Q&A with top Casting Director Lori Wyman
Frequently asked questions of every mom in “The Biz”
As many of our readers know by now, we love to share information you can’t get anywhere else. We may not have all the answers, but we do try to get them. We have reached out to Top Miami Casting Director Lori Wyman with questions we get asked everyday. Questions we can typically only answer from an agencies perspective, thankfully today we can share the answers to the most frequently asked questions of parents with children in the modeling/acting/ entertainment world.
Who is Lori Wyman?
Lori S. Wyman, C.S.A., one of the most prominent Casting Directors in the southeast, has been casting films, television shows, and commercials in South Florida since 1979. Lori attended the University of Miami and she graduated with her Bachelors Degree in Speech and Communications and her minor in Education. Upon graduating from college, she aggressively pursued a casting career and immediately started working for ACT I Talent Agency. At the time, ACT I was the biggest talent agency in the State of Florida. Quickly building a reputation as one of the most outstanding talent agents in the business, she was asked by the company that was handling the Miami Vice casting if she would be one of their staff casting directors. While there, she worked on the Principal casting for “Miami Vice” during the 2nd and 3rd seasons. At the end of the 3rd season, she was approached by the producer of “Miami Vice” and asked to come work for them directly and head up their entire casting division. She did that for the duration of the series. When “Miami Vice” wrapped, she was immediately asked to head up the casting offices of the Burt Reynolds series, “BL Stryker” and to cast the Florida episodes of Stephen J. Cannell’s “21 Jumpstreet” and “Wiseguy.” Fast forward to the year 2012 and Lori obtained her Master’s degree from NSU in Interdisciplinary Arts with a concentration in Drama Therapy. She went after this degree in order to help actors overcome audition anxiety. Lori has cast some of the biggest projects in Florida. When you think the film industry and casting, Lori S. Wyman, CSA, always comes up. She is an 8 time Artios Award (Casting Society of America’s most prestigious casting award) nominee and a 2 time winner. She is also an Emmy nominee.
Which is your favorite project to date? What made it impactful for you?
“HBO’s Recount was one of the most challenging yet favorite casting projects. The movie is about the 2000 presidential election. Many of the 80 Florida roles that Lori cast were not only to be good actors,but look like their real-life counterpart. It was a great experience for which Lori won her first Artios Award and was nominated for an Emmy.”
What makes the kids that you select to been seen stand out? What is it that you typically look for?
“At first we look at resumes to see if the child has any background. Then we bring them in to audition. We look for well behaved, memorized, professional kids. At first we look at resumes to see if the child has any background. Then we bring them in to audition. We look for well behaved, memorized, professional kids.”
When a project is submitted who picks the kids selected to be seen at the castings? Is there a specific process?
“The casting director will put the breakdown out for the characters they need. Once the agent submits the talent, then the CD decides who will come in and audition and ultimately who will be passed along to the producer and director. The producer and director collectively are the final decision.”
What is your funniest casting memory?
“Too long to write here, but there are many!!!”
What is bad etiquette that prevents someone from being chosen?
“In a nutshell, BAD etiquette is not being prepared for the audition, not having the materials (headshot and updated resume) not being on time for the casting.”
What is your biggest casting pet peeve?
“My BIGGEST pet peeve is actors coming to a casting and spending the time before the casting talking in the waiting room and disrupting everyone, when they should be going over their audition materials. “
For kids interested in taking their career to the next level, what the biggest piece of advice you can offer them/their parents?
“Keep studying, do theater, watch what the winners do! Make sure you have an Actor’s Access account and check it daily. Make sure your photos are up-to-date. Make sure you have a reputable agent and stay in touch with them.”
What is your opinion on Social Media and how it is impacting the industry? Do you take talents social media into account when casting them?
“Social Media has good and bad characteristics. The BAD – is when a disgruntled actor decides they want to vent about their agent, the casting director or a client. As a CD, if I see an actor attacking me on Social Media, I will not want them to come back into my office to audition. And rightly so! People tend to have “keyboard courage,” which can get them into a lot of trouble. The good aspects are that we may see people online and think how great they might be for our project. It is also a reminder to us that the actor is out there. I do not take into account how many followers an actor might have, but there are many other projects that do look favorably upon that.”
What advice do you give to agencies in regards to their talent? How would you do it differently?
“Dear Agents: PLEASE know your talent. Know what they can and cannot do. Please do not empty your files into all of my castings. I look to you to know your talent so that you can submit intelligently to me. If you continue to send me any actors who are not necessarily right for a role, then I eventually will not want to work with you anymore.”
If you could work with any industry professional, or any client that you have not worked with before who would you work with?
“Spielberg!!! Streep!!! Streisand!!!!”
What is your website? Do you have any social media accounts?
Follow me on Instagram
Questions from our kids
We asked our talent what were some of their biggest questions, and we got the answers!
Some of our Sproutlings at an Acting class hosted by Lori Wyman
Do you keep talent in mind for other projects, if you were impressed by them?
“I always keep talent in mind and I do remember them.”
Feedback! If we provided a feedback form after an audition, would you be willing to offer input to the agency on a big audition?
“It’s really hard to do after a long day of seeing dozens and dozens of actors. having said that, I would ask anyway!”
What are some auditioning mistakes you see over and over and what is the best way to avoid or overcome them?
“Not being memorized is a big one. In person, the actor has to hit it out of the park right away. Self taping, the actor can record multiple times before they get it right. In self taping, make sure the person reading with the actor is a good reader. PARENTS, if you are not an actor, please don’t try to coach your child or read with your child. Leave it to the hands of the professionals!!!”
A special thanks to Lori Wyman for taking the time and providing us with such useful information that we can share with our readers from not only in Miami/South Florida/Orlando, but really in any state/city.
Stay tuned for next weeks blog post featuring Carlos Rojas of Universal Casting Miami.
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