Show Case: Developing, Maintaining, and Presenting a Design-Tech Portfolio for Theatre and Allied Fields

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9780240819266: Show Case: Developing, Maintaining, and Presenting a Design-Tech Portfolio for Theatre and Allied Fields

A design tech portfolio showcases a theatre designer/technician's most prized accomplishments in stage design, lighting, costuming, or makeup. The ability to make a winning portfolio is essential to getting into choice colleges, obtaining scholarships, and getting new jobs in the field. Unfortunately the process can become time consuming and challenging if you don't know where to start. Show Case offers students, teachers, and aspiring professionals the information they need to know to create, maintain, and show off their portfolio.

This fully revised second edition features new and expanded chapters that explore current and innovative approaches to creating a design-tech portfolio, including branding, social networking, and traditional and interactive e-portfolios. This comprehensive guide also covers planning and developing details such as page layout, content variety, aesthetic sequencing, marketing, personal presentation, and next steps. Each chapter features introductions, samples, and lists of "Do's and Don'ts" provided by experienced professionals in the different design/tech fields. Portfolios featured are from an incredible cast of contributors at different stages of their careers, including recent graduate students, officers of renowned organizations and international theater artists, and art directors representing narrative artists in the allied fields of film, TV, and other media. This book is designed as a reference guide, workbook, and an inspirational tool, assisting designers/technicians in the process of developing a showcase that can be used to apply for graduate school, to pursue new jobs in the field, and for career marketing purposes.

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Review:

Amazon Exclusive: A Letter from Rafael Jaen, Author of Show Case, Second Edition

Dear Amazon Readers,

I first got interested in portfolio development in the 1980s. While in college, I created an art-book sampler that helped me transfer from a renowned architectural school in South America to the Theatre Design Program at New York University--not a small accomplishment for someone who didn’t speak English! Later, I used various formats to get internships, to get into graduate school, to get jobs, and to get a teaching position in higher education. Through the years one thing has remained constant: the achievement of every goal that I have set for career advancement has been dependent on creating or updating portfolios.

I wrote the book’s first edition to assist others--a friend who heard me complain repeatedly about the lack of a bibliography on this subject matter suggested that I “should write a comprehensive guide.” With the second edition, I wanted to expand the content with more contributors, more samples and more images. I also wanted to explore 21st century approaches such as branding, social networking and web based multimedia portfolios.

As a comprehensive guide, the book’s main objective is to facilitate the process of building an exciting portfolio. The chapters help the reader plan and develop details such as personal presentation, page layout, content variety, aesthetic sequencing, marketing and next steps. They also cover a wide range of aspects, from the beginner’s portfolio to the advanced portfolio and from the traditional portfolio to the electronic portfolio.

It is my sincerest wish that this book will inspire and help you with the development of your portfolio, whether traditional or electronic, and whether you are a beginner or a seasoned practitioner.

Warm regards,

Rafael Jaen

Top Ten Tips from Rafael Jaen to Improve Your Design-Tech Portfolio

1. Keep the principles of design in mind when planning your page layout and your rendering plates. Employers will equate the attention to detail in all of your work with the level of detail you put into your portfolio, so pay attention to this. That means use a ruler, don’t eyeball!

2. Have stories that tell something about you and your approach to design and/or technology collaboration prepared for each image you show. These stories should reflect positive experiences and demonstrate your skills--and a little humor is often appreciated.

3. Often interviewers will ask questions about what they are looking at--be prepared to answer a range of questions that may allow you to "strut your stuff" a little more.

4. Select images that demonstrate the process, not just the final product. Most employers or schools are interested in seeing how you work through a project (as well as the final results). So, having beginning sketches and finished drawings as well as images of the project on stage can help.

5. Make sure your images and labels are professional in appearance and appropriately mounted, and check for proper spelling on all written work! Neatness and consistency do count here. Sloppy labels, misspelled names and presentations that fall apart are embarrassing for you and indicative of shoddy work. If the work presented requires a disclaimer or an apology, it probably doesn't belong in the portfolio.

6. Show a variety of work. Take and keep pictures of all that you do. Do your homework on the company, department, individual or job you are applying for, and assemble your work in a way tailored to their needs. This may also mean you assemble more than one portfolio. If you are using copies of work, get the best copy quality you can afford.

7. Do not include the kitchen sink! You may have many projects or many pages per project that you want to include, but most interviews have a limited time frame. If it is difficult for you to eliminate, ask a friend or mentor to help you clean house.

8. Be very selective. It’s far better to have two or three very good projects in the portfolio than to have many more mediocre ones. People will remember both the great work and the really not-great work, so work to eliminate the latter.

9. Hang onto materials. Have a folder, drawer, or box that you put materials you've worked on into once you are done using them. Go through the box from time to time to organize the materials. It's much easier to pull together this information into a presentable format if you have it in one place instead of having to go looking for it (or worse, trying to remember that show you did in two weeks three years ago!)

10. Don’t scrimp on the portfolio. You are selling a product: your skills. The package where you keep your portfolio says something about you. It might be a large-format traditional hard-copy portfolio, or a small booklet of 4x6 photos, or a CD with images. Take the time to make the package professional-looking and aesthetically appealing.

About the Author:

Rafael Jaen has been designing costumes professionally for more than 30 years. His work has been seen in regional theaters as well as in film and TV in the USA. Memberships include USA 829 and United States Institute for Theater Technology (USITT) where he has served at the Board of Directors and as the Portfolio Review Chair for the Costume Commission. He has served as national Design-Technology Vice-Chair for the Kennedy Center ACTF and he is the recipient of the Kennedy Center Golden Medallion for Excellence in Theater Education. He is an Assistant Professor at UMASS Boston and he is the author of SHOW CASE (USITT Golden Pen 2012 nomination 2013). Web site: www.rafaeljaen.biz

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