In the day-to-day rush of college life, it's easy to lose sight of how you're changing and growing while you are at Concordia. During your time on campus and as you approach graduation, it is meaningful and fulfilling to look at where you were, then to look at where you are, and finally to look at where you'd like to be in five or ten years. Collect portfolio content using the attached guidelines from your first day on campus to your last day. In the fall of your senior year, you will sign up for a portfolio review where you will meet with all the department faculty. (You can invite others to take part if you wish.) During the meeting, you'll have the chance to discuss the content of your portfolio, what you believe it reveals about you and your growth as a student and a creative artist, what your strengths are (as evidenced in your portfolio), what your weaknesses are (as evidenced in your portfolio), what parts of your portfolio you intend to convert for a job-search or graduate-school-search portfolio, etc. This is meant to be an informal discussion in which you can talk about your own progress, dream about what you'll be doing next, assess your strengths and weaknesses, converse with your teachers about what you've accomplished during your sojourn at Concordia, etc. It will also be an opportunity for you to suggest changes for improving the theatre program for future students.
What is the purpose of this portfolio?
There are several goals which your portfolio can accomplish:
- You will have a clear visual record of your progress and what you have accomplished during your schooling.
- Because faculty and students work together a good deal on theatre productions, there are many informal opportunities for discussion; having this formal channel helps faculty identify areas that may not be receiving appropriate attention.
- Your portfolio helps the faculty assess whether the departmental curriculum is leading you to acquire the knowledge and skills that we believe are important for you and which fulfill the departmental mission. If we see that you are not getting such critical knowledge, then we can adjust the curriculum.
- The material you prepare for and include in your portfolio will make it a valuable tool as you leave Concordia with your degree to pursue graduate school or an entry level theatre position. Very little conversion will be needed to make your "departmental assessment portfolio" your "career portfolio."
What should my portfolio include?
- Written materials from early and late in various courses
This could include exams (especially essay exams), script analyses, research papers, critiques, etc. The goal is to gather a sufficient number of examples, from early on in your course work through final projects, that will indicate the progress of your research, your skills of analysis, your organization skills, and your writing skills. All samples should be dated, and the course identified.
- Photos, videotapes, slides, and other project examples
Whenever you prepare materials for classes and productions (including designing, acting, directing, management), document your work with photographs, slides, video or audio tapes, or other appropriate examples. All items should be dated, the course or production identified, and a description of your contribution and responsibility included.
These visual records will track your artistic growth and your contributions to theatre at Concordia and elsewhere and will provide a strong basis for your post-graduation job-search portfolio. Your Stagecraft course portfolio will give you a good start on this part of your senior portfolio.
Whether for course work or for productions, projects such as drawings, models, poster designs, program designs, prompt books for directing, prompt books for stage management, etc., will be an important addition to your portfolio. It would also be appropriate to include slides and/or photos of those projects. All items should be dated, the course or production identified, and your contribution and responsibility specified. Such projects will provide a clear record of your artistic and creative growth throughout your academic career at Concordia.
- Written critiques of production experiences
Whenever you are involved with a theatre production during your academic career at Concordia, whether as an audience member, a performer, a designer, a director, a technician, etc., write a one-page post-production evaluation/critique. You might discuss what was particularly successful, what disappointed you, what you learned from the experience, what you'd like to work on next, any ideas you have gotten that could make the next similar project be even more effective, etc. All critiques should be dated, the production identified, and your "role" in relationship to the production identified. Self-evaluation which occurs at the conclusion of projects is vital to all artists; it is one of the most important ways in which we learn and continue to grow as artists. These critiques/evaluations will provide you a chronology of your involvement, your assessment of successes and problems, and indications of what you want to pursue next.
- Description of problem-solving instances
Occasionally take time to write about the process you used in solving some challenge you faced as a part of a class or as a part of a theatre production team. Evaluating our problem-solving processes allows us to strengthen them and become even more effective. What steps did you follow? What solutions did you consider and discard? What solutions did you try that didn't work? Did they help you find a solution that did work?
If your career goals include pursuit of acting jobs, include copies of short monologues you have prepared and which you are prepared to perform whenever asked to do so by a producer, director, etc. Seek guidance from department faculty as to appropriate material for such monologues and for coaching.
Prepare a general resume and area-specific resumes (technical theatre, acting, management, etc.).
All resumes should include the following information:
- Phone numbers
- E-mail addresses
- Employment goal statement
- Relevant educational background
- Relevant employment background
- Names and contact information for at least three references (don't forget to get people's permission to list them as references); try to collect letters of recommendation from the people you work with at the time of the production (they're not given as much weight as a confidential reference, but they're useful to people who may be considering you)
For Technical theatre and theatre management resumes: visit http://www.artslynx.org/theatre/ports.htm
Acting resumes are one page only and should include the following:
- Front page-headshot with your name printed on the page; this should be a professional quality photo headshot on good photo paper-headshots have traditionally been black and white, but color photos are now becoming the industry standard in the commercial field.
- Back page'this can be electronically printed on or stapled to the back of the headshot.
- Contact information (phone numbers, e-mail)
- Height, weight, hair and eye color (if headshot is black and white)
- Union affiliation, if any (AEA, AFTRA, SAG)
- Agent, if any, and Agency contact information (phone numbers, e-mail)
- Acting credits: theatre, role played, director of production (representative list)
- Commercial and Film credits (representative list)
- Education and training in acting
- Special skills: dance styles, dialects, sports, driver's license, stage combat, juggling, musical instruments, martial arts, etc.
- How to present your portfolio information:
There are many ways to present the information in your portfolio, including, but not limited to the following:
- "Hard" copy
- Samples, models, drawings, photos, video
- Web Site
- Whatever the next generation in electronics brings