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Friday, March 8, 2019

Exciting news for NW actors on International Women’s Day

by ranielle

In honor of International Women’s Day, Cast Iron Studios is excited to share some great news for Northwest actors!

Cast Iron Studios Incorporates Inclusion Rider

From its yearly Talent Diversity Initiative, to its participation in nationwide casting calls for transgender actors and performers with disabilities, to its commitment to always questioning the way roles are written—in order to create more opportunities for women, LGBTQ performers and others—Cast Iron Studios has long been an advocate for underrepresented performers.

Now, inspired by the work of the Annenberg Institute, Cast Iron Studios is working on incorporating an inclusion rider into its casting deals. “The idea is to challenge ourselves,” said President and Founder Lana Veenker, “as well as the production companies we enter into contract with, to more affirmatively seek opportunities for actors who have been historically underutilized.” 

This inclusion rider will serve as a benchmark for all future projects; celebrating and ensuring the widest possible range of equity, diversity and inclusion. Based in part on the Annenberg Institute’s open-source template, Cast Iron Studios’ rider will also invite clients to make an optional financial contribution towards the Talent Diversity Initiative (TDI), which provides high-quality, intensive actor training to performers of color (and potentially, in the future, to other underrepresented groups) at no cost to the actors.

The goal of the TDI is to create a larger pool of qualified diverse talent for productions to choose from when shooting in the Northwest by removing the financial barrier to high-quality training, opening doors to networking opportunities in the local film and television community, and funneling participants towards bona fide acting coaches, talent agents, managers and casting companies. 

“Graduates frequently go on to book roles in local productions,” said Veenker,” reducing the need for our clients to hire outside of market. By including this provision in our rider, we’re asking clients to not only hire more underrepresented artists today, but to help us build the talent pool of tomorrow; one that more accurately reflects the demographics of the world we live in.”

Roles for Women Hired Locally Increase by 20%

We’re also very happy to report that a recent snapshot of the stats for roles for women cast out of Cast Iron Studios shows an increase in roughly 20% over the past couple of years—and we’re determined and passionate about keeping this momentum going in all areas.

However, there’s still plenty of work to be done, as the stats for women across the board in Film/TV are still pretty dire, both in front of and behind the camera.

According to a recent study by The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, male leads vastly outnumber female leads—71.3% compared to 28.8%—over a ten year span. This means that men’s stories were featured twice as often as women’s stories.

Behind the camera, according to a survey released by the Center for the Study of Women in TV/Film at San Diego State University, “The Celluloid Ceiling” by Martha M. Lauzen, Ph.D., women made up only 20% of all the directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors and cinematographers who worked on the top 250 films in the last year.

In the words of Geena Davis:

“How do we encourage a lot more girls to inspire to lead? By casting droves of women in STEM, politics, law and other professions today in movies.” 

For women, performers of color, LGBTQIA+ performers, and performers with disabilities, here’s to (cast) ironing out the gaps!

Happy International Women’s Day!

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.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Open Call for Performers with Disabilities

by admin

and

present an

OPEN CALL FOR PERFORMERS WITH DISABILITIES

On Sunday, January 7, 2018, CSA members across the country are making themselves available to union and non-union performers with disabilities. Professionally-trained actors with disabilities, and those actively pursuing careers in the arts are encouraged to attend. Artists will be given an opportunity to perform a prepared scene of their choice in front of a panel of professional casting directors. The open call will offer actors the opportunity to work with casting directors who are looking to expand their knowledge of underrepresented and undiscovered talent in a professional casting environment.

Artists will be given an opportunity to perform a 2-page, prepared scene of their choice in front of a panel of CSA casting directors.

BOOK YOUR SPACE NOW – TIME SLOTS WILL GO FAST!

DATE: Sunday, January 7, 2018

TIME: 10.00am – 1.00pm

(An ASL Interpreter will be made available between 10.00am – 12.00pm.)

For more information and to sign up at PORTLAND, OR:

CLICK HERE

UPDATE 1/3/18 4:00PM — All audition slots are now full. Click the link above to send us your information to be notified about future PWD casting calls.

For other locations (including, but not limited to, Los Angeles, CA, New York, NY, Chicago, IL, Albuquerque, NM, Berkeley, CA, St. Louis, MO, Eagle, ID, Bountiful, UT [Saturday, January 6th], Richmond, VA, and Atlanta, GA), please check the CSA Inclusion and Diversity Facebook page for updates and times.

Questions, or if you’re in a location where a CSA office isn’t available?

Please email: CSAInclusionandDiversity@gmail.com

Special thanks to: SAG-AFTRA Equal Employment Opportunity & Diversity Department, NBCUniversal Talent Infusion Programs, Paramount Pictures, KMR Diversity Department, Christine Bruno, Eco Cast, The Deaf West Theater, RespectAbility, Lights! Camera! Access! 2.0, and The Ruderman Family Foundation.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

CSA Open Call for Transgender Actors a Global Success

by ranielle

On Sunday, October 22, 2017, 45 CSA members saw approximately 500 underrepresented transgender actors (including non-binary, gender non-conforming and genderqueer actors) in 12 locations across 5 countries.

PORTLAND TEAM (L to R): Ranielle Gray, Casting Associate CSA and Eryn Goodman, Casting Director CSA.

We here at Cast Iron Studios are grateful for the opportunity to partner with CSA and the CSA Inclusion & Diversity Committee for this landmark open call.

Participating talent, Jamila Loubriel. (Photo provided by talent, with permission.)

The day was a big success and we were excited to meet a new pool of up-and-coming actors.

Participating talent, Denise Chanterelle DuBois (Photo by James Westby; used with permission)

We look forward to doing it again next year. Many thanks to everyone who turned out, and here’s to more equity and diversity on screen!

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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Open Call for Transgender Actors

by admin

Cast Iron Studios teams with the Casting Society of America to hold open casting call for transgender actors on Sunday, October 22, 2017


Update: Barring any cancellations, all spots are currently full. Please join our mailing list, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay in the loop about future casting calls and general auditions. You are also invited to join us at our upcoming Meals for Monologues food drive and open casting call, benefiting the Oregon Food Bank on November 28th, 2017. All are welcome!

On Sunday, October 22, 2017, Cast Iron Studios, along with CSA members around the world, will be opening their offices to union and non-union transgender actors (including non-binary, gender non-conforming and genderqueer actors). Artists who are professionally trained as well as those actively pursuing professional careers as performers are welcome to attend. Artists will be given an opportunity to do a prepared scene in front of a panel of professional casting directors.

The open call will offer underrepresented actors the opportunity of auditioning in a professional environment, while introducing casting directors to undiscovered gems and a pool of talent who, with the right training, could become the next generation of diverse film and television stars.

To register, please follow this link.

Things to know:

  • As a limited number of spots are available, please only register if you have previously taken acting classes and/or have performed professionally (on stage or on camera).
  • If you are represented by a Northwest talent agent and already known to our office, we encourage you to leave these spaces open to new and unrepped actors. You are welcome to submit a self-taped audition to us instead. Please contact us via your agent to make arrangements.
  • Your scene should be 1-2 minutes long and ideally be a dialogue between two people. You can bring your own reader, or an extra set of pages and one of our staff will read with you.
  • You’re welcome to use one of our sample audition sides or choose your own. Pick a scene that best represents you and your ability.
  • If using our sample sides, please prepare only the lines of the character whose name appears at the top of the page; the off-camera reader will read all of the other characters. You may disregard character descriptions and change gender identifiers as you see fit. Be sure to bring an extra copy for the reader, if you’ve made any changes to the dialogue.
  • NOTE: Participants will be required to sign a basic release allowing CSA members to view and internally distribute scenes.
  • If you can no longer attend, please be sure to cancel your audition via the registration link, so that others are able to participate.

To register, please follow this link.

Please help us spread the word about this opportunity!

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Another Successful Year for the NW Talent Diversity Initiative

by Georgia Luke

It’s a wrap!

On November 12th, the 2016 Talent Diversity Initiative students completed their six-week program with a reception at Cast Iron Studios.
Our 32 first-year students were joined by a group of 16 intermediate students who were able to come back for more training, thanks to the support and generosity of the Portland Film Office and the Governor’s Office of Film and Television.
tdi-class-a
The need for more diverse actors in shows like The Librarians and Grimm is what led to the creation of the Initiative in 2015.
Turner Network Television, whose series The Librarians shoots in Portland, has been a primary financial partner in the project both years, thanks to their Manager of Casting, Alexis Booth.
Additional support was provided by Milagro Theatre, The August Wilson Red Door Project and Artists Repertory Theatre.
tdi-class-b
The TDI has been lucky enough to provide excellent coaching by some of Portland’s best: Scott Rogers of Scott Rogers Studios and Jana Lee Hamblin of Act Now Studio returned this year to teach our intermediate program. Kristina Haddad of The Actor’s Lab Portland, and Ben Newman of Portland Actors Conservatory came on board in 2016 to work with our first-year students.
Their passion and enthusiasm was contagious, which really helped spark the desire to succeed in their students. Ben recently wrote:

“Being asked to teach–anything really–but especially something I’ve spent the majority of my life pursuing, is the greatest affirmation one can hope for. Empowering ‘young’ actors to reach full potential has quickly become the most rewarding thing in my life over the past few years. This group was no exception. Humility is key, but I’d venture to say that a few of these people had some big moments of self discovery. It also seems like they made some new and important friendships.”

As part of the application process, the nominees were able to list what specific things they felt they needed to work on in order to become more successful. Acting on camera, audition jitters, memorizing lines and taking direction are just a few examples of skills that they wanted to work on. Coaches Ben Newman and Kristina Haddad took this list into consideration when they planned their classes.
lv-at-tdi
The first-year program culminated on Saturday with mock auditions, two break-out sessions on special skills by Fight Choreographer Kendall Wells and Dialect Coach Mary MacDonald-Lewis, a Q&A with the Cast Iron Studios team, plus special guest speaker Norberto Barba, Director and Executive Producer on five seasons of Grimm. Norberto serves on the DGA Diversity Committee, as well as their Latino Committee and Creative Rights Committee, and shared invaluable information with our graduates.
screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-5-03-07-pm
The second-year students joined our first-year students at a post-graduation reception at CIS.

party

Cast Iron Studios is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive talent pool in the Northwest, and wants to thank all of its generous sponsors. We would love to see this program expand and flourish in the coming years, perhaps one day becoming its own entity!
PS: Check out our full photo gallery here, courtesy of NebCat Photography.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Cast Iron Studios, TNT & Film Offices team up to repeat Talent Diversity Initiative

by Georgia Luke

Last year, Cast Iron Studios and TNT–along with Act Now Studio and Scott Rogers Studios–hosted the first Northwest Talent Diversity Initiative. The 36-hour intensive acting course gave 32 performers of color the opportunity to hone their chops with two of Portland’s finest acting coaches and a myriad of guest speakers, at no cost to the actors.

Within weeks of graduation, the Class of 2015 began reporting an increase in their callback and booking rates on film, television, web and commercial projects. Cast Iron Studios therefore set out to repeat the initiative this year.

TNT agreed to return as the program’s main financial partner, thanks to Manager of Casting Alexis Booth, allowing Cast Iron Studios to send 32 new actors through the intensive this fall.

tdi-class-of-2016

Acting coaches Kristina Haddad of the Actor’s Lab, and Ben Newman of Portland Actors Conservatory–both experienced performers in their own right–will be leading two classes composed of 16 actors each.

The success of the program also garnered the attention of the Portland Film Office and the Governor’s Office of Film and Television, who both stepped up to provide additional funding to bring last year’s graduates back for an intermediate class. Sixteen students will be returning this fall to undertake 36 more hours of training, under the tutelage of coaches Jana Lee Hamblin and Scott Rogers.

tdi-intermediate-class-of-2016

 

Participating actors were nominated by their agents as committed and talented individuals who would benefit from the initiative.

In-kind sponsors this year include The August Wilson Red Door Project, Artists Repertory Theatre and Teatro Milagro, without whose assistance this initiative would not be possible.

 

 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

USA Today looks at diversity in Hollywood

by Georgia Luke

In February, USA Today’s Maria Puente reached out to Lana Veenker, among others, on the subject of diversity in the entertainment industry. Check out the state of affairs:

No A’s for effort on H’wood’s diversity report card

It’s too late for 2015 — we already know that all the Academy Awards for acting are going to a white person. But what about next year — will Hollywood’s slate of 2016 movies result in the third year in a row of #OscarsSoWhite?

With what we know so far, it doesn’t look good, according to USA TODAY’s diversity report card.

There will almost certainly be last-minute changes or delays, or movies that get picked up later in the year at film festivals such as Cannes and Toronto. Who knows if a Precious or a Beasts of No Nation will suddenly appear and acquire all-important Oscar buzz? The picture can and likely will shift somewhat.

But for now, looking at the 184 movies officially announced for release this year by 14 studios (each rolling out as many as 20 movies or as few as seven), the Academy Awards next year may be just as pale and male as this year.

Our analysis doesn’t assess the Oscar viability of 2016’s forthcoming movies. But it shows a discernible lack of minority and female faces in major roles and among the directors of the films being released between January and December 2016. In fact, there’s a striking number of movies in which there are only white faces.

No one makes the grade

In USA TODAY’s report card for the coming year in the film industry, almost every studio deserves reprimand. But since we’re grading on a curve, we’ve given credit to studios trying hard for a C, and four studios earned the highest grade of B.

  • Of the studios with more than 12 movies, Sony rated the highest, with a slate of 17 new movies that tallied to a final grade of B.
  • Paramount had the lowest grade, receiving an F for 14 movies.
  • Of the studios with 12 or fewer movies, Sony Pictures Classics, STX (each with nine movies) and Weinstein (12) earned a B.
  • The lowest grade among these studios went to Open Road, which received a D-  for seven movies.

“Hollywood has been whitewashed, in front of the cameras and behind, from casting to writing to producers to actors,” says Jeetendr Sehdev, a professor at the University of Southern California who has researched the challenges in improving diversity in the film industry.

It may not be deliberate but thoughtless, says Casting Director Lana Veenker of Cast Iron Studios in Portland, Ore., who recently cast supporting roles in Reese Witherspoon’s Oscar-nominated Wild and also casts for TV shows such as NBC’s Grimm, CW’s Significant Mother and TNT’s The Librarians.

“The huge majority of roles I get asked to cast are for men, and when we have conversations with directors or producers, I always ask them, ‘Couldn’t this role be played by a woman?'” she says. “And when it’s brought to their attention, they often respond, ‘Oh, yeah, why didn’t we think of that?'”

Full Story and Video

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

KPTV covers Talent Diversity Initiative Graduation at Cast Iron Studios

by ranielle

On Saturday, November 21st, the 32 actors from our Class of 2015 Talent Diversity Initiative graduated at Cast Iron Studios.

The fun-filled day featured mock auditions, a Q&A with the team at CIS, and guest speakers Mary McDonald-Lewis (dialect coach), Kendall Wells (fight choreographer and instructor), and Grimm Executive Producer Norberto Barba.

The celebration ended with a press reception, with guests including Mayor and First Lady Hales, Representative Lew Frederick, Portland Development Commission’s Brian Lord, Portland City Council candidate Fred Stewart and many others.

We had a blast producing this Initiative, along with our partners at TNT, Act Now Studio and Scott Rogers Studios. Here’s to making it a yearly event!
KPTV – FOX 12

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

XRAY FM’s Jenn Chavez covers the Talent Diversity Initiative

by ranielle

xrayfm

Lana Veenker, the President of Cast Iron Studios, discusses diversity in Oregon film and television casting and her studio’s Talent Diversity Initiative with Jenn Chavez of XRAY FM’s The Five Quadrants of Portland. Running through October and November and culminating in a graduation on November 21st, the Initiative offered intensive acting training and coaching at no cost to Oregon actors of color, whom she’s found have been underrepresented in the top acting schools and acting classes, places that are often the gateway to talent representation and introduction to casting directors.  She argues that these and other barriers faced by actors of color can make diverse casting in Oregon a challenge, and hopes that graduates of the initiative are provided with the tools and confidence to book roles in regional film and television.

(Interview on 11/19/15; story starts at ~51:13)

 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Talent Diversity Initiative Coach: Jana Lee Hamblin

by Kelsey Norene

Meet our Talent Diversity Initiative Class of 2015 acting coach, Jana Lee Hamblin, owner/founder of Act Now Studio.

Jana Lee Hamblin 2Jana brings 20 years of experience, along with a true love of acting to create an environment for the actors that is wildly safe and groundbreaking. Her commitment to each student builds confidence and trust in the simplest of ways. Her ability to see each actor with clarity and love is what makes her classes unique.

Jana is known to be the person that can work with actors at all levels. As a working actor herself, Jana stays current with what is happening in the audition room now. She’s teaching our Talent Diversity Initiative actors how to walk into a casting office and to be of service – to the character, to the scene, to the director, to the moment.

From script analysis to finding the way the writer wants the text to be spoken, Jana is teaching our actors tools that are guaranteed help them to go from audition, to callback, to booked it! Using various techniques, her goal is to help our TDI actors get to the place where they can seamlessly fulfill a role; be it co-star or guest star.

Jana is high energy, engages with the actors, helps them connect with each other, and encourages everyone to get on their feet and be willing to fall on their face. She does repetition warm ups, cold reading exercises, on camera slates, mock auditions, and physical workouts that keep the actors bodies energized. She is helping our TDI actors learn how to have a strong point of view about the world around them, as this is one of the essential keys to good audition work!

Thanks, Jana, for your commitment to our program and to the community!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Talent Diversity Initiative Coach: Scott Rogers

by Kelsey Norene

Meet our Talent Diversity Initiative Class of 2015 acting coach, Scott Rogers of Scott Rogers Studios!

scott-rogersScott served as Acting Coach for 20th Century Fox Studios under a 3-year, exclusive contract, coaching actors for film and television projects. Scott has coached principal actors, for more than 3000 hours on the sets of motion pictures and national television shows. He has produced, cast, and/or directed more than 100 professional productions and written, directed, and produced dozens of TV commercials. He was the full-time, on-set, Acting Coach for the TV series North Shore and was previously the full-time Acting Coach for the hit TV show Baywatch. In 1994, after living and working in Los Angeles for more than 25 years, Scott moved to Hawai`i with his wife, Jeanne, in order to raise their (soon to be) two children in a safe and sane environment. They opened their school in 2000, to train actors for film and television. Scott has extended his school’s teaching to Portland, Oregon and serves as an acting coach in both regions!

Scott is using exercises from all around the world to help our Talent Diversity Initiative actors work more efficiently on camera and develop a deeper understanding of how to get from a page in a script to a real and captivating character that draws the audience in. Pulling from the teachings of masters such as Constantine Stanislavski, Lee Strasberg, Sanford Meisner, and Michael Chekhov, Scott uses text analysis, scene study, audition drills, camera exercises, specially designed improvisations, physical and imagination exercises to give actors the ability to trigger real and truthful emotions on demand.

His students are about halfway through the training program now, and we can’t wait to see how their skills have improved.

For more information about Scott and his acting classes, check out his website. Thanks, Scott, for being a part of our Initiative!

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.

Monday, October 19, 2015

NW Talent Diversity Initiative on More Good Day Oregon!

by admin

Stephanie Kralevich stopped by our studios recently to interview students from our Northwest Talent Diversity Initiative Class of 2015!

Stephanie KralevichBe sure to tune into More Good Day Oregon on KPTV/Fox 12 this Tuesday, October 20th, 2015 at 9:00 AM.

We are the lead story, so don’t be late!

Please spread the word!

 

 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Cast Iron Studios, Acting Coaches Host Talent Diversity Initiative

by admin

32 Northwest Performers Selected to Complete 36-Hour Actor Training Intensive for Film & Television

For Immediate Release
October 10, 2015

(PORTLAND, OR) Thirty-two Northwest actors have been chosen to complete a six-week intensive training program, as part of a new Talent Diversity Initiative to take place this fall in Portland. The program is being produced by Cast Iron Studios, in partnership with Act Now Studio and Scott Rogers Studios, and will be sponsored by TNT.

Diversity Initiative Class Photo 2015 Small
“We realized that we shared a common goal,” said Casting Director Lana Veenker, president of Portland-based Cast Iron Studios, a film and television casting company, “in that we all want to see more diversity represented in the projects that shoot in the Northwest.”

This can be challenging, however, in a city with the notorious distinction of being the “whitest city in America.” “On every commercial, series and film that we cast, producers, directors and executives are always telling us, ‘more diversity, more diversity.’ And believe me, we bend over backwards, but it can be really hard here.”

Veenker understood that the issue was not one of talent or even numbers, but of opportunity and access. “Actors of color are underrepresented in the top acting schools and acting classes, places that are often the gateway to talent representation and introduction to casting directors. And when they are not able to train at the highest level, it becomes even more difficult to compete and to succeed.”

The reasons behind this disparity are as varied as the individuals affected by it: Economic hardship, work or familial duties, cultural stigma, language barriers, lack of support by immediate family, even a perception that there’s no place in the industry for actors of color or their stories.

“We thought, ‘the one thing we can do is remove one of those barriers,’” said Veenker. “Let’s find a way to put a pool of actors through an intensive training program at no charge, and get them to a place where they can be booking roles more consistently. It will benefit all of us.”

Veenker approached Alexis Booth, Manager of Casting at TNT. Cast Iron Studios has had a long relationship with the network, after casting four seasons of Leverage, two seasons of The Librarians and a few TV pilots. Her goal was to see if they would underwrite the program. She also approached known Portland acting coaches Jana Lee Hamblin of Act Now Studio and Scott Rogers of Scott Rogers Studios, to ask if they would provide the bulk of the training. The response was enthusiastic from all camps.

Cast Iron Studios next petitioned Northwest talent agents to nominate actors they felt could most benefit from the program. “We wanted performers who had already been vetted as having talent and a strong commitment to their craft,” said Veenker. “And then we wanted to give them that extra boost; some high-level coaching that will help them close the deal in the audition room. These are already actors in whom we have a lot of faith. Now we want to see them crossing the goal line.”

Beginning on October 10th, two classes of 16 actors each will hone their skills by working closely with coaches Hamblin and Rogers over five 6-hour-long sessions. On November 21st, the course will culminate in a mock audition session and Q&A at Cast Iron Studios, with members of its casting team, followed by a media reception. “Over the coming year, we’ll hopefully start seeing our Class of 2015 on big and small screens nationwide. That’s the goal,” said Veenker.