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BWW Blog: How To Prepare For College Design and Technology Interviews

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I’m here to help you prepare for your design interview. 

BWW Blog: How To Prepare For College Design and Technology Interviews

When I was a freshman applying to colleges, I attended multiple theater design and technology interviews, or portfolio reviews. These can be very challenging because there are so many different areas of design to talk about and to engage with. Personally, I've attended multiple design interviews at very different schools and I'm here to help you prepare for your design interview.

First, know your niche. It is important to have an interest in all of the areas of design, but it is equally as important to know where your place is. For example, I did lighting design in high school so that was the primary focus of what I was talking about in my interviews. Other people might want to discuss stage management, set design, or directing. But it is important to find the

space where you feel comfortable and feel like you could talk for hours about your area of design.

Next, some interviews might want you to come in with design ideas for a certain show or shows. This is where it's important to go over the criteria for the interview in advance, brainstorm, and have notes prepared. Preparation for this part of the interview might include watching old performances of the show and seeing what you like and don't like or pulling design elements from some of your favorite productions. If you are in a group interview, it is important to not compare your ideas to others because your ideas are important and creative, just like everyone else's.

Making a portfolio can seem confusing and challenging, but it doesn't have to be. If you have experience in your high school theater, ask your director or stage manager if they have recordings or photos of the show. Choose parts from the shows that you're really proud of creating or having a hand in creating because if you choose something you really love and are proud of, you will have no trouble talking about it during your interview. As a lighting designer, I chose videos of some of my favorite moments that I designed and used my computer to edit them into one video. Costume designers might have a physical portfolio where they bring in fabric swatches and photos of their designs. The kind of portfolio you make all depends on what you want and how you want to show yourself.

It is very important to note that it is okay to not get into the program of your dreams. It's okay to be sad and upset if you don't get in also. Rejection is a part of theatre and it is going to happen to you for the rest of your career. I personally got rejected from what I thought was the best and only program for me, but I allowed myself to be sad about it and kept looking. What I found was somewhere better for me and a program that I find myself truly involved in and passionate about. It might feel like it at the time, but your interviews are not the end of the world. All you can do is the best you can. Rejection is hard, but sometimes you need that rejection to bring you to the right place.

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