for both

To register for the acting workshop, please head to http://www.ellensburgfilmfestival.com and register from the right-hand sidebar on the home page. Please note: A minimum of 15 participants per workshop (or a total of 30) must be registered in order for the workshops to take place.

HOW TO BREAK INTO THE BUSINESS IF YOU DON’T LIVE IN HOLLYWOOD
Dream of being an actor but don’t know where to start? Lana Veenker has cast actors in major productions (including “Twilight,” “Leverage” and others) who didn’t live anywhere near Hollywood! This session will help you take the first steps in building your acting career. Learn about headshots, resumes, agents and casting directors, and how to get your first on-camera credits.

HOW TO AUDITION FOR TV & FILM
What happens if you actually get the opportunity to audition for a movie? Try your hand at auditioning with real film and television scripts. Learn techniques and get feedback from Lana on how you can improve your chances of being hired!

Both workshops are geared toward beginners.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Lana Veenker to Teach Acting Workshops in Ellensburg, WA!

by admin

UPDATE 10/15/09: Unfortunately, workshops in Ellensburg this weekend have been CANCELED. Don’t forget, if you’re interested in attending workshops in your area, no matter where you are, be sure to use the Demand! widget in the right sidebar of the blog.

Do you live in the Ellensburg, WA area? Ever thought about breaking into the acting business? Now’s your chance! We are pleased to announce that Lana will be teaching two workshops in conjunction with the Ellensburg Film Festival this month!

WHEN:
Saturday, October 17, 2009

11:00 AM – 1:00 PM – “How to Break Into the Biz if You Don’t Live in Hollywood”
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM – “Auditioning for TV and Film”

WHERE:
Gallery One
408 N Pearl Street
Ellensburg, WA 98926

FEE:
$69 for one workshop, $110 for both

To register for the acting workshop, please head to http://www.ellensburgfilmfestival.com and register from the right-hand sidebar on the home page. Please note: A minimum of 15 participants per workshop (or a total of 30) must be registered in order for the workshops to take place.

HOW TO BREAK INTO THE BUSINESS IF YOU DON’T LIVE IN HOLLYWOOD
Dream of being an actor but don’t know where to start? Lana Veenker has cast actors in major productions (including “Twilight,” “Leverage” and others) who didn’t live anywhere near Hollywood! This session will help you take the first steps in building your acting career. Learn about headshots, resumes, agents and casting directors, and how to get your first on-camera credits.

HOW TO AUDITION FOR TV & FILM
What happens if you actually get the opportunity to audition for a movie? Try your hand at auditioning with real film and television scripts. Learn techniques and get feedback from Lana on how you can improve your chances of being hired!

Both workshops are geared toward beginners.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

One Person CAN Make a Difference!

by admin

Those of you who have taken my GO PRO workshop may recall a story I tell about my dear friend Lisa Shannon, a filmmaker and screenwriter who also dreamt of making a difference in the world.

Lisa started an organization called Run for Congo Women, which has now become an international movement.

Her book, entitled “A Thousand Sisters: My Journey into the Worst Place on Earth to be a Woman” comes out in April 2010 and just a few days ago (as I predicted!!), her story was featured on Oprah!

Watch the video!

Pre-order her book on Amazon!

Sponsor a woman in the Congo!

Now go out and make a difference in the world, too!

(Congratulations to Lisa and all the women and children of DRC.)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Only a week away: GO PRO on May 23rd

by admin

There are still a handful of spots left for next Saturday’s GO PRO workshop in Portland.

If you’re looking to go from AMATEUR to PROFESSIONAL actor, this is your opportunity!

Lately, several actors have given me updates on what has happened since they attended GO PRO:

  • One of my students is on his way to Cannes Film Festival
  • Another just launched her new website, got her headshots updated and booked a role on TNT’s “Leverage
  • Two others recently started their own radio show
  • And one actress recently signed with an agent

THIS STUFF WORKS!

If you’re ready to take the leap and GO PRO, don’t miss this workshop!

Check out this post for instructions on how to register.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, May 8, 2009

You Asked for It, You Got It: GO PRO Workshop on May 23rd

by admin

Wow. The last two rounds of GO PRO workshops in Portland sold out in record time, so we’re offering it once again.

Sign up now for GO PRO on Saturday, May 23rd, 2009, because both sessions will fill up fast. Not only are we announcing our workshop on The Casting Scoop, but we’re blasting it to our Portland-area friends and fans on MySpace, Twitter and Facebook, our Tools 4 Actors newsletter subscribers and those who have registered their interest with Eventful.

Once again, there will be two 4-hour sessions, one for Beginners and one for Intermediate/Advanced actors.

NOTE: This is a repeat of the workshop offered in January and March. If you’ve taken a Beginner session, you might be interested in attending an Intermediate/Advanced session. If you’ve already attended the GO PRO Intermediate/Advanced session and are interested in a “What’s Next?” type workshop, shoot us an email and let us know!

Also, this workshop is ideal for adults (or parents of child actors wanting to know how to better market their kids). It is not specifically geared towards children, but we will consider mature and serious child actors on a case-by-case basis.

Not in the Portland area? Check out this post if you’d like to attend a GO PRO workshop in a city near you.

(Hop to the bottom if you want to register now)

_______________________________________

WILL YOU MISS THE BOAT?

In the coming year, regional actors will audition for Hollywood films in cities all across the country.

  • Some will get cast.
  • Others, who may have been perfect for the role, will not be chosen.
  • Many more will miss the boat entirely.

Which group do you think you will you belong to?

Most of you know that I’ve owned a casting company in Oregon for almost 10 years and have worked on a lot of these kinds of films. Before that, I worked as a stage actor, director and producer on three continents. Over this period of time, I’ve learned a few things about what it means to be a professional in the entertainment industry. And, as you may have already figured out, I’m passionate about showing Hollywood that regional actors have got the goods.

But sometimes very talented actors I know blow their chances, because they don’t understand that it takes more than being a good actor to book jobs.

It takes developing the mindset and focus of a pro. It means upping your game, wherever you are in your career. For beginners, this means breaking into what seems like an unbreachable fortress. If you’re already working in film and TV, it means taking your career to the next level and booking the jobs you deserve to be booking.

THE NEXT LEVEL

Is it really possible that, despite being the best actor for the role, you may not advance to the final rounds of consideration or even get a chance to audition, because your professional skills aren’t on a par with your skills as an actor?

Hate to break it to you, but YES.

It kills me to see actors miss out on opportunities that they have the talent to be a part of right now, simply because they haven’t made the mental switch to PRO. That’s why the idea of this workshop keeps nagging at me. Especially if some of the projects we think may be coming down the pike materialize over the next several months.

And since I’ve got some tools and advice that I think can help you make that leap from amateur to professional or professional to force of nature, I figure why not pass on the information?

Just so everyone understands, though: This is not an acting or auditioning workshop. You won’t be asked to get up and do a cold read or perform a monologue.

I’m going to talk about how to develop the mindset of a professional actor, utilizing simple, proven techniques that I’m very confident will take you to the next level in your acting career.

I’ll cover topics such as:

  • How to evaluate yourself and where you are in your career
  • How to determine what you REALLY want as an actor and set goals accordingly
  • What it means to GO PRO
  • How to develop a strategy for success
  • How to market and brand yourself
  • How to take your career to the next level, whether you’re just starting out or have been acting for years

If you’re already booking all the jobs you can keep up with, you probably don’t need me. You’re already leveraging your acting skills and professionalism into paid gigs. But if you’re like most actors, you’re not doing everything you could be to make that career leap.

THE BUZZ

By the way, I offered just a taste of this material in an online course I taught at over 1500 colleges and universities for more than six years. Here are some of the comments my students made:

“I feel so fortunate to have literally stumbled across this class, never imagining that someone with your extensive experience would be slightly interested in sharing all of this priceless information with others like myself, who simply haven’t had a clue how to start making their dreams become a reality.”

“I have learned so much from this class. The information is so valuable, that I have printed out each lesson and the binder is now a permanent installment to my acting reference books. You are now in the likes of Audition by Michael Shurtleff!”

“Since I’ve started this class, I’ve pushed up my game and have gone on three auditions and have been cast in one, so far. My confidence has really soared because I am armed with good, solid advice. Thank you.”

“This course has given me more information than the past five books I’ve read on ‘making it’ in this business. Your advice is intelligent, well researched (well, you ARE living it!), well written and on and on. How come you haven’t written a book? Never mind, if other actors are in the dark about the acting process/business, then *I* have a better chance, having armed myself with all of this knowledge! THANK YOU!”

I’m no longer offering this course online, but I can tell you that the new material I’m developing is ten times more powerful (I can hardly wait to finish it!). Alas, my book is not yet available, so for now the only place to get this information is at the May 23rd workshop.

PRICELESS TOOLS

Here’s an example of some of the things I hope to send you home with:

  • A blueprint for achieving your acting goals
  • Effective strategies for leveraging time and money, in order to have more of both to devote to your acting career
  • Things you can do TODAY to jump-start your career
  • An understanding of your perceived roadblocks to success and your REAL roadblocks, so you can overcome them
  • Tools to change your mindset from “How can I get them to hire me?” to “How can I create so much value that they’d be crazy not to?”

Hundreds of you have confided to me that your biggest fear is never getting the opportunity to live your dreams; that you need someone with an inside knowledge of the industry to guide you, give you advice and provide you with the tools to success.

GO PRO will be an opportunity to download all this information from my brain directly into yours. After almost two decades living and learning this stuff, I have condensed all the most powerful material, so that you can see results in a much shorter time frame.

I’m looking for actors who are ready to develop the mindset of a pro and the laser-like focus of an Olympic athlete. If that’s you, I’d love to see you there. Space is extremely limited and the next time I offer this workshop, it won’t be in Portland, so hop on the list right away, if you don’t want to miss the boat.

Plan to bring a sack lunch or snack, so we can spend more time working rather than hunting for food. Also bring your headshot and resume (or your closest approximations of them, if you’re a beginner) and a notepad.

I look forward to seeing you!

Lana Veenker

_______________________________________

GO PRO will take place on May 23rd, 2009 at the Portland Acting Studio, 107 SE Washington Street, Portland, OR 97214 (map).

  • The Intermediate/Advanced workshop is from 10:00 to 2:00 pm, including a lunch break.
  • The Beginner workshop is from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm, including a snack break.


The cost of the workshop is $75, payable in advance. You can register online at one of these two links:

Intermediate/Advanced

Beginning

We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. PayPal Express Checkout is also available.

_______________________________________

PS: I would normally charge up to twice as much for this material, but since many of you have written to say that times are tough for you right now, I’m taking your advice and offering the workshop at a highly discounted rate.

I’d rather make it a bargain, so that more of you get the opportunity to learn these tools and apply them to your lives. Hollywood is knocking. Let’s raise the bar and show them what we’ve got.

Level the playing field. Come join us on May 23rd.

MORE BUZZ:

“Thank you, Lana, for confirming what it was that I was feeling about my present marketability and for the priceless advice. What is so satisfying is that I have been provided with unbelievable tools to help me accomplish any goal I set out to conquer. Thank you!”

“Lana, thank you for one of the most exciting, informative courses I have ever taken. You covered so much more information than I expected. You were concise, consistent and funny as well. I was a sponge and I hope I got it all. Thank you for such a dynamic class!”

“This course is beyond words. I’ve learned more here than I have from all classes, workshops, word of mouth, and Yahoo! groups all together. I cannot thank you enough.”

“I took your online course earlier this year and my career has skyrocketed!”

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

New Actor Career Consultation Winner Announced!

by admin

We have another winner in our ongoing career consultation contest!

It’s Alexis M!

Alexis is nine years old and dreams of becoming a major movie star. She writes:

I really love performing and being on set and on stage. I want to learn everything that I can to become a top performer. I want to be on the Disney Channel someday. I did a one-hour solo concert for Radio Disney this summer and loved it! I have written four songs and want to record them. I also am working on putting together a national kids’ talent show to raise money for World Vision. I believe that we (kids who are talent) should help kids who do not have what we do. We have been blessed and we should not just take the money for ourselves. That is why I want to be a movie star and singer.

We’ll be scheduling Alexis’ FREE one-hour career consultation with Lana Veenker in the coming weeks.

If you weren’t around when we first started this contest, take a peek at this post from back in November (although please don’t submit a survey as instructed in this old post; we have a new system in place now).

We have made this an ongoing contest for all new subscribers to our newsletter.

NEW SUBSCRIBERS

If you haven’t yet subscribed to our mailing list (in the top right sidebar of this page), be sure to do so. You’ll receive instructions on how to complete the survey in your Welcome email.

By surveying our mailing list, we’re able to tailor our materials to your needs, to make sure we’re providing exactly the kind of information you want. It also helps us plan where to hold workshops and notify you if one is taking place in your area.

PREVIOUS CONTESTANTS

Even more exciting news is that those who previously submitted surveys will remain in the running for the contest, so there’s no need to complete the survey a second time. You’re still in consideration.

EXISTING SUBSCRIBERS WHO HAVE *NOT* COMPLETED SURVEYS

If you’re a subscriber, but didn’t participate in our original contest, no worries. Just shoot us an email at tools4actors[at]slateplease[dot]com with “Existing Subscriber Survey” in the subject line and we’ll send you instructions on how to complete the survey and be entered into the contest as well.

Once again, congrats to Alexis and her mom (who will be participating in the call)!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Back by Popular Demand: GO PRO Workshop on March 1st

by admin

We’re doing it again!

The last GO PRO workshop in Portland sold out in a record 24 hours, so we’re offering it one more time.

Sign up now for GO PRO on Sunday, March 1st, 2009, because both sessions will fill up fast. In fact, we opened registration yesterday to those who were unable to attend the last round and they’ve already started to reserve their spots.

Once again, there will be two 4-hour sessions, one for Beginners and one for Intermediate/Advanced actors.

NOTE: This is a repeat of the workshop offered in January. If you’ve already taken GO PRO and are interested in a “What’s Next?” type workshop, shoot us an email and let us know!

Also, this workshop is ideal for adults (or parents of child actors wanting to know how to better market their kids). It is not specifically geared towards children, but we will consider mature and serious child actors on a case-by-case basis.

Not in the Portland area? Check out this post if you’d like to attend a GO PRO workshop in a city near you.

(Hop to the bottom if you want to register now)
 

_______________________________________
WILL YOU MISS THE BOAT?

In the coming year, regional actors will audition for Hollywood films in cities all across the country.

    • Some will get cast.

 

  • Others, who may have been perfect for the role, will not be chosen.

 

 

  • Many more will miss the boat entirely.

 

Which group do you think you will you belong to?

Most of you know that I’ve owned a casting company in Oregon for almost 10 years and have worked on a lot of these kinds of films. Before that, I worked as a stage actor, director and producer on three continents. Over this period of time, I’ve learned a few things about what it means to be a professional in the entertainment industry. And, as you may have already figured out, I’m passionate about showing Hollywood that regional actors have got the goods.

But sometimes very talented actors I know blow their chances, because they don’t understand that it takes more than being a good actor to book jobs.

It takes developing the mindset and focus of a pro. It means upping your game, wherever you are in your career. For beginners, this means breaking into what seems like an unbreachable fortress. If you’re already working in film and TV, it means taking your career to the next level and booking the jobs you deserve to be booking.

THE NEXT LEVEL

Is it really possible that, despite being the best actor for the role, you may not advance to the final rounds of consideration or even get a chance to audition, because your professional skills aren’t on a par with your skills as an actor?

Hate to break it to you, but YES.

It kills me to see actors miss out on opportunities that they have the talent to be a part of right now, simply because they haven’t made the mental switch to PRO. That’s why the idea of this workshop keeps nagging at me. Especially if some of the projects we think may be coming down the pike materialize over the next several months.

And since I’ve got some tools and advice that I think can help you make that leap from amateur to professional or professional to force of nature, I figure why not pass on the information?

Just so everyone understands, though: This is not an acting or auditioning workshop. You won’t be asked to get up and do a cold read or perform a monologue.

I’m going to talk about how to develop the mindset of a professional actor, utilizing simple, proven techniques that I’m very confident will take you to the next level in your acting career.

I’ll cover topics such as:

    • How to evaluate yourself and where you are in your career

 

  • How to determine what you REALLY want as an actor and set goals accordingly

 

 

  • What it means to GO PRO

 

 

  • How to develop a strategy for success

 

 

  • How to market and brand yourself

 

 

  • How to take your career to the next level, whether you’re just starting out or have been acting for years

 

If you’re already booking all the jobs you can keep up with, you probably don’t need me. You’re already leveraging your acting skills and professionalism into paid gigs. But if you’re like most actors, you’re not doing everything you could be to make that career leap.

THE BUZZ

By the way, I offered just a taste of this material in an online course (no longer available; check our Workshops page for current offerings) I taught at over 1500 colleges and universities for more than six years. Here are some of the comments my students made:

“I feel so fortunate to have literally stumbled across this class, never imagining that someone with your extensive experience would be slightly interested in sharing all of this priceless information with others like myself, who simply haven’t had a clue how to start making their dreams become a reality.”

“I have learned so much from this class. The information is so valuable, that I have printed out each lesson and the binder is now a permanent installment to my acting reference books. You are now in the likes of Audition by Michael Shurtleff!”

“Since I’ve started this class, I’ve pushed up my game and have gone on three auditions and have been cast in one, so far. My confidence has really soared because I am armed with good, solid advice. Thank you.”

“This course has given me more information than the past five books I’ve read on ‘making it’ in this business. Your advice is intelligent, well researched (well, you ARE living it!), well written and on and on. How come you haven’t written a book? Never mind, if other actors are in the dark about the acting process/business, then *I* have a better chance, having armed myself with all of this knowledge! THANK YOU!”

I’m no longer offering this course online, but I can tell you that the new material I’m developing is ten times more powerful (I can hardly wait to finish it!). Alas, my book is not yet available, so for now the only place to get this information is this Sunday.

PRICELESS TOOLS

Here’s an example of some of the things I hope to send you home with:

    • A blueprint for achieving your acting goals

 

  • Effective strategies for leveraging time and money, in order to have more of both to devote to your acting career

 

 

  • Things you can do TODAY to jump-start your career

 

 

  • An understanding of your perceived roadblocks to success and your REAL roadblocks, so you can overcome them

 

 

  • Tools to change your mindset from “How can I get them to hire me?” to “How can I create so much value that they’d be crazy not to?”

 

Hundreds of you have confided to me that your biggest fear is never getting the opportunity to live your dreams; that you need someone with an inside knowledge of the industry to guide you, give you advice and provide you with the tools to success.

Next Sunday will be an opportunity to download all this information from my brain directly into yours. After almost two decades living and learning this stuff, I have condensed all the most powerful material, so that you can see results in a much shorter time frame.

I’m looking for actors who are ready to develop the mindset of a pro and the laser-like focus of an Olympic athlete. If that’s you, I’d love to see you there. Space is extremely limited and the next time I offer this workshop, it won’t be in Portland, so hop on the list right away, if you don’t want to miss the boat.

Plan to bring a sack lunch or snack, so we can spend more time working rather than hunting for food. Also bring your headshot and resume (or your closest approximations of them, if you’re a beginner) and a notepad.

I look forward to seeing you!

Lana Veenker

____________________________________________________

GO PRO will take place on March 1st, 2009 at the Portland Acting Studio, 107 SE Washington Street, Portland, OR 97214 (map).

    • The Intermediate/Advanced workshop is from 10:00 to 2:00 pm, including a lunch break.

 

  • The Beginner workshop is from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm, including a snack break.

 

 
The cost of the workshop is $75, payable in advance via PayPal.

Payment must be received to hold your spot and is fully refundable until noon on Friday, February 27th.

____________________________________________________

PS: I would normally charge up to twice as much for this material, but since many of you have written to say that times are tough for you right now, I’m taking your advice and offering the workshop at a highly discounted rate.

I’d rather make it a bargain, so that more of you get the opportunity to learn these tools and apply them to your lives. Hollywood is knocking. Let’s raise the bar and show them what we’ve got.

Level the playing field. Come join us on Sunday.

MORE BUZZ:

“Thank you, Lana, for confirming what it was that I was feeling about my present marketability and for the priceless advice. What is so satisfying is that I have been provided with unbelievable tools to help me accomplish any goal I set out to conquer. Thank you!”

“Lana, thank you for one of the most exciting, informative courses I have ever taken. You covered so much more information than I expected. You were concise, consistent and funny as well. I was a sponge and I hope I got it all. Thank you for such a dynamic class!”

“This course is beyond words. I’ve learned more here than I have from all classes, workshops, word of mouth, and Yahoo! groups all together. I cannot thank you enough.”

“I took your online course earlier this year and my career has skyrocketed!”

Friday, February 20, 2009

Next Winner Announced in Actor Survey Contest!

by admin

We have a new winner in the contest for a free actor career consultation:

Congratulations to Jeannine Johnson!

Jeannine is in her third year of college at the age of eighteen. She dreams of being an actor, because she wants to entertain other people, help change their lives and make them happy.

She has already accomplished a lot in her short life: She drives a race car that goes 200 mph in seven seconds(!) and has even met Bill Gates. What impressed us the most about Jeannine was her motivation, her professional acumen, and her ability to overcome obstacles that would easily defeat others with less determination; all traits that will serve an aspiring actor well. She writes:

I’ve achieved a lot of things in my life and I know that by doing things that I never thought I could do have made me feel an overwhelming sense of joy. Not only because I got to do something I thought impossible, but because of the fact that this is my life, right now; and you only have one to live and I want to take chances to make my wildest dreams come true.

Kudos again to Jeannine. We’ll be scheduling her FREE one-hour phone consultation with Lana in the upcoming weeks and will announce our next winner as soon as we can.

____________________________________
By the way, if you weren’t around when we last held this contest, you can take a peek at this post from back in November (although please don’t submit a survey as instructed in this old post; we have a new system in place now).

The exciting news is that we’ve decided to turn this into an ongoing contest for all new subscribers to our newsletter.

NEW SUBSCRIBERS

If you haven’t yet subscribed to our mailing list (in the top right sidebar of this page), be sure to do so. You’ll receive instructions on how to complete the survey in your Welcome email.

By surveying our mailing list, we’re able to tailor our materials to your needs, to make sure we’re providing exactly the kind of information you want. It also helps us plan where to hold workshops and notify you if one is taking place in your area.

PREVIOUS CONTESTANTS

Even more exciting news is that those who previously submitted surveys will remain in the running for the contest, so there’s no need to complete the survey a second time. You’re still in consideration.

EXISTING SUBSCRIBERS WHO HAVE *NOT* COMPLETED SURVEYS

If you’re a subscriber, but didn’t participate in our original contest, no worries. Just shoot us an email at toolsforactors[at]castironstudios[dot]com with “Existing Subscriber Survey” in the subject line and we’ll send you instructions on how to complete the survey and be entered into the contest as well.