On Friday, April 3rd, 2020, Cast Iron Studios held its ninth annual “Meals for Monologues” with a coronaviral twist.
Due to social distancing requirements under COVID-19, our open-casting-call-slash-food-drive took place virtually this spring, with actors from all across the U.S. submitting self-tape videos, along with receipts for their donations to the Oregon Food Bank.
We received and reviewed over 150 submissions from Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles, Spokane, New York City, San Francisco, Atlanta, Montana, Colorado, Ohio, and more.
In all, our community raised enough dough (get it? ☺️) to fund around 6,015 meals for the hungry! This surpasses our previous record by over 1,330 meals. An astonishing feat, considering how many in our industry are currently out of work, and barely making ends meet themselves.
The Team at Cast Iron has been inspired not only by your generosity, but by your talent and your spirit.
If there’s one thing this pandemic has proven, it’s that artists and creative content are not just “nice to have,” but are crucial to our health and well-being. Where would we be right now without actors, musicians, filmmakers, animators, video-game creators, and artists of all disciplines?
We salute our first responders, our medical workers, our grocery clerks, delivery drivers, and other essential workers.
And we bow deeply to all of the artists who have made this pandemic bearable, by making us laugh, keeping us entertained and inspired, and providing distraction, commentary, education, food for thought, comfort, reprieve, and hope in our darkest hours. Thank you for reminding us of all the beauty and potential of humanity.
May we come out of this pandemic stronger, more compassionate, more appreciative, and brimming with innovation, motivation, and insights.
A profound and heartfelt (virtual) hug to all who participated!
The world has gone topsy-turvy, we’re stuck in our homes practicing proper social distancing, and never before have the arts been more crucial.
What better time than now to learn a new monologue, sharpen your self-taping skills, and do a little good for our community?
We’re excited to announce that our ninth annual “Meals for Monologues” open-casting-call-slash-donation-drive will take place VIRTUALLY next Friday, April 3rd, 2020.
In exchange for a suggested donation of $5 (or more) to the Oregon Food Bank, actors are invited to submit a self-taped monologue of two minutes or less.
Submissions must be received by April 3rd to guarantee viewing by our casting directors. See instructions below.
If finances are a hardship, we won’t turn any submissions away, but in the spirit of giving, please consider asking someone to be your sponsor. Alternatively, we will accept proof of a recent blood donation to the Red Cross.
Want to participate in our food and blood drive, but don’t want to audition? You can sponsor one or more actors by making a donation yourself. Details below.
Please help us spread the word!
Self-taped monologue must be no longer than TWO MINUTES.
Smart phone videos are fine. Be sure you are framed in LANDSCAPE mode, in a CLOSE-UP (head and shoulders), with good LIGHTING and SOUND. Try to keep background noise to a minimum.
Typically, you would direct your lines just to the side of camera, not directly into the lens (it may help to use a real human off-camera, if possible).
Upload your video to Vimeo. You will be sending us the direct link to your video on Vimeo only, not the actual file. Emails containing video attachments will be deleted.
You may password-protect your video, but you’ll need to be sure to send us the password with your submission.
Go to the Oregon Food Bank website to make your donation ($5 or more suggested).
Please list “Meals for Monologues” in the Leave a comment text box on the OFB donation form.
Alternatively, schedule a blood donation with the Red Cross prior to April 3rd.
Get a screenshot or PDF of your donation receipt (or a selfie of you donating blood!) to include with your submission.
If you want to use your donation to sponsor an actor, just email us your proof of donation at talent[at]castironstudios.com; subject heading “M4M Sponsor.” (Replace [at] with @ in the email address.)
Please let us know if it’s for someone specific (and include their name), or if it’s for any actor(s) in need.
You can also simply give your receipt to the actor you are sponsoring to submit with their audition.
Write us an email with your name, contact information, and HOME BASE (i.e. Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles, etc.). Note: If you are a member of SAG-AFTRA, your home base is the local you are listed with.
You may include one headshot and resume (or a link to an online casting profile) with your submission.
Include the direct link (URL) to your video on Vimeo (and password, if applicable).
Attach your proof of donation (screenshot, PDF or selfie, per the above).
Email your submission to talent[at]castironstudios.com, subject heading “M4M – your home base.” For example: M4M – Seattle. (Replace [at] with @ in the email address.)
Deadline for self-tape submissions is Friday, April 3rd at 11:59 PM PST.We cannot guarantee your video will be reviewed if received after the deadline.
Go for a COMEDIC monologue, if possible! We could all use a good laugh.
We’ll also accept songs, poems, jokes–anything uplifting and fun. But if you’ve never–or rarely–auditioned for us, we suggest you prepare a contemporary monologue, so we can check out your mad skillz.
If you come in for us often–or if you just want to spread joy and not take things too seriously–anything uplifting is game. We want to be entertained.
Kids can do whatever they want. School play or musical canceled? Perform a short piece from that, if you like.
Don’t forget to include your proof of donation with your submission.
In the meantime, stay home, stay safe, wash your hands, prepare your home audition space for future casting calls, and help coach each other’s monologues via Zoom, WeAudition, FaceTime, or your platform of choice.
We’ve been inspired by the creativity of performers all around the world helping others make it through these challenging times. Your work is important, and we can’t wait to see what you’ve come up with!
On February 8th, the Cast Iron Studios team hosted its 20th anniversary gala at Classic Foods in Northeast Portland.
The Roaring-20s-themed event doubled as a fundraiser for Stone Soup, a new Portland non-profit providing life skills and hands-on culinary expertise to people at risk of homelessness.
More than 100 guests turned out in their flapper dresses and wingtips to dance the Charleston, and raise a glass to twenty years of Oregon film and TV production.
“It was heartwarming to be surrounded by so many friends, family and longtime colleagues, many of whom flew in from distant locations to attend,” said Cast Iron Studios’ Founder Lana Veenker. “We have such a wonderful community, and we know we wouldn’t be where we are without them.”
Many guests commented on how they felt transported back to the era of silent films, sequins and suffragettes. Authentic 1920s music was served up by the Ne Plus Ultra Jass Orchestra, under the deft direction of bandleader Sammuel Murry-Hawkins. Actor and Comedian Jason Rouse kept the audience in stitches as MC.
And a special pre-Prohibition cocktail called “The Last Word” was prepared by master mixologist Brian Van Flandern (author of Vintage Cocktails, named Best Cocktail Book in the World at the 2009 Gourmand World Cocktail Awards in Paris), using Portland’s own Aviation Gin.
Elegant hors d’oeuvres, cheese and charcuterie platters were prepared by the staff and students of Stone Soup, with the guidance of Chef Scott Dolich, multiple James Beard Award Nominee and former owner of Park Kitchen and The Bent Brick.
Dolich sourced the ingredients directly from Classic Foods, a locally-owned handmade pasta factory and purveyor of artisan specialty products located in Portland’s Dekum district.
The art deco building (a former ice house redeveloped in 2010 to include an event space) was perfectly suited as the party’s off-the-beaten-track speakeasy. Classic Foods Owner, Jake Greenberg, had generously opened up not only his event gallery, but his industrial kitchen and warehouse in service of the fundraiser.
A silent auction was held, with packages including everything from Blazers tickets, spa and restaurant gift cards, acting classes and hotel stays, to a private screening room at Living Room Theaters, a coffee date with Grimm star Sasha Roiz, and audition coaching with Grimm star Claire Coffee. In total, the event raised closed to $10,000 for Stone Soup.
In-kind sponsors included Aviation Gin, Barnard Griffin Winery, Breakside Brewery, Cast Iron Studios, Classic Foods, Eunice Chiweshe Goldstein Winery, Oregonic Tonic, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits and Stone Soup.
Auction donors included the Ace Hotel, Acting for Kids & Teens, Artists Repertory Theatre, Aviation Gin, Broder Nord, Claire Coffee, Classic Foods, Gado Gado Restaurant, Hi-Lo Hotel, Hotel Eastlund, Hoxton Hotel, Kimpton Hotels, Kristen Arnett Celebrity Make-Up Artist, Levy Moroshan Photography, Living Room Theatres, My Path Wellness, Portland Center Stage at the Armory, Portland Film Festival, Portland Trail Blazers, Rejuvenation Day Spa, Sasha Roiz, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, Stone Soup and The Studio NW.
Special thanks go to Arielle Clark, Courtney Bell, Craig & Ronit Gerard, Eric Hertzfeld, Eryn Goodman, Flo Barth Photography, Jake Greenberg, John Srednicki, Lana Veenker, Michael J. Anderson, Michael Sudan, NebCat Photography, Sammuel Murry-Hawkins, Scott Dolich, and all of our event staff and volunteers.
All of us at Cast Iron Studios want to thank our community for another terrific year. We really have the best clients, and are supported in our work by many wonderful talent agents, managers and actors!
Cast Iron Studios celebrated the holidays by launching an all new fundraiser with a collection of old gems! Taking a break from the popular “Meals For Monologues” this year, actors in the community dug out their dusty old, vintage headshots from seasons past and let them shine for charity.
Entrance into the event was an old headshot along with a suggested $5.00 minimum donation. Participants were instructed to write their favorite charitable organization on the back of their photo and post it on the wall for all to see. As guests mingled and enjoyed holiday bevs and bites, a secret ballot box collected everyone’s vote for their favorite old headshot.
The winning photo revealed the winning charity where the evenings proceeds were sent. A big CONGRATS to ANNA NICHOLAS, pictured below, who was the WINNER. Her charity of choice was Planned Parenthood and all proceeds from the event went directly to them. Thanks ANNA!
Thanks again to everyone who came down to Cast Iron Studios and participated. Another page in the holiday history books!
Portland’s own Lana Veenker is celebrating 20 years as a casting director! In that time, she’s made a name for herself both here and abroad — having just returned from the Rome Film Festival where she rubbed elbows with Italian film royalty. Lana joined us to look back at the last 20 years of film and TV productions in Oregon. For more information about Lana Veenker, check her out on IMDb.
Many thanks to the team at AM Northwest for helping us celebrate this milestone! We’re so grateful for our community.
Plans to celebrate a milestone anniversary for Cast Iron Studios were postponed after the company’s founder, Casting Director Lana Veenker, was invited to serve on the jury of the Rome Film Festival’s Alice Nella Città program on October 26th, 2019.
“Spending my 20th anniversary in casting as a jurist at the Rome Film Festival was an offer I couldn’t refuse,” said Veenker. The other jurists included Talent Agent Frédérique Moidon (France), Cinematographer Alfonso Maiorana (Canada), and Producer Uliana Kovaleva (Russia).
Veenker, who spent about a decade overseas before founding Cast Iron Studios in 1999, has always incorporated her love for travel and languages with her vocation in the entertainment industry. She studied theatre in Paris and Cambridge, and performed on stages in four countries and three languages prior to landing a job in a London casting office in the late 90s. She has lectured in more than 20 countries, and in 2008, was one of the sole Americans to have been inducted into the International Casting Directors Network (headquartered in Berlin), where she currently serves on its first official board of directors.
On October 26th (the date of Cast Iron Studios’ first casting session 20 years prior), Veenker was on stage again, this time in Rome to present the DO Cine Rising Talent Award for Best Young Performer (International Panorama), which was awarded to Belgium’s Anna Franziska Jäger for her performance in Cleo. Other award presenters included Carlo Verdone, one of Italy’s most renowned actors, and Screenwriter Nicola Guaglianone.
“It was a whirlwind weekend, with an incredibly warm welcome from everyone at the Rome Film Festival, especially Talent Agent Daniele Orazi and Producer Carla Mori,” said Veenker. “Once they learned about my 20th anniversary, they rolled out the red carpet to make it an unforgettable experience.”
While Cast Iron Studios’ anniversary celebration back home has been postponed to a yet-unknown date, the weekend’s events in Rome represented a full circle for Veenker.
“I began my career with the dream of working internationally, and have somehow realized that goal, even while remaining based in Portland. It felt like an affirmation of more than two decades of hard work.”
Click below to listen to one of Lana’s interviews in Rome:
To be interviewed on-camera for a video
for Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace
We want to hear what having your coverage means to you!
DETAILS SUBMIT: Submissions (details below) due by 6PM Friday September 6 – DEADLINE EXTENDED TO MONDAY AM!
CASTING: If selected, we will contact you with an appointment for a casting call on Tuesday September 10
FILMING: Week of September 30, one-day shoot
COMPENSATION: Up to $1,000 for TV and Digital use in the state of Oregon, with potential for additional compensation
SOUND INTERESTING? Please send us an email with the following details, so we can get to know you!
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If you are an Oregon actor represented by a talent agent, and you meet these specifications and are interested in submitting your testimonial, please have your agent submit you for this project on Casting Frontier.
URGENT: Cast Iron Studios is seeking Portland-area males, ages 14-22 and of multiple ethnicities, who play together on a basketball team. The players will be seen playing basketball in the background in an upcoming shoot for an athletic wear company. The deadline to submit is Monday, August 12, 2019.
This is for a paid gig (SAG Background Scale) shooting on Wednesday, August 15th or Thursday, August 16th in the Portland area. If cast, you would need to be able to completely clear your schedule for one of those two days.
We’re looking for good basketball players whoplay together on a real team, but are not in college athletics.
If under 18, talent must sign waiver that they understand by participating, they may jeopardize their NCAA eligibility. VERY important.
Please note: You and your teammates must be local Portland-area hires.
SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS FOR INTERESTED TEAMS:
Phone number (parent’s/guardian’s, if under 18)
Name of team and city
Age range of players (14-17 or 18+)
Coach’s contact information, if possible
Photo of team together, if possible
Include subject heading: Basketball Team
Email to talent[at]castironstudios.com (replace [at] with @ in the email address)
Deadline for submissions is Monday, August 12th by 6:00 PM.
THE VERDICT IS IN: The Wonderland Murders Season 2 is live!
Word is out that Season 2 of the hit true-crime series, “The Wonderland Murders”, has just premiered on Investigation Discovery.
Set in the backdrop of the vast and oftentimes dense and dark PNW, the series tells the real-life stories of local Pacific Northwesterners who encountered tragedy, and the subsequent pursuit for truth, answers and closure.
Production kicked off last winter, and took over the region leaving no clues uncovered. With a host of characters from all corners of the state, our local actors brought these stories to life, portraying real people and giving a voice to the voiceless.
Be sure to catch it Wednesdays at 6:00p PDT on ID. (Check local listings.)
Kicking off the summer season with new connections and old friends
Cast Iron Studios hosted an intimate happy hour this week, celebrating a few new members of the Oregon Media and Production Association. This select group was joined by the Cast Iron team, along with a handful of studio friends, to connect, discuss the latest up-and-coming production buzz, and enjoy some delicious bites and bevs!
Thanks to everyone who joined in on the fun and conversation. Cheers to a new season with plenty of exciting, fresh projects barrelling down, or shall we say ‘shooting’ down the local production pipeline!
Z&Z will have a one-week theatrical run in Los Angeles, opening May 17th. Join some of the cast and crew for opening night, or any time that week. The film will run four times a day at the Laemmle Noho Theater, times TBA.
WATCH THE FILM ON VOD, PPV or DVD
Can’t make it to LA? Z&Z comes out on DVD and VOD/PPV in mid-May. Like the project’s Facebook page for updates.
Leading up to the event, improv and comedic actors paired up and threw down their best British accents in one of the loudest and most eventful casting sessions on this side of the Atlantic. Ultimately cast for the cheeky roles were actors Josh Edward and Damon Kupper, who held court on April 19th in Director Park as passersby were encouraged to gather round and egg on the royal duo as they “made way for the Queen”!
The boisterously hilarious and engaging Town Crier interacted with the crowd in attempts to crack up and make guffaw the ever so straight and stoic Queen’s Royal Guard. The best wisecracks and wittiest of jokes reigned–and the further the Royal Guard’s guard was let down, the chance for someone to win a trip to London went WAY UP! Congrats all around on a successful live event.
…And the flight hasn’t officially taken off yet! There’s still time to jump onboard and enter the contest!