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Monday, December 7, 2020

Happy Holidays & a Meals for Monologues Report!

by Cast Iron Studios Staff

Just before Thanksgiving, Cast Iron Studios was thrilled to host the 10th installment of its classic Meals for Monologues event.

Can you believe it was our 10th M4M?!

Spurred on by the energy and excitement of the virtual food drive we held this April, our team was inspired to offer talent a live-audition option via Zoom. It was SO NICE to get some face time with actors in the midst of this bizarre year, and coupled with pouring over the clever and inspiring self-tapes, it was quite a festive event!

Ahhh… but what about the numbers you say? Once again, our community showed up big time, raising funds to provide over 6,377 meals for the Oregon Food Bank! That’s a figure that surpasses all previous events, and we’re just so thankful.

Here’s what OFB had to say:

Thank you so much for your generosity!  This [is] such a gift for those facing food insecurity!  I am so inspired by how much our collective support makes a difference, and with 140 people chipping in, it created a HUGE impact.  Thank you so much for your time, your support, and all the energy that went into making this event happen! 

Kathryn Kocarnik, Oregon Food Bank

Coupled with our April coronavirus edition of M4M, our efforts have raised almost 12,300 meals for the hungry this year alone. We couldn’t have done it without you!

We recently learned from Oregon Food Bank’s 2020 Donor Impact Report (see below) that in 2019, hunger in Oregon and SW Washington was on a decline, but now–due to the pandemic, the wildfires, the economic crisis, and inadequate social safety nets–rates of hunger in our area are equal to those of the Great Depression. So the need could not be greater, and we are humbled and grateful to everyone who took part.

As we start to put this unusual year to bed, we’ve been reflecting on what an honor it is to be of service to production, actors, and our larger community. We sincerely hope you find joy in this season, however different it may look. Stay home, stay safe, and we look forward to working together in the New Year!

Friday, November 13, 2020

Get into the holiday spirit with our 10th Edition of Meals for Monologues

by Cast Iron Studios Staff

Hone your skills & help your community!

It’s time to dust off that favorite monologue you’ve been clambering to perform, and blend it with your newfound, expert-level self-tape & Zoom skills! We’re excited to announce that the 10th edition of our “Meals for Monologues” open-casting-call-slash-food-drive will take place VIRTUALLY on Monday, November 23rd.  

If, like many, you’re adjusting your plans this holiday season—and foregoing travel—why not carve out some time to hone your acting skills, while helping the community?

In exchange for a screenshot of your donation of $5 or more to the Oregon Food Bank, actors are invited to submit a self-taped monologue of two minutes or less–OR sign up for a limited number of Zoom appointments between 10AM – 2PM on Nov. 23rd.  

Self-tape submissions must be received by Monday, November 23rd to guarantee viewing by our casting directors. 

See instructions below for both self-tape submitting, as well as scheduling a Zoom appointment.  

If finances are a hardship, email us, and we’ll find someone for you to “hitch a ride with”. (Interested in sponsoring someone who could “use a lift”? Please let us know!)

Spread the word!

SELF-TAPE INSTRUCTIONS

  • Self-taped monologue must be no longer than TWO MINUTES.
  • Smartphone videos are fine, but place phone or video camera on a solid surface or tripod. 
  • Be sure you are framed in LANDSCAPE (horizontal) mode, in a CLOSE-UP (head and shoulders), with good LIGHTING and SOUND. 
  • A neutral backdrop is recommended. Try to keep background noise to a minimum.
  • Typically, you would direct your lines to the side of camera, not directly into the lens (it helps 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 be sure to send us the password with your submission.

IN-PERSON ZOOM APPOINTMENTS

  • From our Facebook page, click on the General Auditions tab. You’ll need to access the tab from a desktop computer, as it will not show up on mobile devices. 
  • Look for and click the dropdown arrow next to the “MORE” tab, and scroll down to “GENERAL AUDITIONS”. 
  • You’ll see a page with our Setmore calendar integrated. From there, you can click on “MEALS FOR MONOLOGUES”. 
  • The Setmore calendar will take you directly to the audition date with available appointments. They are all 5 minute slots.  
  • Once your appointment is scheduled, you’ll receive a confirmation email from Setmore.
  • Use this Setmore email to cancel or reschedule your appointment, if needed.
  • You’ll receive a separate email from us with a ZOOM LINK!

DONATION INSTRUCTIONS

  • 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.
  • Get a screenshot or PDF of your donation receipt to include with your submission.

SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

  • 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).
  • Include your proof of donation (screenshot or PDF, per the above).
  • Email your submission to talent[@]castironstudios[.]com, subject heading: M4M – your home base. For example: M4M – Seattle. (Remove brackets in the email address before sending.)
  • Deadline for self-tape submissions is Monday, November 23rd, end of day.  We cannot guarantee your video will be reviewed if received after the deadline.

HOT TIPS

  • Go for a contemporary monologue, please. We just don’t cast that much Shakespeare.
  • Comedic pieces are always appreciated. We could all use a good laugh these days!
  • 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 close to your type, so we can check out your mad skillz.
  • If you audition for us often—or if you just want to spread joy and not take things too seriously—anything uplifting is game. We love 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, please stay safe, wash your hands and shine your creativity as bright as your holiday lights. If you have a few minutes to give back, consider helping out a fellow actor by coaching them via ZoomWeAudition, FaceTime, or your platform of choice.  

It is artists who are keeping us all inspired through these challenging times. We look forward to getting to know your work, or discovering a new side of you!

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Virtual Meals for Monologues: Hone your skills & help your community

by admin

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.

3 Logos

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-TAPE INSTRUCTIONS

  • 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.

DONATION INSTRUCTIONS

  • 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.

SPONSORING INSTRUCTIONS

  • 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.

SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

  • 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.

HOT TIPS

  • 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!

In solidarity,
Lana, Eryn & John