MSA Audition and Portfolio Guidelines


Audition and Portfolio Guidelines

Each student applying to the Marin School of the Arts completes either an audition or portfolio presentation as part of their application process.

MSA accepts students at all skill levels; please contact us for more information or clarification of the guidelines listed.

All auditions take place Saturday, Feb. 1, and Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020 (unless otherwise noted)

MSA auditions/presentations guidelines vary according to the program.  The MSA teacher(s) for each program will meet with applicants either individually or in group.  Please see the guidelines below for more information.

Students may audition in more than one area, with a maximum of applications to three program applications allowed.

CINEMATIC ARTS

The Cinematic Arts auditions guidelines are as follows:

Please be prepared to present two examples of your work from the list below:

1. Completed film or video (approximately 1-3 minutes in length)
2. Storyboard (similar to a comic strip that is a hand illustrated version of
key scenes and edits as they would appear in a short video or movie)
3. Short stories or scripts (3 – 5 pages)

CREATIVE WRITING

The Creative Writing audition guidelines as follows:

The Creative Writing program would like to receive your portfolio prior to your audition date in order to review it and be more prepared for your audition/interview.

You may upload your portfolio with your Creative Writing application or you may mail or deliver to:  Marin School of the Arts, 625 Arthur, Novato, CA 94947

1. Please submit a 2-6 page sample of your writing.  Your writing sample can be one longer piece, or a combination of shorter pieces that you feel best represents you. The samples can be complete or incomplete and can be in any writing genre or format (short story, poetry, song lyrics, scripts, personal essay, or anything you think is suitable).

2.  Please provide a statement of purpose of 2 pages or less (typed) that briefly tells us who you are, what you hope to gain from the Creative Writing Program, and what you have read or watched lately that has been inspirational or interesting to you as a writer.

Your audition appointment includes three parts:

a. Creative Writing Portfolio (as described above);

b. Interview – a short conversation with Ms. Pollack and current students in the program;

c. Writing prompt – a short 20 minute prompt based on a selection of images.

Please provide a self-addressed, stamped 11 x 14 envelope if you would like your writing samples returned to you.

Please note: Applicants of  ALL skill levels are encouraged to apply. Please contact Ms. Pollack for any questions or assistance.

DANCE

Please note: Applicants of ALL skill levels are encouraged to apply. Please contact our faculty for any questions or assistance.

The Dance audition process includes a small group and a solo section as follows:

1.  Your audition will begin with ballet barre and center.

2.  A short improvisation exercise will follow to show your comfort level with a variety of music and dance styles.
3.  You will then learn a brief combination to demonstrate how well you pick up choreography.

4.  Prepare to perform a short choreographed piece in any style that best exhibits your strengths as a dancer (1-2 minutes in length).

Your solo audition will be performed for a panel of judges only. An ipod player will be available for accompaniment). Please make sure song is downloaded and edited. We cannot accept streaming music from youtube, Spotify, soundcloud. etc.

Come dressed in tights, leotard (female dancer) or plain t-shirt and sweat pants (male dancers) with dance shoes or in other appropriate movement attire.

INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC

Please note: Applicants of ALL skill levels are encouraged to apply. Do not be discouraged by the audition guidelines below. Please contact our faculty for further information.

Contact Classical/Rock Band Director Matthew Verplaetse

Contact Jazz Studies Director Dr. Greg Johnson

PLEASE NOTE: MSA has music lessons available for students to learn to read music and prepare for the MSA Music program. Please click here if you would like more information.

Jazz, Chamber, Concert Band, & Strings students

1. Major Scales starting on Concert Bb, Concert C, and Concert F and a chromatic scale.

2. Prepare the etude from the downloadable audition packet  (click the link at left to open).

3. Sightread a short piece of music

4. Optional for jazz applicants: Improvise over F Blues

5. Optional: You may play an additional etude or piece of solo repertoire you would like for the audition panel to consider.

For Rock Band Guitarists, Bassists, Keyboards and Drummers

(Auditions will be solo and in groups)
1. Choose one song from the following list to play with an MSA band.

Carry on My Wayward Son, by Kansas,

Locked Out of Heaven, by Bruno Mars,

Weird Fishes, by Radiohead,

Hysteria, by Muse,

Boogie on Reggae Woman, by Stevie Wonder,

Jumpstart, by St. Adeline, or

War Pigs, by Black Sabbath.

2. Improvise (jam) with a group. Be prepared to choose a style and key.
3. Drummers – be prepared to demonstrate different styles and grooves.

Guitarists, Bassists, and Keyboardists – Play major and minor scales.

ROCK VOCALISTS:

Incoming students wishing to participate in Rock Band as vocalists should audition for the Vocal Music program. They will be eligible to audition for rock after having completed a year in Vocal Music.

Jazz Drummers

1. Prepare a solo that demonstrates your skill and ability.

2. Demonstrate different styles of drumming. Include medium and up tempo swing, brushes, bossa, samba, shuffle, funk etc.

3. Be prepared to sight-read a short piece of music.

VOCAL MUSIC

The Vocal Music audition guidelines are as follows:

1.  Perform a piece of your choice, a cappella or with accompaniment/music source. The piece should be able to show the best attributes of your voice.

2. Be prepared to sight-sing a short piece of music.

3. Be prepared to sing a series of exercises to evaluate ability to match pitch, range, and musicianship.

4. Please bring your own accompanist, music source or perform a cappella.

Please note: Applicants of ALL skill levels are encouraged to apply. Contact Mr. Davenport for any questions or assistance.

VISUAL ARTS

Digital Arts

Portfolios of 6-10 pieces should be brought with the student to the audition – please do not send them in prior.

Samples of the student’s work should include:

1.     A manipulated portrait using Photoshop, Illustrator, or some other digital illustration software
.

2.    A manipulated fantasy landscape or interior

3.    Four to six art pieces showing interesting aspects of your work.  These can be either
traditional painting and drawing mediums or created as digital illustrations.

All works should be printed 5 x 7 or larger.  Please identify each work with your name,
address, and phone number.

If you do not have access to Photoshop or some other Digital Darkroom Software, you can download GIMP. It is free and functions much the same as Adobe Photoshop or get a free trial version of Photoshop Creative Suite @ Adobe.com

Portfolios are preferred in traditional hard copy form, but are also accepted as a
digital presentation on a flash drive or disc.

Please note: Applicants of ALL skill levels are encouraged to apply. Contact Mr. Gersh for any questions or assistance.

Video Game Design & Development

The portfolio section of the audition is very important. The thought and care put into your presentation will demonstrate your passion for designing video games and/or your desire to learn.

No prior experience is required to apply for this program. Imagine a video game you would like to create to complete the guidelines below. Please contact Mr. Gersh if you have questions.

Your portfolio should include the following:

1. A character design illustration – either digitally or through a drawing and painting or any medium.

2. A game level design both depicted as an illustration and explained in a short written passage.

3. A synopsis of a video game that you like to create. Please explain in a short written passage and indicate which game genre it would fall under.

Painting/Drawing

Please bring your portfolio to your audition – do not send them in prior.  Samples of your work should include:

1.      A portrait, in any medium (drawn from life or a photograph)

2.      A still life, in any medium (drawn from life)

3.      Something from your imagination, in any medium

4.      A painting using color

5.      Include 2-5 other pieces that exhibit the best and most interesting aspects of your work.

Works can be submitted in any media or technique and use a variety of approaches.

Please identify each work with your name, address, and phone number on the back.

Please note: Applicants of ALL skill levels are encouraged to apply. Contact Ms. Mancini for any questions or assistance.

Sculpture and Ceramics

For three-dimensional works, please create and bring to your interview the following:

1. One sculpture of a favorite object, character or image from your imagination, made of any kind of clay and at least 5″ in any one direction, larger if you choose.   Please give your piece a title.

2. One sculpture made of a combination of at least 3 different materials you find around your
home (sticks, string, recyclables, etc.), also at least 5″ in any  direction.  Please give your piece a title.

3. Two images of sculptures that made an impact on you.  Be prepared to explain why these sculptures impressed you and what kind of sculptures you would like to create yourself.

Please note: Applicants of ALL skill levels are encouraged to apply. Contact Ms. Kalleen for any questions or assistance.

Product Design

Please present two examples of your work from the list below:

1. Completed project (any medium that shows high quality work including tinkering projects, electronic projects, woodworking examples, student designed 3D printed objects, functional prototypes, clothing or any object that shows your interest in creating well-designed things).

2. Product ideas (this can be a project in-process or design sketches for a proposed project).

3. CAD files (bring a print out of an object modeled and rendered in CAD).

4. Code examples (code written in any language. Be prepared to describe how the code functions and the tools used to write and debug the code).

5. Students that don’t have any experience in any of the four identified application areas should write an essay about an area of interest that they would like to deeply explore.

Please note: Applicants of ALL skill levels are encouraged to apply. Contact Mr. Knudson for any questions or assistance.

Photography

The Photography portfolio section of the audition is very important. The thought and care put into your presentation will demonstrate your passion for photography.

Portfolios should be brought to the audition and must include the following pieces:

1. A portrait, in any medium

2. A total of two pieces from the following choices:

a) Landscape;

b) Shadow/Light/Reflection;

c) Rule of Thirds (look this up on the internet at http://photography.about.com/od/takingpictures/a/ruleofthirdsdet.htm)

3. Four to six additional photographs – your best work

All works should be 5″ x 7″ or larger prints, in color or black and white. Please identify each work with your name, address and phone number.

Note: PORTFOLIOS ARE PREFERRED IN TRADITIONAL HARD COPY FORM, BUT ARE ALSO ACCEPTED AS A DIGITAL PRESENTATION ON A FLASH DRIVE OR DISC.

Portfolios must be brought with the student to the audition. Please Do Not send them in advance of the audition.

Please note: Applicants of ALL skill levels are encouraged to apply. Contact Mr. Ornstein for any questions or assistance.

MSA THEATRE AUDITIONS

NOTE: All Theatre auditions will take place on January 18-19, 2020

Please note: Applicants of ALL skill levels are encouraged to apply. Please contact our faculty for any questions or assistance.

MUSICAL THEATRE

1. All applicants will participate in a mandatory two-hour theatre workshop (at no charge) with other applicants, MSA students and program staff on the morning of their individual audition date.

2.    Prepare to perform one monologue, one minute or slightly less in length. Find something that shows who YOU are. Please choose a monologue from a published play or novel, not from monologue books or monologue websites. Students must know the author of the monologue. Students need to have read the whole play in order to understand the character and scene they are performing. Please do not over rehearse.

3.    Prepare to perform two different 16 bar cuts of songs from the musical theatre genre: one up-tempo piece and one ballad. Some students may be invited to sing the entire song. In choosing your song, please consider something with a strong melody. Applicants are encouraged to consider songs from the 1920s through the 1960s. Please bring marked sheet music (indicate the beginning and end of your chosen cuts) IN YOUR KEY.

4.    Applicants may also be asked to read cold from a script provided at the audition and/or to learn a short piece of choreography and a harmony at the audition.

If you have questions about any of these requirements, please email Mr. Franz at: msatheatre@gmail.com.

THEATRE ARTS

1.    Applicants will participate in a mandatory two-hour theatre workshop (at no charge) with other applicants, MSA students and members of the program staff on the morning of their individual audition.

2.    Prepare to perform two contrasting, memorized, monologues, each of one minute or slightly less. Examples of contrasting monologues include: one classical and one modern, one serious and one comical, etc. Try to avoid dialects and accents. Find something that shows who YOU are. Please choose monologues from a published play or novel, not from monologue books or monologue websites. Students must know the author of the monologue. Students need to have read the whole play in order to understand the character and scene they are performing. Please do not over rehearse.

3.  Applicants may also be asked to read cold from a script provided at the audition.

If you have questions about any of these requirements, please email Mr. Franz at: msatheatre@gmail.com.