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Fax. 757-451-4715

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Norfolk, VA 23510

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how to

audition

Online applications will be accepted starting October 1st! You may only apply online.

Please submit only ONE application.

Deadline:  Online Applications must submitted no later than December 19, 2019.

Students must audition for acceptance into The Governor's School for the Arts. Auditions take place in January. All current 8th - 11th grade students are eligible to apply.

Students must complete an online application form before receiving an audition date. Students will be scheduled for auditions by the GSA office.  

Once an audition date and time is assigned, supplemental forms may be required from individual departments.  These forms will be e-mailed with your audition date and time assignment. Please make sure your email address is complete and correct on your application. All communication will be done electronically.

Other forms may be applicable - please read the specific guidelines for each department.

Questions? Contact: stephanie.outlaw@gsarts.net or 757-451-4711 

Return all forms:

  • Fax: 757-451-4715

dance

Once an audition date and time is assigned, supplemental forms may be required from individual departments.  These forms will be e-mailed with your audition date and time assignment.  Please make sure your email address is complete and correct on your application.  All communication will be done electronically.

Dance applicants will audition in groups in a dance class including ballet, modern and jazz techniques. The audition will last approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.  Applicants are NOT required to perform a solo dance. Adjudicators may interview students informally after the class.

Clothing

All students should be prepared to dance in bare feet for modern. Applicants should have ballet shoes. Jazz shoes are optional. No jewelry or warm-up apparel may be worn. Hair must be pulled back from the face. Men should wear t-shirts and either sweatpants or tights with leotards; dance belt or athletic supporter required. Women should wear leotards and tights only.

APPLY ONLINE.  Please submit only ONE application. APPLICATIONS ARE DUE NO LATER THAN DECEMBER 19, 2019

 
 

Instrumental music

Once an audition date and time is assigned, supplemental forms may be required from individual departments.  These forms will be e-mailed with your audition date and time assignment.  Please make sure your email address is complete and correct on your application.  All communication will be done electronically.

The Audition Committee is committed to making every applicant feel as comfortable as possible during auditions.   The Committee is interested in your current level, your potential and your ability to describe your passion for music.

  1. On audition day, applicants will meet the Audition Team and fill out a brief information form.

  2. Applicants will be given several minutes to warm up in a private audition room.

  3. Applicants will be called into the the audition room to meet the Audition Committee and perform prepared scalesor other rudimentary skills (percussion).  *Select any scale or group of scales that you feel represents your current skill level.

  4. Applicants will perform two prepared pieces of any length.   Memorization is strongly encouraged.   *Select any two pieces that you feel represent your current level of musicianship and dedication.  When selecting your prepared pieces, keep in mind that it's good to pick works that are contrasting in style / character / tempo.   It's also wise to prepare entire works or movements, even though the Committee might not have time to hear both pieces in their entirety.*

  5. Applicants may be given a brief ear-training and rhythmic exercise (no preparation is necessary).

  6. Everyone, including guitarists/bassists may be asked to sightread.  

Jazz applicants may be asked to improvise with live musicians or a pre-recorded track.  Jazz piano and guitar applicants will be asked to demonstrate basic comping from chord symbols provided.  If any of these ideas are new to the applicant, a simple web search will help explain some of the basics.  Applicants who might feel uncomfortable with any of these concepts are still encouraged to audition. The Committee will ask for some of these skills, but not being able to perform one or more of the tasks will not necessarily disqualify any applicant.

Applicants may be asked a series of questions about their interest in music (no preparation).

Orchestral percussion: applicants must call the GSA Office to schedule a specific time with GSA faculty and equipment.

Jazz Percussion:  Drum set applicants must demonstrate basic rudiments on snare and basic styles/grooves on set.   Drum set is provided; applicants must provide their own sticks or mallets for all instruments.

Electric guitar/bass musicians: may use GSA amps, but are encouraged to bring their own setup to avoid surprises on unfamiliar equipment.

Applicants interested in composition: are encouraged to bring printed copies of selected original compositions. If available, bring live recordings played by live musicians of original works.  If a live performance has not yet occurred, the printed music alone is equally acceptable on its own.  Feel free to include your original work as part of your prepared audition pieces. If available, bring only live recordings played by live musicians of original works. If a live performance has not yet occurred, the printed music alone is equally acceptable on its own. Feel free to include your original work as part of your prepared audition pieces.

Applicants auditioning on more than one instrument are assigned a double block of time and must complete the full requirements for both instruments.

Most important:  All of the information above can seem overwhelming to many young musicians.  No matter where you might consider yourself in your musical journey, you are strongly encouraged to audition. It might be one of the best decisions you have ever made. Simply come as you are, better than you were before.

Parents and students, if you have any specific questions about auditioning for the Instrumental Music dept, please feel free to call Jeff Phelps at 757-995-1682 or email at jeff.phelps@gsarts.net

APPLY ONLINE.  Please submit only ONE application. APPLICATIONS ARE DUE NO LATER THAN DECEMBER 19, 2019

Musical theatre

Once an audition date and time is assigned, supplemental forms may be required from individual departments.  These forms will be e-mailed with your audition date and time assignment.  Please make sure your email address is complete and correct on your application.  All communication will be done electronically.

There will be a vocal & acting audition for Musical Theatre scheduled on the same day. 

Students should prepare one musical theatre (Broadway) song, memorized, no longer than two minutes. Applicants may also want to prepare a 2nd song that contrasts the first song in case the judges would like to hear more.

Please do not sing “Popular” from Wicked or anything from Les Miserable. Applicants should bring sheet music in the appropriate key with cuts clearly marked (if there are any).

Applicants may bring an accompaniment CD with no vocals. (Please make sure it plays in a CD player as sometimes computer burned CD’s will not) An accompanist will be provided. Applicants may bring their own accompanist if they choose. 

If absolutely necessary, applicants may sing a cappella (without accompaniment) but we prefer some kind of accompaniment. 

Applicants should memorize a monologue no longer than two minutes from a play or musical work. 

Please DO NOT use monologues from The Wizard of Oz, You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown or The Diary of Anne Frank (Please no monologues from TV or film).  

Students that receive a callback for another day will be assessed for their dance ability at that time.

APPLY ONLINE.  Please submit only ONE application. APPLICATIONS ARE DUE NO LATER THAN DECEMBER 19, 2019

 

Theatre + Film

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Theatre + Film

Please make sure your email address is complete and correct on your application.  All communication will be done electronically.

Theatre & Film Department—choose from one of the following:

  1. Acting

  2. Film

  3. Production/Design Theatre

ACTING AUDITION GUIDELINES 

 

Applicants should prepare two memorized, contrasting monologues no more than 90 seconds each (total time 3 minutes). Please select from a published play, NOT a poem or short story. Please DO NOT choose anything by Shakespeare. Contrast in the monologues can be demonstrated through the type of character or the material chosen such as serious/comedic, contemporary/classic, urban/rural, etc.

Applicants should find characters close to their own age and try to become familiar with the whole play from which the selection is taken. Do not use foreign dialects. Do not use props or wear costumes. For help locating material, browse our website or email the department chair at steve.earle@gsarts.net.

Adjudicators may interview applicants.  Applicants who pass the first round of auditions MAY be invited to attend a round of callback auditions where they will participate in improvisations and theatre games.  

FAQ:  Acting Auditions

APPLY ONLINE.  Please submit only ONE application. APPLICATIONS ARE DUE NO LATER THAN DECEMBER 19, 2019

FILM AUDITION GUIDELINES

Thank you for your interest in auditioning for GSA Film! We welcome students of all interests, ethnicities, gender identities, and experience levels. Each student interested in auditioning for the GSA Film track must, in addition to filling out all other required GSA paperwork and prerequisites, create a totally original short film to showcase their abilities and artistic potential. This short will be viewed at an in-person audition, where you will also be asked questions and have the opportunity to talk about your vision.

Film requirements:

  • 5 minutes or less, including credits

  • Your film must be inspired by a story, book, piece of art or music, or major theme/idea, which you should bring in and discuss at the audition

  • Your film can be any genre.
    (comedy, drama, horror, sci-fi, coming of age, crime/mystery, documentary, etc)

  • Your film must have characters and tell a story.

  • Your film must have at least five different camera angles to help tell the story
    (example: over-the-shoulder, wide, closeup, aerial, medium, etc. -- see definitions below).

  • Your film should have some movement to help tell the story
    (dollying, pan, tracking shot--see definitions below)

What to avoid in your film:

  • Your film should not be a music video.

  • Your film should not be simply a montage, or slideshow of images/short videos.

  • Please avoid animation-only films. It may contain some animation but must also have filmed narrative.

  • Avoid just making a film of yourself talking to the camera or other similar vlog-style work. We’re training students to become filmmakers, not Youtube personalities.

Definitions & Overall Advice 

  • You do not have to shoot your film on expensive equipment. (Even Steven Soderbergh released a major motion picture in 2017 shot on a cell phone.) The most important thing is to capture your vision and creativity as a filmmaker and storyteller. If you have some experience editing, It can be edited on anything from iMovie to professional software like Premiere. If you don’t know how to edit, shoot your film in the sequence you want to tell the story--make sure each individual part is exactly what you want before you shoot the next part.

  • Your film can be provided as a Youtube or Vimeo link, or as a downloadable link via Google Drive/Dropbox/etc -- but we also recommend bringing a copy with you to your audition on a flash drive in MP4 or MOV format.

  • At auditions, be prepared to talk about why you are interested in becoming a better filmmaker, and what some of your inspirations are.

 Types of Camera Shots and Angles

  • Establishing Shot: Usually the first shot of a scene, this is used to establish the location and environment. It can also be used to illustrate the mood of the setting and give the audience visual clues regarding the time (night/day, year).

  • Medium Shot: Shows part of the subject in more detail. For a person, a medium shot typically frames them from about waist up. This is one of the most common shots seen in films, as it focuses on a character (or characters) in a scene while still showing some environment. 

  • Close-Up: Fills the screen with part of the subject, such as a person’s head/face. Framed this tightly, the emotions and reaction of a character dominate the scene.

  • Over-the-Shoulder Shot: A shot commonly used in a scene between two characters having a conversation. The subject is shot from behind the shoulder of another, framing the subject anywhere from a Medium to Close-Up.

  • Tracking Shot: Any shot where the camera moves alongside the subject it is recording. This shot often sets the scene and our character’s place in it. This can also serve as an Establishing Shot and is commonly associated with a Long Shot.

  • Pan: camera movement in which the camera scans the space or changes focus from one subject matter to another by pivoting in a single direction (left, right, up or down) in a scene.

  • High Angle (Bird’s Eye View): Subject is framed from above eye level. This can have the effect of making the subject seem vulnerable, weak, or frightened. 

  • Low Angle (Worm's Eye View): Subject is framed from below eye level. This can have the effect of making the subject look powerful, heroic, or dangerous. Film Terms and Techniques

  • Blocking: The arrangement of actors and props before the camera. Blocking also includes how the actors move around the set during the scene.

  • Lighting: The amount of light, the specific areas that are illuminated, the shadows, and the quality of light asin soft or harsh. The lighting can contribute to perception, meaning, and mood.

  • Cut: The point where one shot ends and the next begins. The cut is made by the film editor at the post-production stage of a film. The cut most commonly marks a rapid transition between one time and space and another, but depending on the nature of the cut it will have different meanings. 

  • Color Grading: The process of altering and enhancing the color in a video or film in post-production.

  • Composition: The arrangement of elements in a shot in relation to the frame of the image.

  • Rule of Thirds/ Nine Square Grid: A concept in film production of how a shot should be composed, in which the frame is divided into into nine imaginary sections. This creates reference points which act as guides for framing the image and gives cues as to where the actor should be placed with-in the frame.

  • Depth of Field: The range of distances from the camera within which the subject is in focus when a given lens or aperture is used. Shallow depth of field is used primarily to isolate the subject from its environment, so only the subject appears in focus. Contrastingly, a deep depth of field is used to keep everything in the scene visible and sharp.

  • Montage: "A single pictorial composition made by juxtaposing or superimposing many pictures or designs." In filmmaking, a montage is an editing technique in which shots are juxtaposed in an often fast-paced fashion that compresses time and conveys a lot of information in a relatively short period.

 

APPLY ONLINE.   Please submit only ONE application. APPLICATIONS ARE DUE NO LATER THAN DECEMBER 19, 2019

PRODUCTION/DESIGN THEATRE GUIDELINES

Please make sure your email address is complete and correct on your application.  All communication will be done electronically.

Complete a Design/Tech Worksheet- Once you have submitted your online application the design/tech worksheet will be emailed to you with your audition date and time.  Please be sure you have entered the correct email address. 

Applicants must complete the design/tech worksheet and bring it with them to the audition/interview along with samples of their work such as sketches, painting, models, etc. Applicants should be prepared to discuss their interests and experiences as they relate to various aspects of technical theatre such as backstage crew, set construction, stage lighting, sound or stage management.

DESIGN/TECH BROCHURE

APPLY ONLINE.  Please submit only ONE application. APPLICATIONS ARE DUE NO LATER THAN DECEMBER 19, 2019

Visual arts

Please make sure your email address is complete and correct on your application.  All communication will be done electronically.

Once your application is complete we will email the Visual Arts audition questionnaire, Mandatory Assignment and Drawing Assignment. Bring these to your audition.

Portfolio Requirements for Audition

Visual Arts applicants should bring 15-20 original works of art showing a variety of techniques, media, and concepts, in 2-dimensional and/or 3-dimensional forms. Digital drawings, movies, & photographs can be brought on a thumb drive.

A laptop computer will be provided.

Works completed independently as well as class assignments are encouraged.

Works kept by art teachers should be collected from the teacher and brought to the audition.


In progress artwork is acceptable.

Bring your sketchbooks and journals even if they are not completed. We like to see work in progress, as well as mistakes. You need to make mistakes to be learning and stretching.

Drawings from photographs, anime cartoons, or comic books are discouraged. We want to see your original work, not copies of another artist's work or style.

Bring drawings from imagination and direct observation from life:

Drawing ‘direct observation from life’ is defined by GSA as a drawing done by directly looking at real and physical objects, people, and/or surroundings with no reference from photography. This can be done with any drawing medium. 

If you have any questions, please email: liana.graham@gsarts.net

APPLY ONLINE.   Please submit only ONE application. APPLICATIONS ARE DUE NO LATER THAN DECEMBER 19, 2019

 

vocal auditions

The Vocal Music department is oriented toward classical music so the audition should indicate the applicant's interest in and knowledge of classical vocal music.

Once an audition date and time is assigned, supplemental forms may be required from individual departments.  These forms will be e-mailed with your audition date and time assignment.  Please make sure your email address is complete and correct on your application.  All communication will be done electronically.

Vocal applicants should be prepared to sing all or a portion of two well-prepared, memorized pieces. Selections should include an art song, aria, or other material from the classical repertoire if possible. A musical theatre ballad (non belt piece) may be presented if the singer has no classical singing experience.

A spiritual such as Amazing Grace sung without pop style ornamentation, or The Star Spangled Banner is also acceptable.  Pop, R&B or Gospel singing is not recommended for this audition. Vocal applicants may also be asked to sight-read, match pitches, and demonstrate vocal range.

Applicants will be judged not only on voice quality, but on interpretation of the pieces and stage presence. An accompanist will be provided. Pre-recorded tapes or cd's are not permitted.

 

APPLY ONLINE.  Please submit only ONE application. APPLICATIONS ARE DUE NO LATER THAN DECEMBER 19, 2019