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Cast Iron Studios supports “Salute to Our Star” Fundraiser for Actor Robert Blanche

Robert Blanche is one of the Northwest’s most recognizable actors.

Renowned Oregon actor Robert Blanche received a life-saving double lung transplant in August, but has had a difficult time recovering. A Portland resident, Robert has been in ICU in Seattle for six months, with his wife and daughters (ages four and six months old), living nearby. Local SAG-AFTRA members therefore dedicated their January 27th SAG Awards Viewing Party to him, by hosting the “SOS: Salute to Our Star Robert Blanche Fundraiser.”

Our team first met Robert nearly 20 years ago, casting him in various commercials and print campaigns. Since then, he has appeared in many of Cast Iron Studios’ film and TV projects, including NBC’s A Walk In My Shoes, TNT’s Leverage (recurring as Detective Captain Bonanno), and over 30 episodes of NBC’s Grimm as Sergeant Franco. A beloved actor in the community, Robert and his work continue to be celebrated today amongst industry colleagues, union members, friends and family.

The SAG Awards Viewing Party and “SOS: Salute to Our Star Robert Blanche Fundraiser” was a standing-room-only smash hit. One hundred “friends of Robert” showed up to the Lake Theater in Lake Oswego, and raised over $2,500.00 for Robert and his family. The raffle was an amazing success and many union members walked away with delightful goodies, including Amanda Fugate-Moss and Myhraliza Aala, who each won an actor career counseling session, donated by Cast Iron Studios. Additionally, Kristina Haddad won a 2-night hotel voucher, contributed by Casting Associate Ranielle Gray.

With $17,000 left to raise in order to reach their goal, there’s still time to donate! The campaign runs until Valentine’s Day – and what better way to celebrate than a heart full of love and support for Robert.

Donate to Robert’s Fundraiser

Congrats to the raffle winners, kudos to the union volunteers who made this fundraiser possible, and our best wishes to Robert in his recovery.

Cast Iron attends the Artios

Casting Director Eryn Goodman and Casting Associate Ranielle Gray made a whirlwind trip to Los Angeles in late January to attend the 2019 Artios Awards, and meet face-to-face with members of the casting community, who are so often only at the other end of a phone or email exchange from our cozy corner here in the Pacific Northwest.

Among those honored at the Casting Society of America’s annual awards ceremony were Robert J. Ulrich, Eric Dawson and Carol Kritzer. UDK Casting received the Hoyt Bowers Award for Excellence in Casting.

Former “Glee” co-stars Amber Riley and Darren Criss perform together before introducing the UDK Casting team.

Also taking home a top honor for the night was Laura Dern, presented with the Lynn Stalmaster Award for Career Achievement by #OregonMade Wild director Jean Marc Vallée. Cast Iron Studios cast around 30 principal roles in the Oscar-nominated film, based on Cheryl Strayed’s bestselling memoir.

Director Jean Marc Vallée

And though we of course cheered for all nominees and winners, we were especially glad to see so many of the casting directors we’ve worked with over the years be honored for their achievements, including David Rubin (Wild), Corinne Clark (Timmy Failure) and Jennifer Page (Timmy Failure) for Children’s Pilot and Series (Live Action) “A Series of Unfortunate Events”, Meg Morman and Sunday Boling (“In the Vault”) for Shortform Series “Relationship Status”, and Margery Simkin (Extraordinary Measures) with Michael Donovan and Associate Richie Ferris for Special Theatrical Performance Mamma Mia!.

Congratulations to all of the nominees, honorees, and winners.

Casting Associate Ranielle Gray CSA and Casting Director Eryn Goodman CSA

8th Annual Meals for Monologues Post Game

From left to right, Eryn Goodman, Lana Veenker, and Ranielle Gray stand in front of a Christmas tree.
(L-R) Casting Director Eryn Goodman CSA, Casting Director Lana Veenker CSA, and Casting Associate Ranielle Gray CSA

Thank you so much to everyone who showed their support for the Oregon Food Bank by participating in the 8th annual Meals for Monologues event on December 14, 2018. We were thrilled that The Studio NW invited us into their beautiful space and hosted us all for the day.

Official word from the Oregon Food Bank is that we as a community pulled together 336 pounds of food and $453.07 in donated funds this year. All combined, that’s enough to provide approximately 1,611 meals for hunger relief directly to our neighbors.

In addition, we were given amazing total numbers that Meals for Monologues has gathered over the 8 years we’ve been doing this! Since 2011 we’ve helped to provide over 16,000 meals! We couldn’t do it without you, and we’re thrilled to spearhead this event year after year.

Happy New Year from Cast Iron Studios!

The team at Cast Iron Studios wants to thank our clients, and the Northwest talent agents, managers and actors who helped make 2018 our busiest year to date!

Many thanks also to Oregon Film, the Portland Film Office, OMPA, SAG-AFTRA, our supportive city and state legislators, and our wider film and television community for making this a wonderful place to carve out a profession in the entertainment and advertising industries.

In gratitude, Cast Iron Studios was proud to support the following non-profits in 2018:

Oregon Food Bank (Food & Donation Drive via Meals for Monologues)
Central City Concern (Portland Homeless Outreach)
California Community Foundation (Wildfire Relief Fund)
Natural Resources Defense Council (Environmental Advocacy)
Southern Poverty Law Center (Fighting Hate/Extremism/Bigotry)
American Civil Liberties Union (Civil Rights)
MercyCorps (Disaster Relief)
Habitat for Humanity (Fostering Home Ownership)
Emily’s List (Supporting Progressive Female Candidates)
OSPIRG (Save the Bees Campaign)
FreeGeek (Digital Equity through Environmental Sustainability)
Kiva (Microloans to Low-Income Entrepreneurs around the Globe)
Impact NW (Combating Poverty in Portland)
Planned Parenthood (Reproductive Healthcare)
Vietnam Veterans of America (Veterans’ Advocacy)
The Rebuilding Center (Salvaging & Recycling Building Materials)

And in honor of our furry friends:

Oregon Humane Society
Humane Society for Southwest Washington
West Columbia Gorge Humane Society
Home at Last Humane Society
DoveLewis Emergency Pet Hospital
Pet Partners (Therapy Pets)
Intermountain Therapy Animals
Guide Dogs for the Blind
Guide Dog Foundation

Please consider making a year-end donation to one of these deserving organizations. As a bonus, many of them are currently matching donations through December 31st!

Wishing everyone a happy and prosperous 2019,

Lana, Eryn, Ranielle and the CIS Team

 

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