Preparing for VPA Auditions/Portfolio
The information below was presented by representatives from UCLA Art and Architecture, Otis School of Design and Pacific Northwest College of Art.
Be aware of the campus admissions qualifications
- How much value is placed on academics such as gpa, test scores, and writing
- How much emphasis is placed on the strength of the portfolio and/or auditions
- How will they view my creative talent in relationship to my academic goals
- Often art schools do not look at test scores heavily, BUT will view the writing section of SAT and ACT plus Writing heavily.
- PREPARING FOR THE AUDITION
- ACTING/THEATRE: Picture / Resume
- ACTING/THEATRE: Monologue
- ACTING/THEATRE: What to Wear
- MUSICAL THEATRE
- MUSICAL THEATRE: Representation Repertoire
- MUSICAL THEATRE: Dancing
- MUSICAL THEATRE: Singing
- MUSICAL THEATRE: What to Wear
- DANCE: Choreography
- DANCE: What to Wear
- DANCE: Shoes
- DANCE: Music
- MUSIC: Instrumental
- VISUAL ARTS: Portfolio
- VISUAL ARTS: Pieces - A. Observational Art
- VISUAL ARTS: B. Personal Art
- VISUAL ARTS: C. Home Exam
- PHOTOGRAPHY and DIGITAL ART: Photography
- PHOTOGRAPHY AND DIGITAL ART: Digital Work
- FILM & TV: Resume
- FILM & TV: Writing Sample
- Film & TV: Film or video reels
- Film & TV: Interview
- General Tips
A. Physical warm up immediately before audition
Get your arms lose, spread legs, exhale in and out
B. Warm up your voice
Practice your voice by saying your ABC's and 123's from soft to loud to ironic to funny ways to say it
If you are late you will miss your audition. Be on time, be early.
Do your homewok about the school and program. This is critical. You have to be familiar with your application and past experiences and be able to articulate why you want to dance or act. Students need to know the school mission and answer why you want to study in their program. Faculty bios and mission statement of the department are key.
E. Letter of recommendations
One from performing arts instructor and have it arrive on campus on time
F. Appearance and attitude matters. First impressions are key.
G. Make sure you arrive early to the audition so you have time to warm up before the audition
H. Parents are not to be part of this audition.
Have the parent not to be present at the audition so not to distract other prospective students. Parents are not allowed to hear or witness the audition.
The "cold read"
A student will get the setting and will read a script with another faculty member. You will need to analyze how to interrupt the reading before performing.
Faculty members will judge the audition on how well you handle the situation and if you are calm, collective and well responded.
Bring a head shot 8 x 10 and resume with credits, training and special skills (dance, juggling,accents, stage combat, acrobatics, etc). Photo should have no hats or costumes. No production shots from a play or show.
Resume should not list performances in elementary school. List performances since middle school to high school. Just speaking roles.
Prepare two contrasting pieces. One contemporary (20th to 21st century)and one classical monologue(Shakespeare or Greek mythology). The number of auditions and pieces will vary by campus. Read the requirements for each campus but no student monologues. READ AND KNOW THE COMPLETE MONOLOGUE before the audition because you will be asked what happened in the play and what happened before and after the monologue of the character you read.
Get the repertoire well advance. May need to know a foreign language, improvisation and have a slight reading ability to read music
Bring in original sheet music not photocopies, make sure it is organized and laminated cover with binder
Faculty members are looking for humility, confidence and if the student will have a good interview.
Be prepare to send a video or tapes or YouTube
Be aware many can get admitted, but not scholarships. In person is best.
Try to find out if they have live auditions in your area.
Some campuses must submit to prescreens and learn how to submit it online to each campus like UCLA and it does not need to be done professionally. They are looking for technique not the quality of the video.
Be prepare to know the student most likely will not get feedback from the faculty members.
Many schools are asking for digital uploads to collect supplemental prescreening materials,portfolios, statements, essays, transcripts and other evidence of creativity.
Read the instructions thoroughly before you begin the process.
Prep digital files in advance
Follow provided submission guidelines
Don't wait until the last minute
Submit the materials early so faculty members can spend more time reviewing your materials