Oregon film and media types tackle talent diversity issues

(Thanks to the PBJ for this article on our training program!)

Portland Business Journal
October 12, 2015
By Andy Giegerich

TNT and three film and television groups are hosting a “talent diversity initiative” that could help bring a wider range of performers to stage and screen.

The project is training 32 Northwest actors. Along with TNT — which has shot a handful of series in Portland— backers include Cast Iron Studios, which is working in partnership with Act Now Studio and Scott Rogers Studios.

Lana Veenker and TNT are doing their part to bring more diversity to Portland’s acting scene. Photo Credit: Cathy Cheney

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

Veenker said producers, directors and executives always want more diversity in their productions, but that it’s difficult finding that diversity in Portland.

“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,” she said. “And when they are not able to train at the highest level, it becomes even more difficult to compete and to succeed.”

Cast Iron Studios has worked on the TNT series “Leverage” and “The Librarians,” which continues to be shot in Portland.

The classes began Oct. 10. On Nov. 21, the training will culminate in a mock audition session. Veenker hopes those actors will begin getting work in 2016.

Link to original article.

4 Responses to Oregon film and media types tackle talent diversity issues

  1. Cassie Caldera says:

    This Diversity program sounds great. Question did any Native Americans get to be a part if this? We want to be in on getting training and becoming working actors here in our home of Portland. I hope n pray there will be another Diversity Program I am an Native American actor who is trying and when I can afford classes I will take them I take my self seriously as an actor and want to be better and I will. Peace & sucess.

  2. Pingback: The TNT Talent Diversity Initiative – What a Blessing | Stephanie St. James

  3. admin says:

    We certainly hope to offer more in the future! This first round was open to diverse actors of all stripes who were represented by talent agents. We may open it up to unrepped actors at some point, depending on our funding. Join our mailing list and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates. Thanks!

  4. Pingback: The TNT Talent Diversity Initiative – What a Blessing – Stephanie St. James

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