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Lori Wyman
What is the difference of memorizing 3 ½ page to memorizing 4 pages
| Tuesday, 06.05.2018, 11:32 PM |   (7460 views)

What is the difference of memorizing 3 ½ page to memorizing 4 pages

By Lori S. Wyman, CSA

My daughter came home from school recently and said that her teacher wanted her to redo her school paper. When I asked why, she said that it was too short. She said that it was supposed to be 4 pages. I asked her how long it was and she replied with a 3½ pages. She didn’t quite understand why 3½ pages wasn’t the same as 4, after all it did cover 4 actual pieces of paper, it just didn’t quite fill the 4th page. This lead me to start thinking what the difference is between 3½ pages and 4. I asked my daughter a few questions.

What if you asked me to drive you 4 miles to your friend’s house and I dropped you off at 3½ miles? What if you needed $4.00 to purchase something and I only gave you $3.50?

THEN I started thinking about this concept where it applies to life. Are YOU a 3½ page or a 4 page person? What I mean by that is, will you read this entire article or will you stop reading part way through? Will you read every word of this article or will you skim it? What if YOU, as an actor, memorized 3½ pages of a 4 page set of sides? How well will that serve you? Do you memorize every single word of your sides or will you skim? When you submit a self tape do you look at it after you tape and say, “that’s good enough?” Do you get the best headshots you can or do you go to the cheapest guy because you think that they’re “good enough?”

When you don’t book a job do you wonder why or do you blame the person putting you on tape, the fact that someone in the waiting room distracted you, or there was a “noise” while you were in the middle of your audition? Do you show up for your auditions plenty early so that you can be calm and prepared when it is your turn to go into the casting room or do you “slide into home base” and show up exactly at your time or even a few minutes late because “it doesn’t matter anyway?”

This 3½ or 4 page metaphor can apply to so many things. I teach an 8 week online course. I do this every summer and I will be teaching it again this summer. Students sign up from all over the country, because since it is online everyone can have access to this course. Each week I send out sides and the students are supposed to send me their self tapes back each week the day before the next class. They usually have 5 days to get this back to me. Mind you, this class costs money and I only allow a certain number of people in this class. It boggles my mind at the number of people each week who tell me that they didn’t have time to self tape their sides for the week. What that translates to is they didn’t MAKE TIME to do their self tapes. This is the 3½ page person. They tried to self tape, they couldn’t find anyone to read with them, run the camera, find the right camera person, and so on. NO EXCUSES!!!!

Look at your career! Is it where you want it to be? Are you having a lot of auditions and not booking? Do you know why? Just recently I conducted a “Pick Lori Wyman’s Brain” session with an actress. These are 1 on 1 sessions with someone who is in the business or who might want to be in the business and I conduct a career coaching session with them to see why they might not be where they want to be in their career, how to start their career, or how to get to the next level of their career. This actress didn’t understand why she wasn’t booking more roles. She is a good actress, but she just wasn’t booking. So we began to delve further into her career. I asked her what kinds of parts she was being submitted for. One of the types of characters is as a female cop. This actress is 5’3” and very slim. She is cute and petite. As a casting director, I told her that when I book female cops they are usually taller, as in 5’9” taller, and much broader and more solid looking. She is the 3½ as opposed to the 4. She is almost there with the strong acting and a tough demeanor, but she isn’t quite there with the rest of the requirements. She is also Hispanic. The ONLY reason I know that is because she told me. She does not have an accent in English, which is a good thing, and she has lighter colored hair and light skin. There is nothing about her physical appearance that indicates that she is Hispanic. Guess what? Her agents only submit her for Hispanic roles. Even her name doesn’t sound Hispanic. The only thing she has going for her in this category is that she does speak fluent Spanish and she comes from a Latin American country. This is totally a 3½ as opposed to a 4.

People, you need to be able to look in a mirror and be honest with yourself. Do NOT fool yourself into thinking that you are one thing when you are quite another. AND if an expert in your industry tries to tell you something that can benefit you, do NOT go on Facebook and trash them (as an actress recently did to me) because they didn’t tell you what you wanted to hear!!! This topic will be for another article!!

Do you go all the way for your career? Are you taking classes on an ongoing basis? Not too long ago I overheard 2 actors talking in my office. One actress said to an actor that she wasn’t booking TV and Film roles and she didn’t understand why not. The other actor asked her if she had taken my weekend auditioning for film and television class. The actress replied that she had – 12 YEARS AGO!!! The actor asked her what else she had done in the past 12 years. NOTHING was her answer!! This is totally a 3½ as opposed to a 4.

People who succeed do not stop at 3½.  Serena Williams, tennis great, who has 4 Olympic gold medals and 71 WTA titles including 38 Grand Slams, was recently asked if her tremendous success on the court is due to something unique to her nature, she replied by saying the following: “All I know is that I do work very, very hard. The other day I was on the court for 4 hours with my coach and everyone was like, ‘OK, are you crazy?’ No, I’m just really intense and I work really hard. As long as you’re willing to do hard work, you’ll have everything.”

This is true in any aspect of your life. Do you have an acting coach when you have an important audition? Do you practice your dialog for hours to make sure you are flawless in your delivery? Do you show up early for your auditions?  How about make sure your self tape is perfect in all of the technical aspects of it as well as your performance? Do you get your self tapes in early or do you wait until the last possible moment to submit it?

Are you a 3½ page or a 4 page person in your life?

Look at yourself in the mirror. Reassess what is important to you and make sure you are writing all 4 pages.


 Lori has been in casting in Florida since 1979. She has been nominated for 5 Artios Awards for projects including “Dexter,” “Pain and Gain,” and “Bloodline,” and has 1 Emmy nomination. She is an Artios Award winner for the acclaimed HBO movie, “Recount.”

Lori's office is located in North Miami Beach, Florida, but she travels all over the Southeast for casting projects. She can e reached at

Lori Wyman

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