Build A Foundation | Kent State University

Build A Foundation

Start Building Your Resume, Portfolio and Audition Skills NOW!
  • Document everything you do!
  • Take photos of your projects both the final product and the process along the way.
  • Start building a resume in your freshman year and continue to add.  Have a faculty member review it each year.  There are many examples out there on the web.  Consult with your faculty regarding current standards.  Create separate resumes suitable to a particular job or career.
  • Likewise there are many portfolio tips out there, both specific to your field and in general. Look to your faculty for guides to professional standards.
  • Develop professional presentation skills and make sure your resume and/or portfolio reflect your very best work.  In many programs, your portfolio is one element used to assess your progress.
  • Develop a web presence!  There are many inexpensive or free tools and web hosting services.
  • Audition skills are learned and get better with practice.  Audition as much as you can, whenever you can.  Evaluate your performance and listen to feedback. 
  • Your faculty and advisors are key individuals who will advise you on the best additional training experiences for your chosen career.  Build these into your resume!
  • Consider interning or apprenticing with a company, a professional summer theatre, a dance company or a gallery.
  • Consider summer intensive workshops or courses where you are immersed in your art or craft.
  • Consider Study Away/Study Abroad 
Audition Tips for Performing Artists

This is a general composite of audition tips for actors, dancers, musicians and musical theatre professionals.

  • Do your homework.  Research the audition requirements.  Know what you need to bring with you (headshots, resumes, music, change of clothing, etc.)  Know what the referees/audition panels want you to prepare.  Research the school, company, or organization.  If you are auditioning for a particular show, read it and know it!
  • Choose material within the parameters established by the company that will show you at your best. 
  • Be on time and prepared.  Be rested. Make sure you know where you are going, the address, room number and where to park.  Arrive early in enough time to “warm up.”
  • Dress appropriately.  Your “look” should not pull focus away from your performance.  Make sure everything is clean and pressed (if applicable).  Your faculty will give you advice on what to wear.
  • Be confident and personable.  If you make a mistake, don’t apologize. Keep going if you can.  Be respectful of the process and be positive.
  • Know your material backwards, forwards, in your sleep.  This will help you build confidence.  If you get nervous, seek advice on techniques to deal with your fear.
  • Be friendly and polite to everyone you meet.  Smile. Say “thank you.”  Write a “thank you note” after a personal interview. Refrain from commenting on your experience until out of the building.
  • Audition skills are learned and get better with practice.  Audition as much as you can, whenever you can.  Evaluate your performance and listen to feedback.  Rejection is not the same as failure.  Accept the results and learn from the experience.  Don’t ever give up!

Here is a sampling of resume and portfolio tips.  Remember that your faculty are your best resources for current professional standards!

Resume and Portfolio Tips for Technical Theatre Resumes—from Steve Shelley

USITT Portfolio Review Tips

Fashion Portfolio Tips

Art Portfolio Tips

How to Create a Professional Portfolio Audition Tips

Disney Audition Tips

Mark Morris on Dance Auditions (Dance Magazine)

Professional Associations and Performing Arts Unions

Fashion Industry Association

Council of International Fashion Designers, Inc.

American Federation of Musicians

United State Institute for Theatre Technology

United Scenic Artists

Actor’s Equity Association

Stage Directors and Choreographers Society

National Art Education Association

National Dance Education Association

National Association of Independent Artists

National Coalition of Creative Arts Therapies Associations, Inc.

A “Sampling” of Industry Magazines









Live Design

Dance Magazine

Opera News


Classical Music