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Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Secret to Guaranteed Success

by admin

Read up as Lana offers a New Year’s gift to readers in her latest Backstage Expert installment:

The Secret to Guaranteed Success


The Secret to Guaranteed Success

Backstage.com | By Lana Veenker | Posted Dec. 27, 2012, noon

A most cherished holiday tradition has formed among my friends—my inner circle, my Mastermind group—in which we come together to talk about the year that has past and the year yet to come.

As creatives lacking the structure of a nine-to-five job or a boss to tell us what to do, we need friends and advisors to keep us focused on our objectives and moving daily towards their realization.

Napoleon Hill, author of “Think and Grow Rich,” defined a Mastermind group as “two or more people who work in perfect harmony for the attainment of a definite purpose.” He claimed you could accomplish more with your Mastermind partners in a single year than in an entire lifetime of your own efforts. I have found this to be true.

Our group previously gathered each New Year’s Eve. In recent years, we’ve chosen December 21st (the solstice) instead, to better accommodate everyone’s holiday plans.

Before tackling our resolutions, we reflect on the previous twelve months. At first, everyone feels they fell short of their ambitions, particularly the loftier ones. Why didn’t I write that book I’d been talking about? How come we’re not rolling in dough like we thought we’d be?

When assessing last year’s goals, however, we often find that three quarters of them did get accomplished! Of the remaining quarter, a handful are no longer relevant, and the rest too ambitious for a single jaunt around the sun, although usually steps were made in the right direction.

Next, we list all other achievements for the year and read them back to each other. Only then can we get a clear picture of our successes and identify areas lacking in effort (areas typically surrounding the midriff and thighs).

Inventory complete, we tackle dreams for the coming year, detailing them under headings like Business, Creative, Home, and Personal. We work individually for a block of time, then read our goals back to each other. We discuss, debate, fine-tune and encourage. We highlight the five most important ones. We make clear and definite plans.

Often, a pattern emerges and we’re able to assign a theme for the entire year. We assign a single word or phrase gathering all our aspirations into one package, such as “Reinvention,” “Prosperity,” “Go Huge!” This helps in the decision-making process throughout the new year, as we weigh choices against the litmus test of our key word. Does this path represent Reinvention or more of the same?

Our meetings include exercises and recitations to jog creativity and hone our focus. We’ve relied on classics such as Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” and Steven Pressfield’s “The War of Art,” as well as books on leadership, business and relationships. Anything that inspires us.

The key is to stretch the meeting out with no time constraints, ensuring all avenues are explored and everyone has a chance to participate. We may (and do) have mini-Masterminds throughout the year to stay on target, but our solstice gathering is long and luxurious, involving tea or wine, candles, and music. Phones are off and all focus is on each other’s success and happiness.

It’s our annual ritual and the greatest gift to ourselves. And now, it’s my holiday gift to you. All the best in the New Year.

Link to original article.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

We Provide Leverage: “The Long Goodbye Job”

by ranielle

A special gift, just for you!  Don’t miss these Pacific Northwest actors in the season 5 finale of “Leverage“, tonight at 10PM on TNT.

Top Row (L-R): Paul Root, Aaron Blakely. Bottom Row (L-R): Don Stewart Burns, Hillarie Putnam, Matt Barnett.
Top Row (L-R): Gretchen Treser, Ben Gonio. Bottom Row (L-R): Steven Beckingham, Matt Dotson.

 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

2nd Annual Meals for Monologues Post-Game

by admin

Our 2nd annual Meals for Monologues event on Wednesday, December 5, was a rousing success!  Actors from all over the Pacific Northwest joined the effort and the results were amazing.

After nine hours of open call auditions, Casting Directors Lana Veenker and Eryn Goodman saw nearly 200 actors perform 2-minute monologues and Cast Iron Studios collected 760 pounds of food for the Oregon Food Bank.  Veenker and Goodman were joined throughout the day by local talent agents.

Catch this clip from when KGW dropped by our offices (there’s a delay after clicking play, but it does eventually kick in):

KGW Visits Meals for Monologues

We are thrilled once again at the tremendous community response and we look forward to next year’s Meals for Monologues event.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

We Provide Leverage: “The Toy Job”

by ranielle

Don’t miss these Pacific Northwest actors in an all new episode of “Leverage“, tonight at 10PM on TNT.

Top Row (L-R): Riley Donahue, Rodney Hicks, Matt Barnett. Bottom Row (L-R): Khanh Doan, Nicole McCullough, Karen Charnell, Nina Hambleton.
Friday, December 7, 2012

6 Real Auditions Gone Horribly Wrong

by admin

My latest Backstage Expert column is whipping up a firestorm in comments on the Backstage website!

I knew I was writing it with a cheekier tone than my norm, but some feel it comes across as offensive. Have a read and see what you think:

6 Real Auditions Gone Horribly Wrong

Casting Director Lana Veenker reveals disastrous actor choices in the audition room…and what to do instead.

By Lana Veenker | Dec. 6, 2012

1. Kissing the client is never okay.

  • Situation: The actor insisted on kissing my hand—even when I tried to pull away—then grabbed my producer’s hand and slobbered on hers, too!
  • Thought Process: The actor thought it would make him memorable. It did…for all the wrong reasons.
  • Why it didn’t work: Germs! Eww!
  • What to do instead: Enter, wave a quick hello, and find your mark. If we make a move to shake hands, great. Otherwise, assume we are germaphobic and don’t want your clammy hand in ours.

Link to full article.

There’s at least one actor who gets my obscure sense of humor, having posted on her Facebook that “There should be a Portlandia skit that rolls all six of these into one disastrously wonderful audition fail.”

YES! Exactly!

Now imagine Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein in an audition room, and reread the article. Still offensive?

More importantly, are you likely to ever make these mistakes yourself, now that you’ve read about them?

What do you think: Should I stick to my usual warm and fuzzy ways, or kick up some dust from time to time? What’s the more effective approach, from a learning standpoint?

Let me hear your thoughts in the comments below.

~Lana

 

PS: Oh, and Backstage inexplicably changed “he” to “they” in example #4. The sentence should read: “The director told me he didn’t have enough time left on Earth to risk having his ear talked off on set.”

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

We Provide Leverage: “The Low Low Price Job”

by ranielle

The scheme team is back!  Don’t miss these Pacific Northwest actors in an all new episode of “Leverage“, tonight at 10PM on TNT.

Top Row (L-R): Tierra Valentine, Rod Pilloud, Ryan Stathos. Bottom Row (L-R): Michael Jaffe, Matt Barnett, Karl Holzheimer.
L-R: Dominic Cicero, Bryar Freed-Golden, Jerry Bell, Charles Wall.
Monday, November 26, 2012

2nd Annual Meals for Monologues

by ranielle

It’s that time of year again!  We here at Cast Iron Studios are firm believers in giving back, especially during the holiday season.  Inspired by Claire Simon, CSA, in Chicago, and bolstered by last year’s successful inaugural event we’re happy to announce our second annual “Meals for Monologues” canned food drive-slash-holiday potluck.

Meals for Monologues
Food Drive Benefiting

&
Holiday Meet-n-Greet Potluck
with

Wednesday, December 5, 2012
10:00 AM to 6:00 PM*

1430 SE 3rd Ave, Suite 100
Portland, OR 97214

3 NON-PERISHABLES GET YOU SEEN BY A CASTING DIRECTOR

Actors from far and wide, you’re invited to come to our offices for an open general audition call, where you can be seen by a casting director in exchange for three** non-perishable food items benefiting the Oregon Food Bank.

  • Bring a HEADSHOT and RESUME (stapled back-to-back or resume printed on back of photo)
  • Perform a short, prepared monologue (or two!) of your own choosing.
  • Choose a contemporary piece (we just don’t cast much Shakespeare).
  • Audition slots are 2 MINUTES MAX, so make the best use of your time!
  • No appointment necessary.  No phone calls.  One day only.  First come, first served.

HOLIDAY MEET-N-GREET POTLUCK

Before or after you read for one of our casting directors—or even if you’re not auditioning and just want to say hi—feel free to bring an appetizer, potluck dish or dessert treat and have a bite at this unique holiday party & open house.

If you’re a regular at our office, please consider leaving the audition spots open for others and simply come for the party. We’d love to see you!

*No auditions will take place 12PM-12:30PM or 4PM-4:30PM to give Casting Directors a short break to stretch, eat, and say hello outside of the studio.

**We’re looking to beat last year’s 800+ lbs of food collected, so we’ve upped our requested donation from 2 items to 3.  Let’s make this year even bigger than the last!

Spread the word!  You can join our event on Facebook.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Lana’s Top 5 Audition Tips in 1859 Oregon’s Magazine

by admin

You may have spotted Lana in the November/December print edition of 1859 Oregon’s Magazine, talking about five things she looks for in an audition.

Here’s a scan, if you missed it. Click the thumbnail to view a larger version.

Here’s a link to the web version.

*A few small corrections: Lana worked as an actress in France, England and Venezuela. She worked in casting in England and spent a year on the back of a motorcycle in India. Cast Iron Studios is a casting and production development company, not a talent development agency.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Medford and Bend Actors Go Pro!

by admin

Lana just got back from her Oregon regional tour, where she worked with actors from Medford and Bend on audition technique and the business of acting.

Many thanks to Teresa Pollman and IMD in Medford, and Derek Sitter and The Actors’ Realm in Bend for hosting!

We can’t wait to do it again!

Washington actors: stay tuned. It looks like a Tools for Actors regional tour may be in the cards for your neck of the woods.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thank Grimm It’s Friday: “To Protect and Serve Man”

by ranielle

Don’t miss these Pacific Northwest actors on an all new episode of “Grimm“, tonight at 9PM on NBC.

Top Row (L-R): Max Masin, Beth Harper, Bill Geisslinger. Center Row (L-R): Nahanni Arntzen, Bradley Goodwill, Pierre Brulatour. Bottom Row (L-R): Zach Myers, Ken Ballenger, Patrick Oury.
Thursday, November 8, 2012

Casting Director Lana Veenker to Teach Bend Actors How to Go Pro

by ranielle

Lana is making a rare tour of Southern & Central Oregon in the coming days, stopping in Bend next week to teach one of her popular Tools For Actors workshops.

Casting Director Lana Veenker to Teach Bend Actors How to Go Pro

Posted Nov. 6, 2012

Location casting director of films such as Twilight, Management, Untraceable and Feast of Love brings her successful business-of-acting workshop to Bend November 13.

Casting Director Lana Veenker will teach at Volcanic Theatre Pub. Veenker is the owner of Cast Iron Studios, one of the most successful location casting companies in North America and, over the past decade, has built a career helping actors outside Hollywood break into the business.

She offers Go Pro and Auditioning for TV & Film in regional markets across the country to help actors learn what they need to do to make themselves attractive commodities in their hometowns and beyond.

Link to full article.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Open Casting Call for Choir Singers

by ranielle

We have client looking for ethnically diverse adult choir singers for a non-union television commercial for a tax software company.

Looking to cast eight experienced singers, age 18-60, who can to work well with singers they have just met.  It is secular choir music, but all are welcome!  Must be 18 to audition.  No minors, please.

If you are interested and available for the callback and shoot dates (see below), please attend our open casting call on Monday, November 12, 2012 from 10:00AM to 4:00PM.

OPEN CASTING CALL: 11/12/12, 10AM-4PM
OPEN CASTING CALL LOCATION: Cast Iron Studios, 1430 SE 3rd Ave, Suite 100, Portland, OR 97214

No appointment necessary.  Just show up on Monday within the designated time frame.

Choirs are encouraged to attend as groups, whenever possible.

CALLBACKS: 11/15/12
SHOOT DATES: 3 days TBD, between 11/19/12-11/30/12
SHOOT LOCATION: Portland, OR and surrounding areas
RATE: $500/day, for two shoot days and one studio (recording) day ($1500 total)

**These are the only roles available at this time. Please no calls or drop-by visits regarding anything other than the advertised casting call.**

Friday, November 2, 2012

Thank Grimm It’s Friday: “The Hour of Death”

by ranielle

Don’t miss these Pacific Northwest actors on an all new episode of “Grimm“, tonight at 9PM on NBC.  And tune in to NBC at 8PM for Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together, a benefit concert for relief efforts.

L-R: Robert Blanche, Danny Bruno.
Top Row (L-R): Michael Patten, Sapphire Lichelle, Shelley B. Shelley, Gary Gatewood. Bottom Row (L-R): Christian Lagadec, Anneke Wisner, Glen Baggerly, Susan Hess Logeais.

 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Workshops with Lana Veenker in Medford and Bend

by admin

After her successful joint workshop with Paul Weber in October, Casting Director Lana Veenker is hitting the road to work with actors in Southern and Central Oregon.

On Saturday, November 10, 2012, she will be in Medford and on Tuesday, November 13, 2012, she will be in Bend.

(Two additional sessions, originally scheduled for the 11th and 12th, have been canceled, due to a scheduling conflict.)

 

For more information and to register, please visit these links:

 

 

 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Thank Grimm It’s Friday: “La Llorona”

by ranielle

Don’t miss these Pacific Northwest actors on an all new episode of “Grimm“, tonight at 9PM on NBC.  (And tune in at 8PM to check out the Munsters in NBC’s special Halloween event, “Mockingbird Lane“!)

Top Row (L-R): Robert Blanche, Olga Grovic, Enrique Andrade. Bottom Row (L-R): Isidora Geranios, Anna Ostrem, Marceleno Dumaoal.
Top Row (L-R): Bryce Walters, Dietrich Burmester, Jonah Kellams. Bottom Row (L-R): Tirzah Vest, Isaiah Espinosa, Mackie Mallison.
L-R: Hannah Barefoot, Ethan Rogers, Dre Slaman.

 

 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Revealing spoilers: A good way to end your acting career

by admin

In April of 2011, aspiring actress and Glee extra Nicole Crowther tweeted a spoiler about the season finale of the hit Fox series to her followers on Twitter:

Her revelation of the identities of the show’s prom queen and king evoked the rage of Glee fans worldwide, as well as the show’s co-creator Brad Falchuck, who lashed out at her with this response:

In the face of such a massive faux pas and its aftermath (Nicole was fired from her extras agency and even received death threats from fans), it appeared that her acting career was over.

After learning of her story, however, Jeff Probst of Survivor fame decided to give Nicole a second chance. He invited her to appear as a guest on his new nationally-syndicated daytime talk show, The Jeff Probst Show this fall.

After a segment in which they discuss the far-reaching effects of oversharing on social media (and whether or not she has learned from her mistake), Jeff invited Nicole on an “Ambush Adventure,” giving her the opportunity to audition for a role on NBC’s Grimm with Casting Director Lana Veenker on national television. Talk about an actor’s nightmare!

Watch here to see what happens:

DISCLAIMER:

Not everyone gets a second chance after an error in judgment of this magnitude, and it should be mentioned that revealing confidential information about a show you’ve been cast on can irrevocably damage your career and your professional relationships.

Because of problems we’ve had in the past with actors posting spoilers on their Facebook pages and other social media platforms, we now require all talent booked through our office to sign a non-disclosure agreement, even prior to the one they receive on set with their contract.

This is because excited actors, rushing to share the news of their bookings with family and friends, often include plot points and character descriptions, which must remain absolutely confidential until the episode airs or the film is released.

If in doubt about what you can reveal, ASK. Or to be safest, keep the information to yourself.

Has someone ever given you a second chance in the entertainment business after you made a big mistake? Share your story in the comments.