College transfer - music/theatre tech resume help

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wren
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College transfer - music/theatre tech resume help

Post by wren » Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:24 pm

Hi all. So, I'm in the midst of a s#*tstorm of activity trying to get all my ducks in a row for transferring from a community college to a 4-year school. I'll be graduating from community college with a Fine Arts associate's (with a specialization in Music); I'm planning on double-majoring in music ("computer music" being my planned focus) and theatre tech. I'm in the midst of getting my required theatre and music resumes together, and I was hoping for a little guidance.

Any general tips for formatting a theatre tech resume would be fabulous, as would any ideas about what doesn't need to be there because my rough draft is going on 5 pages single-spaced. :shock: I'm currently employed as a soundman/general tech for a theatre and have been for the last 4 years, so I'm definitely not short on shows or experience, but I don't really know what I should consider important and what can go: I want to be as succinct as possible, but I do have quite a bit of experience and I want to show that too; I'm not sure how exactly to strike that balance. My big problem, though, is...
The music resume! From what I've heard from a few people, the school I'm applying to has a great "experimental/electronic/computer" music program, but the instructions for the application are definitely geared towards classical-performance-type musicians, and I'm definitely not that. My music background has more or less consisted of lots and lots and lots of informal jamming (all blues and rock, too; absolutely zero jazz or anything else that's academically respectable), some lessons, a lot of self-teaching, and the classes I've taken at community college. I don't really know where to start or even how to reference most of it! (To make matters more confusing, I was homeschooled, so I can't start with "high school band blah blah blah"...) Really, I probably have enough material with just the community college classes, but I do want to be honest about my musical education, and pretty much all those classes taught me was that I don't want to be a composition major.

As you can probably tell, I'm starting to get a little frantic. :D I'm off to work on essays and such, but if anyone has any advice or ideas (or wants to help but needs more info) I would appreciate it more than I could say.

Thanks in advance!
"I don't need time, I need a deadline." -Duke Ellington

"I liked the holes in it as much as I liked what was in them." -Tom Waits

Zeppelin4Life
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Post by Zeppelin4Life » Sun Mar 29, 2009 2:19 pm

Keep it simple, always. Nobody has time to read stuff they don't care about. When you think of a resume, you should think of a 'snapshop' of that person. Think of a press kit! It should be simple. IMO, 5 pages seems rediculous. perhaps you DO have that much experience, which is great, but you can probably condense it. Let them ask you if they want more info.

Balance it with music and other skills. If you are great at theater, thats fine, but let them know you know how to use microsoft products and write emails. It will look cool. I really do believe many colleges really like well rounded people. I didn't have the best grades, but I knew how to program and playing gutiar really well. I got into a music tech program...Best of luck!
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Snarl 12/8
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Post by Snarl 12/8 » Sun Mar 29, 2009 2:34 pm

A resume should be a flowchart of your professional (academic) life. Make a flowchart that shows how you got from newborn to where you are today. Make sure it hits all the important moments/events/milestones. Strip out the filler stuff that you did in between the important stuff. Flowcharts use code, symbols, arrows, lines to represent the important stuff. They don't waste any space on filler, irrelevant stuff.

A friend of mine literally did this on his resume. It was an Excel spreadsheet. It probably had 30 words on it. He used photes, logos, artwork pasted in to depict the important stuff. It had three lines on it, personal, professional, academic. Best resume I've ever seen. Right off you get that he's extremely creative and that he's on a trajectory of life that makes sense for him and will make sense for whoever hires him. It's a risk, but really you should already have the job before you hand over your resume. (He works in film in Hollywood.)

If you're applying for something music/art/performance related include a CD/DVD or at least a freakin' picture. Even if they don't ask for it. Especially if they don't ask for it. If I'm looking through a small mountain of resumes for a music gig and a CD falls out, I'm thinking "at least this person gets what it's all about."
Carl Keil

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wren
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Post by wren » Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:33 pm

Now I get some help. The deadline was a month ago! ;)

I ended up sort of "splitting the difference" in terms of length: the first page of both was the standard resume summary-type-format, with little "see page __ for more details" in appropriate places, and I elaborated where I thought it would be helpful. I definitely made sure to mention (in both resumes) that I have extensive theatre- and music-related experience with a bunch of different computer programs.

My music resume wound up almost being like a paper: the first page was the usual bulleted summary, and then I basically attached a sort of essay to it, with the first page referencing different paragraphs of the essay. The theatre resume ended up being a little more "traditional," I guess: 1 page of summary, a couple pages of shows and then some specific details about a couple of the shows. I definitely emphasized the progression of my experience, and focused on big pivotal moments in my "education" (none of which actually had to do with school, come to think of it) in both of the resumes.

And yes, I sent a CD.
"I don't need time, I need a deadline." -Duke Ellington

"I liked the holes in it as much as I liked what was in them." -Tom Waits

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Snarl 12/8
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Post by Snarl 12/8 » Sun Mar 29, 2009 6:42 pm

I'm sorry I didn't see the post date. Whoops. Sorry for piling on. Did you get in?
Carl Keil

Almost forgot: Please steal my drum tracks. and more.

wren
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Post by wren » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:26 am

Hey, it's cool. If nothing else, it's nice to hear advice now and think, "Yeah, I did that."

And no news yet. :? Probably none until near the end of April.
"I don't need time, I need a deadline." -Duke Ellington

"I liked the holes in it as much as I liked what was in them." -Tom Waits

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