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What to keep for a College Portfolio?

Discussion in 'Education and Career Development' started by Colin Bishop, Aug 23, 2016.

  1. Colin Bishop

    Colin Bishop Church AVL Technician and HS Student Premium Member

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    Hi, I'm Colin. I feel in love with the technology behind the scenes in theater a few years ago, specifically lighting. So much so that I decided I want this to be my career. I have read the "Getting a job in the industry" and the "College FAQ" many times and still plan to read them many more times in the coming months. They are great information.

    I am going into my junior year at high school and have started looking at the requirements for technical theater majors at colleges in my area. Most of them want a portfolio of my work and to go over that in an audition. My question for the forum, is what should I be keeping in my portfolio? I assume that pictures of the work I have done in shows, lighting design and etc is all good to keep. I have also done a vectorworks 3D model of my schools auditorium, done a lot of programming for my church's lighting system on M-PC. Is this all stuff colleges would like to see?

    Should I be documenting all technical theater related stuff that I have done through pictures for a portfolio?

    Also in my time in high school, is there any other recommendations you can give me to continue to prepare myself for college and what they will expect? I plan to continue do lighting design and programming at my school, and for my church (we are building a new church soon, with a new lighting system, so there will be plenty for me to do), and try to get involved with some other local theaters to do some work.

    Thank you for any advice!
     
  2. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Keep anything you touch. Process shots are good. Paperwork is good. Light plots... any paperwork you touch/create/whatever.

    Also, you should be taking an art class or two at this point. Put some art in your portfolio as well. If you aren't taking any art classes... get on it.

    Something to remember... not all high school theatre programs are created equal. These auditions are really looking at the possibility of you learning more, not what you have learned thus far. They want to see your artistic eye, your process, and your ability to get things done. So, focus on that. Its not about how many shows you have done, what console you have touched, or how many moving lights you have worked with. That stuff does not matter.
     
  3. Colin Bishop

    Colin Bishop Church AVL Technician and HS Student Premium Member

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    Absolutely everything. Good to know. I'll start keeping more pre-show and more show pictures and in my portfolio.

    That is never something I thought about before, but it makes perfect sense. I will see if I get one into my schedule for this year. My school offers Drawing, Painting, Art History and others. I am thinking Painting would be most relevant as it relates to painting sets, color mixing, blending, etc.

    Ok. I will continue to work hard and well.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2016
  4. ruinexplorer

    ruinexplorer Minion CB Mods Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    Painting in this fashion will be good for when you are building a show. Drawing will be extremely important for communicating ideas (design elements). Art History is helpful as you get more into design, so that you have an idea for style.

    I would focus on drawing first if it works into your schedule.
     
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  5. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Exactly. Figure drawing, sketching, etc.... all huge to have. Painting a canvas does not really translate that well into scenery painting. Drawing will help you much more.

    After that... If you have a sculpture class take it. Only things to avoid would be ceramics and print making. Remember, most colleges want to teach the next generation of designers, not technicians.

    Next thing to take is if you have a drafting class for the love of god take that. After that, if you have a computer networking class take that. After that if you have a programming language class take that. After that if you have an accounting class take that. I really could write and entire post about this. All the useless crap classes you take in high school instead of taking the classes you actually need to work in this stupid industry.
     
  6. Colin Bishop

    Colin Bishop Church AVL Technician and HS Student Premium Member

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    Unfortunately an art class did not fit into my schedule this year. I will definitely be able to get one next year. As for drafting I do take my school's design and engineering course, and in the class this year, I think we will be doing more drafting and designing of large projects. I also am taking a computer language class this year. Networking and server type gear I enjoy and work on myself in my free time.

    Thank you for the recommendations, I will keep them all in mind for next year and as this year progresses.
     
  7. josh88

    josh88 Remarkably Tired. Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    My 2 cents? keep everything until you reach the point that you can specialize and have enough for individual portfolios. Then just keep diversifying/figuring out what you want to do and as you do better stuff, cull out the old/bad.

    Keep it all. Until you have a solid lighting port/scenic port/ etc. I don't do props much in my current life, but I still have a props portfolio ready in case I need it. Paperwork is good, progress shots for some stuff can be good, production photos, even reviews could be useful if it mentions some of your work. I keep it all and average needing to update about every 5 years at which point I trash some I don't need anymore.
     

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