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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Contest for Twilight Moms only!

by admin

Hey, all you Twilight Moms (or any Twilight fan 25 or over):

We have a special contest just for you!

We are collecting anecdotes for possible inclusion in a new book by Lana Veenker. Fill out the survey below for a chance to win a New Moon poster signed by Charlie Bewley (Demitri) AND a chance for your story to appear in the book!

This contest is for Twilight fans age 25 and older. CONTEST ENDS AT MIDNIGHT PDT (GMT-7) ON APRIL 30, 2010. Winners will be notified by email and on our blog.


If we would like to use your anecdote, we’ll be in touch. Thanks for playing and good luck!

PS: We’ll have more contests soon, so if you’re under 25, keep checking back!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Next Winner Announced in Actor Survey Contest!

by admin

We have a new winner in the contest for a free actor career consultation:

Congratulations to Jeannine Johnson!

Jeannine is in her third year of college at the age of eighteen. She dreams of being an actor, because she wants to entertain other people, help change their lives and make them happy.

She has already accomplished a lot in her short life: She drives a race car that goes 200 mph in seven seconds(!) and has even met Bill Gates. What impressed us the most about Jeannine was her motivation, her professional acumen, and her ability to overcome obstacles that would easily defeat others with less determination; all traits that will serve an aspiring actor well. She writes:

I’ve achieved a lot of things in my life and I know that by doing things that I never thought I could do have made me feel an overwhelming sense of joy. Not only because I got to do something I thought impossible, but because of the fact that this is my life, right now; and you only have one to live and I want to take chances to make my wildest dreams come true.

Kudos again to Jeannine. We’ll be scheduling her FREE one-hour phone consultation with Lana in the upcoming weeks and will announce our next winner as soon as we can.

By the way, if you weren’t around when we last held this contest, you can take a peek at this post from back in November (although please don’t submit a survey as instructed in this old post; we have a new system in place now).

The exciting news is that we’ve decided to turn this into an ongoing contest for all new subscribers to our newsletter.


If you haven’t yet subscribed to our mailing list (in the top right sidebar of this page), be sure to do so. You’ll receive instructions on how to complete the survey in your Welcome email.

By surveying our mailing list, we’re able to tailor our materials to your needs, to make sure we’re providing exactly the kind of information you want. It also helps us plan where to hold workshops and notify you if one is taking place in your area.


Even more exciting news is that those who previously submitted surveys will remain in the running for the contest, so there’s no need to complete the survey a second time. You’re still in consideration.


If you’re a subscriber, but didn’t participate in our original contest, no worries. Just shoot us an email at toolsforactors[at]castironstudios[dot]com with “Existing Subscriber Survey” in the subject line and we’ll send you instructions on how to complete the survey and be entered into the contest as well.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Please Stand By for Actor Survey Contest Winners

by admin

Hi all,

The winners of the free $100 career consultations will be announced….


Soon, very soon.

As it turns out, this time of year is very intense for a business owner, what with wrapping up the books from 2008 and getting us up to speed for 2009.

I actually KNOW this, after having been in business for over nine years and running three entities, but it’s always a shock to emerge from the slowish pace of the holidays and realize how much WORK there is to be done.

So, I’ve been pulled away from my fascinating actor surveys and instead have been dealing with FUN STUFF like taxes, financial projections, updated business plans, lease agreements on our new (additional!) casting studio, equipment, supplies and furnishings, invoices, employment department stuff, insurance issues, new jobs coming in…not to mention the stacks of mail and email to sort through.

I have read all the eligible surveys, though: Now I just need to sort through the ones that I starred and select the three winners.

Apologize for the delay, but at least we’re keeping everyone on their toes….

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

DONE!! Actor survey contest winners soon to be announced.

by admin

I have finished reading the roughly 200 actor surveys that arrived in time for the contest deadline (there are another 50 to read, but they’re not eligible for the free career consultation; I will read them eventually, though).

I hope to have selected the three winners by January 1st, 2009. Keep your eyes peeled!

This process has been fascinating. I’ve heard from actors from all around the world: The US, Canada, Australia, Italy, France, the UK, Costa Rica, Chile, the Caribbean, Ukraine, Croatia and more.

Ages 8 to 70+. Every language, religion, ethnicity, persuasion (and combination thereof) that you can imagine. Aspiring actors in small towns and major cities; from beginners to veterans. Some who have been acting since they were three; others who are just starting out in their 40s and 50s.

Some of you work in other aspects of the film business (including an animal trainer); some found acting through other artistic pursuits, such as dance or singing. Some are parents or grandparents, and at least one is pregnant!

Thank you so much for sharing your hopes and dreams; your fears and frustrations. A clear picture is emerging as to what you’d like the focus of my book and other materials to be and I appreciate you being a part of the process.

There will be more opportunities to lend your voice in the months to come. Heck, I may even do some more contests; it’s kind of fun!

Calling it a day. Stay tuned.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Call to Actors: Set Your Goals Now for 2009

by admin

At this time of year, I love reflecting back on the goals I set for 2008, seeing which ones I achieved, which ones I didn’t and setting new goals for 2009.


For three actors (or aspiring actors) who completed my Actor Survey in November, the New Year will be a productive time as well, since I’m close to announcing the winners of the FREE career consultation worth $100. I’m on Actor Survey number 152 of 200 and hope to have read through all of them by January 1st.

Each winner will receive a one-hour phone consultation, to discuss his or her career path in the acting business. With over 20 years in the industry and 10 years casting thousands of actors, I can provide guidance on training, finding out about auditions, moving your career to the next level, making connections and so on.

The advice is practical, real-world information, as you can judge by the curriculum of my former online course, which was taught in colleges around the world for years. I’m no longer offering this course online…but my upcoming book and collateral products will be even better, since I’m developing them with the help of actors like you.

The three lucky winners will start their year with a checklist of tasks to move one step closer to their goals. Very exciting!


Whether you win the casting director consultation or not, now is a good time to take stock of where you are in your life and where you’d like to be a year from now.

Here are a few ideas that might help:

1. Ask yourself: “What do I want the THEME of 2009 to be for me?”

It’s essential to set smaller goals, but I also like to have one overarching goal for the year. Last year, one of my friends decided that her theme was going to be “total immersion” in her writing career.

I loved that! It helped define all the other goals on her list and also helped eliminate everything that might distract from her goal of total immersion.

2. Be realistic when setting goals

You don’t know what you don’t know. Sometimes we set a really lofty goal, without realizing there are several other steps that we need to accomplish first. This can cause disappointment when our objective is not reached in the time frame we hoped for.

So be open to learning as you go along and adding sub-goals to your list, to account for the knowledge and expertise you need to develop in order to achieve your larger goal. As long as you keep moving towards it, you’re doing great.

3. Get inspired

There’s nothing that motivates me more than spending a small portion of my day gleaning knowledge, ideas and inspiration from other successful individuals.

Here are a few motivating books for artists that I’ve found useful over the years:

If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit
by Brenda Ueland

This classic book is a treasure for creative people of any medium, not just writers.

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win your Inner Creative Battles
by Steven Pressfield

All about overcoming Resistance to achieving your creative goals. Brilliant and irreverent. (Four-letter word alert.)

The Artist’s Way: The Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity
by Julia Cameron

A popular book leading you through a twelve-week program to recover your creativity and develop artistic confidence and productivity.


So, readers: What are your goals for 2009? What is your theme for this New Year?

I’d like everyone to post theirs below in the comments (or, if you’re not already on the mailing list, opt in on the right sidebar of this screen. Once you’ve received your subscription confirmation, shoot us an email with your goals. We can check back months from now to see how you’re doing.

I’m throwing down the gauntlet: Let’s see if we can get 100 posts.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Back to those surveys!

by admin

I have been sidetracked this week by computer & network problems, bookkeeping, bills and invoices, tons of email, various meetings, non-casting projects, event coordinating and all kinds of company development stuff. Not to mention the holidays and all that.

Which means I’m behind on my surveys!!

BUT…today I have to sit around for three hours at the mechanic’s while the timing belt is replaced in my car and I’m taking the laptop!

I just hope there’s wireless…. 😮

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Actor Survey Closed!

by admin

Thank you to the hundreds of actors who participated in our survey! We are overwhelmed and excited by the response.

It will take some time to read through everyone’s responses, but even what we’ve read so far is amazing.

Once we’ve selected the winners of the one-hour career consultation with Lana, we’ll make an announcement here.

NOTE: If you didn’t get the chance to complete the survey, you still can, although you won’t be in the running for the contest. We’d love to hear from you anyway!

Stay tuned for other ways to participate in the making of Lana’s new book and other materials, and for lots of FREE content to help you find your way in this crazy biz.

PS: If you haven’t signed up for one (or both) of our MySpace pages (Lana Veenker Casting for actors and Rutabaga Background Casting for information on working as an extra), be sure to do so.

Remember you can also follow Lana on Twitter to see what she’s up to and be the first to find out when we post audition news, urgent casting requests, actor opinion polls and miscellaneous free stuff.

We love you, actors!!! Keep dreaming big.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Actor (and Aspiring Actor) Survey

by admin

Hi everyone,

As some of you may know, I’m the author and moderator of a no-nonsense online course on the business of acting called “Marketing Tools for Actors.”

For the past seven years, this course has been offered to rave reviews in over 1500 colleges and universities worldwide.

Well, my contract is up, so now I’m free to expand and rebrand the material…AND I NEED YOUR HELP.

If you are an actor or aspiring actor, I’d love to hear from you to find out your answers to the following questions:

* Why are you driven to become an actor?
* What is your biggest frustration as an actor or aspiring actor?
* What’s your biggest fear and/or anxiety?
* What’s your biggest problem and/or challenge?

* What do you want and aspire to more than anything else, as an actor or aspiring actor?
* What will your life look like if you achieve your wildest dream?
* What will it look like if you don’t achieve it?
* What do you need more than anything else to help you reach your objective?
* What could someone with an insider’s knowledge of the industry do to best assist you?

* Anything else about yourself that you feel like sharing? Your age, gender, geographic region, background, training, experience, skills, whatever….

Please email your name and your answers to tools4actors (at) slateplease (dot) com.

Just for fun, the contributors of the top three responses will win a 60-minute phone consultation with yours truly. I can provide guidance from a casting director’s perspective, no matter where you are in your career, and answer questions about breaking into the industry, increasing your marketability, moving to the next level, etc. A hundred bucks of advice for FREE, in appreciation for your help!


Thanks in advance and please pass this information on to anyone who may be interested.

Lana Veenker