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Monday, January 21, 2013

Casting Director Lana Veenker to Lecture on “The Business of Show Business” in Vienna

by ranielle

As Lana heads to Europe once again for European Film Promotion’s Shooting Stars program at the Berlinale, she makes her yearly stop in Vienna and will speak this time at Webster University.

All aspiring actors and filmmakers are encouraged to attend. If you are a student of Webster University, please contact Holger Lang in the Media Department for your promo code, and bring your student ID to the event.

Tools for Actors
the Media Department of Webster University Vienna

“The Business of Show Business”
Lecture and Q&A
U.S. Casting Director Lana Veenker

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Webster University

Webster University
(Private University)
Berchtoldgasse 1
1220 Vienna
Conference Center (3rd Floor)

€25 General Admission
(Free to Webster Media Students with Promo Code from Instructor and Student ID)

Lana Veenker CSA


Whether you are an aspiring filmmaker or actor, gaining access to the entertainment industry can be daunting, particularly if you have no professional experience. Casting Director and Producer Lana Veenker CSA has a few tips for you. Originally a stage actor and director, Veenker has worked in show business for over 25 years and on three continents, including 14 years as a film and television casting director.

In “The Business of Show Business,” Veenker will help you identify your professional goals in this challenging and rewarding industry, and develop a strategy to reach them. This lecture and Q&A is appropriate for anyone looking to gain insights on working in television, film and new media.


After a decade of living, acting and directing in France, England, Venezuela, India and the West Indies, Veenker took a job at a London casting office, helping to hire European leads on features and mini-series for major studios and networks. In 1999, she returned to her roots and launched Cast Iron Studios, which is now one of the top location casting companies in the United States.

Her film division has cast for directors such as Gus Van Sant, Robert Benton, Guillermo Arriaga, Catherine Hardwicke, Tim Robbins, and Sean Penn.  Her commercial division boasts countless award-winning projects for brands such as Nike, Apple, Facebook and Nintendo.

She is one of the casting directors of the NBC hit series Grimm, now in its second season, and TNT’s Leverage, with 64 episodes under her belt. Other projects include Extraordinary Measures starring Harrison Ford, Catherine Hardwicke’s Twilight, Gus Van Sant’s Paranoid Park, and the Amanda Seyfried thriller Gone.

As a member of the International Casting Directors Network (ICDN) and the Casting Society of America (CSA), she has strong partnerships around the globe. She frequently lectures across the United States and Europe, most recently at The Actors Platform in London, IfiF Productions in Vienna, The Acting Studio in Berlin, Studio Bleu in Paris, Prague Film School, and in ports of call from Tonga to Trieste aboard the luxury liner M.V. The World.

Lana has been featured in the Hollywood Reporter, USA Today, Access Hollywood,, and Wired, and is a regular contributor to Backstage. Follow her on Twitter @lanaveenker.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Nancy Bishop Casting Workshop in Berlin – with Special Guest Lana Veenker

by admin

Prague Casting Director Nancy Bishop CSA has invited Lana to help coach actors at her annual Casting Workshop during the Berlinale. This will mark Lana and Nancy’s fifth year of collaboration in Berlin.

Please note: This is not a Cast Iron Studios or Tools for Actors event; you must register directly with the organizers at the email address below.


Nancy Bishop, CSA, is teaching her annual casting workshop during the Berlinale
Special Guest: Lana Veenker, CSA

In this workshop, actors will have the opportunity to collaborate with top European and American casting directors. Ideal for actors who wish to improve auditioning skills in English and make valuable connections for international work. Actors will be assigned scenes to prepare in advance. Nancy Bishop (US/Prague) will coach the scenes, with her proven technique, outlined in her book, Secrets from the Casting Couch. Subsequently, the scenes will be taped and critiqued by US Caster Lana Veenker.

Nancy Bishop, CSA, has cast more than seventy films from her base in Prague ranging from large scale studio pictures, such as Mission Impossible IV, Prince Caspian, Bourne Identity, to independent films such as The Illusionist. She just finished the European casting on The Last Knights, starring Morgan Freeman and Clive Owen. She was nominated for an Emmy Award for her work on Anne Frank the Whole Story. She is also a top ranked acting coach, and her workshops are in demand internationally from Rio De Janeiro to Istanbul. At the Prague Film School, she founded the Acting for Film Program, and penned the best-selling book, Secrets from the Casting Couch. Currently she is working on an international Tandem TV series, Crossing Lines, starring Donald Sutherland.

Casting Director Lana Veenker began her career in London and, upon returning to her Northwest roots, founded one of the most successful location casting companies in the U.S. She has found her calling in helping actors who live outside Hollywood break into the business. Recent projects include NBC’s Grimm, now in its second season, and 64 episodes of TNT’s Leverage. Gus Van Sant, Catherine Hardwicke and Tim Robbins figure among past film clients. Lana is a member of the Casting Society of America and the International Casting Directors Network. She has been featured in The Hollywood Reporter, USA Today,,,, and Wired, and is a regular contributor to Follow her on Twitter @lanaveenker.


When: Monday, February 11, 2013
Time: 11-15:00
Where: The Acting Studio, Schillerstrasse 64, 10627 Berlin-Charlottenburg

Directions: U2 + U7 Bismarckstrasse or U2 Sophie-Charlotte-Platz, for a detailed map

Please go to:
Cost: 110 EUR for the workshop
Signed copies Secrets from the Casting Couch available for 10 EUR (normally 15 EUR)

Registration Instructions: The workshop is limited to 16 actors and we anticipate the workshop to fill up quickly so please register soon.  Please contact Joel Kirby (in English or German) with a current CV and Headshot at:

Link to original post.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Think Hollywood is the only place for an acting career? Think again.

by admin

Regional markets are booming, while production flees Los Angeles.

What does this mean for actors? Find out in Lana’s latest Backstage column!

Think Hollywood Is The Only Place For An Acting Career? Think Again.

By Lana Veenker, CSA | Posted Oct. 10, 2012, 3 p.m.

To the chagrin of many a Hollywood-based actor, production is booming in regional markets. Even with Governor Brown’s recent extension of California’s film tax credits, it’s likely that productions will continue to shoot in incentive states like Louisiana, Michigan and Oregon, as they can be easier on producers’ bottom lines and provide fresh new locations as a backdrop.

What does this mean for actors? Well, if you live in L.A. and you’re not a celebrity, good luck getting cast on a series based halfway across the country. Producers shooting on location often hire only the “name” guest stars out of L.A., with all the smaller guest and co-star roles going to regional actors.

If you’re a skilled actor in a regional production hub, however, your employability just might skyrocket.

Link to full article.

What do you think? Have you had better luck working in L.A. or in a smaller market? Let us know in the comments.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Is Acting the Business for You?

by admin

Lana’s first contribution as a Back Stage Expert is now available on Check it out and take the quiz to decide if you have the mettle for an acting career!

12 Questions to Determine Whether You’re Ready to Pursue Acting

By Lana Veenker, CSA | Posted Oct. 2, 2012, 5:41 p.m.

Think you have the temperament and business sense to survive in the entertainment industry? Take Lana’s self-evaluation quiz and see how you score.

1. Is acting the only career that will make you happy? Would you be miserable if you only pursued acting for fun?

2. Are you comfortable not knowing where your next paycheck will come from? Or realizing that it may depend on something as arbitrary as your looks or the way you deliver a line? Does security sound like death to you?


Link to full article.

How did you score? Let us know in the comments below, and if you’re not already following Lana on Twitter and subscribed to her Tools for Actors weekly newsletter, you should be!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Introducing Paul Weber CSA & Lana Veenker CSA

by admin

Hey Portland actors! Spots are still available for our October 27 & 28, 2012 workshops with Paul Weber CSA and Lana Veenker CSA, but our early bird prices won’t last long, so be sure to sign up now if you’re planning to attend!

In case you don’t know Paul, here’s a video to introduce you:

And here’s an oldie with Lana:

If you missed our original blog post about the workshop, you can find it here.