Lana Veenker’s Top 5 Things She Looks for in an Auditioning Actor

Lana Veenker trod upon a more global stage before she returned home to Oregon as a casting director. She worked as an actress and in casting in France, England, India, and Venezuela. In 1999, she founded Cast Iron Studios, a casting and talent development agency in Portland. Notably, her company currently casts for TNT’s “Leverage” and NBC’s “Grimm,” among other shows and films. She took time from her busy schedule to chat with 1859 and tell us what a good audition looks and sounds like.


Are you in the moment, really listening and interacting with the other character(s), or do you have a glazed look in your eyes, like you’re trying to remember your next line?


You might get lucky and give a good audition in the casting room, but our clients want to know you won’t have a meltdown on set. Training and experience reassure us that you’ll do a good job.


Are you prepared? Are your marketing materials (headshot and resume) sleek and high quality? Do you know your lines—or more importantly, do you know your character’s intentions, obstacles and tactics?


Are you comfortable in the room or do you come off as needy, apologetic and desperate? Are you able to conceal your inevitable nervousness and use the adrenaline to fuel your performance?


Are you someone we’d want to spend ten hours on a film set with? Do you have a positive attitude, a good work ethic and a sense of humor?