Lana’s article, 8 Ways for Kids to Stand Out in a Commercial Audition, recently caught the eye of Backstage.com’s senior web editor, who has approached her to write monthly articles for Backstage’s expert columns.
Look out for Lana’s monthly installments covering everything from auditions to making your own big break.
Coming soon on Backstage.com!
Cast Iron Studios presents a joint workshop with
Casting Directors Paul Weber CSA and Lana Veenker CSA
The Art of the Audition: The Business of the Art
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27 — 10:00AM-4:00PM
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 28 — 10:00AM-4:00PM
SPACE IS LIMITED! REGISTER NOW!
REGISTER WITH PROMOTIONAL CODE “EARLYBIRD” TO RECEIVE A $50 DISCOUNT AND PAY ONLY $250! *A limited quantity of early bird registrations are available for each session, so register now before they run out
Each session is identical. You need only register for one. Day includes a one-hour break for lunch, during which time attendees may walk to nearby eateries or bring a sack lunch to eat on-site. Appropriate for ages 18 and above.
(Ages 14-18 with prior permission; please contact us.)
CAST IRON STUDIOS 1430 SE 3rd Ave, Suite 100 Portland, OR 97214
Lana Veenker, founder of the Northwest’s top casting company, has teamed up with one of Hollywood’s most respected casting directors, Paul Weber, to present a dynamic, practical and highly effective intensive program that will demystify the audition process, and give you the confidence you need to create a memorable audition experience. The Art of the Audition; The Business of the Art offers actors at every level the winning tools that will help you achieve success in the audition room.
The first half of the workshop, Weber and Veenker reveal:
- The Casting Perspective: What casting professionals expect from actors. What key elements are they looking for?
- Why Certain Actors Succeed: Weber and Veenker talk about the actors they’ve worked with and what makes them successful.
- What You MUST Do Right Now: Jump start your career with these valuable tips for self-branding and marketing.
- How Not to Get an Agent: What is the protocol for contacting an agent, manager, or casting director? What are surefire ways never to get one?
- The Headshots & Resumes That Get Noticed Today: The very latest on these crucial tools, and how the digital revolution is transforming the audition process.
The second half of the workshop focuses on the actual audition and involves actors in the process, using scene work to experience and illustrate new techniques:
- The Anatomy of the Audition: What actually happens?
- How to Make the Boldest, Most Effective Choices in the Room.
- The Importance of Listening, Cold Reading Technique and Script Analysis.
- How to Deliver Your Best Read the First Time.
- Why Actors Fail: Common and avoidable mistakes that take actors out of the picture immediately.
ABOUT PAUL WEBER, CSA
As former longtime Executive Head of Television Casting and Feature Film Consultant for MGM Studios, Paul Weber effectively moved between both mediums with ease. For series television, Weber most notably cast the wildly popular Stargate franchise. Other TV credits include Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, She Spies, Poltergeist, Dead Like Me and The Outer Limits. These series and others have garnered numerous honors including 21 Primetime Emmy Award nominations. For the big screen, Weber has advised on numerous MGM features including the blockbuster James Bond franchise, Fame, Zookeeper with Kevin James, Hot Tub Time Machine, Red Dawn with Chris Hemsworth, Joss Whedon’s Cabin in the Woods 3D, and The Machine starring Vin Diesel. Home entertainment credits include Legally Blonde, Picture This with Ashley Tisdale, Into the Blue 2, Wargames, the Species franchise, as well as the Cutting Edge franchise for ABC Family. Mr. Weber is now a fully independent casting director and producer. Busier than ever, he has multiple feature and TV series projects in the works. For over two decades, Mr. Weber’s keen eye for talent and ability to cultivate and sustain lasting relationships within the entertainment community has made him one of the most sought-after experts in his field. As such, Mr. Weber is also frequently tapped to lead cold-reading audition intensives and scene-study workshops worldwide for performers seeking invaluable practical insight that helps demystify the audition process, giving them a critical edge in an extremely competitive industry. Closer to home, he has taught at UCLA as well as led standing-room only acting workshops at the Screen Actors Guild. Mr. Weber is a member of the Casting Society of America, the Writers Guild of America, and served on the Host Committee for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards. A native of Connecticut, he lives in Hollywood.
ABOUT LANA VEENKER, CSA, ICDN
With more than twenty years of experience in the entertainment industry, Lana Veenker’s credits span the globe. Before founding her casting company in 1999, she acted in France, England and Venezuela, lived in India and the West Indies, and helped hire European leads for major studios and networks as part of a London casting office. In the U.S., she has grown Cast Iron Studios into one of the top location casting companies in the country by working with directors such as Gus Van Sant, Robert Benton, Guillermo Arriaga, Catherine Hardwicke, Frank Oz, Tim Robbins and Sean Penn. Past projects include Twilight, Paranoid Park, Gone, Extraordinary Measures, Management, Feast of Love, and many others. Her company’s commercial division has spearheaded countless award-winning projects for brands such as Nike, Apple, Nintendo, Intel, Kellogg’s and Volkswagen, and has worked on major international campaigns everywhere from Shanghai to Santiago. As a member of the International Casting Directors Network and the Casting Society of America, Ms. Veenker maintains strong partnerships worldwide. She speaks French and Spanish, and frequently lectures in the U.S. and abroad, most recently at Prague Film School, The Actors Centre in London, IfiF Productions in Vienna, The Acting Studio in Berlin, Studio Bleu in Paris, and in ports of call from Tonga to Trieste aboard the luxury liner M/V The World. An Oregon native and former expat, her passion is helping actors who live outside Hollywood to succeed.
Please note: This workshop is a learning 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 directors will not be retaining, nor be given access to your headshot, resume or any of your other promotional materials. This workshop and its facilitators adhere to CSA teaching guidelines approved by SAG-AFTRA.
Contact Tools For Actors for event and ticket information.
Exciting things are happening in the robust Central Eastside Industrial District! This past Saturday, Portland Streetcar’s new Central Loop Line began passenger service. With stops all along MLK Jr. Blvd and Grand Avenue, the CL Line is a perfect transportation alternative for anyone visiting our office. Hop off at the corner of MLK Jr. Blvd and SE Hawthorne, then walk one block west to SE 3rd and you’ve arrived!
Backstage.com recently checked in with Lana to find out her top tips for kids going out on commercial auditions.
Read up to make sure your child actor is equipped with the tools for success:
8 Ways for Kids to Stand Out at a Commercial Audition
By Mary Wheeler | Posted Sept. 10, 2012, 4:47 p.m.
Lana Veenker, CSA, ICDN, founder and president of Cast Iron Studios, shares these eight tips on how kids can standout at commercial auditions. Veenker and Cast Iron Studios have been casting commercials for 14 years including everything from small regional spots and PSAs to international campaigns for clients like Nike, Intel, Nintendo, Apple, Colgate, BMW, Ford, and Chrysler.
1. Look like your headshot.
It doesn’t make sense to spend a fortune on kids’ headshots, since they’ll need to be updated frequently. However, it’s crucial that they reflect how the child currently looks. If your child is 9, but his/her photo shows them at 7, they’ll get passed over when we’re looking for nine-year-olds. They’ll also get called in mistakenly when we’re looking for seven-year-olds, which is a waste of everyone’s time. (A headshot photographer once told me, “If you’re getting called in for the wrong jobs, you’re not getting called in for the right ones.”)
What do you think? Feel free to leave us a comment and share this article with other parents!
We recently received a letter notifying us that the Zone G Area Parking Permit Program is expanding for the Central Eastside Industrial District. Nearly half of all on-street parking in the district is unregulated, which results in a significant number of employees from downtown and the Lloyd District parking their vehicles in the Central Eastside during the day to avoid parking costs in downtown and the Lloyd District.
An expanded permit program will increase on-street parking for employees of the district and their patrons by designating more spaces as 2-hour time limits or permit parking. As you can see on the map, the majority of the CEID will now allow permit parking with either 2-hour or 3-hour visitor time limits.
What does this mean for you?
Over the next several months, as the permit area expands, visitors to our office should be paying very close attention to all posted signs, as ticketing will likely ramp up for any violations.
UPDATE! Check out Portland Streetcar’s Central Loop Line for a great transportation alternative.
Many moons ago, when Lana and a few friends were running a small theatre company, she cast a stage actor named Brian Van Flandern in a play she was directing. Not long after, Brian moved to New York City to pursue his acting career.
Within a few years, Brian was making regular appearances on national and international television, jet setting around the world, and hob-nobbing with celebrities.
Not as an actor…but as a world-renowned MIXOLOGIST!
It just goes to show that you never know where your acting career is going to take you. It may sometimes veer off in surprising directions, but ones that may be equally fulfilling, if you embrace them. (Lana herself started off as an actor, then stage director, before falling into a job at a casting company in London. You can read up on that adventure here.)
Both stories are excellent reminders that if you remain open to possibilities and keep an eye out for opportunities, your passions can transform into lucrative endeavors. The key is to identify a deep and narrow niche; in Brian’s case: high-end designer cocktails, Michelin three-star service and a winning stage presence!
Check out some of Brian’s recent TV appearances: