Alumni Spotlight August 2011 Max Schneider, 2010 YA Winner in Theater / Spoken & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts
Few teens – or artists, really – would even
fathom about ever being photographed with– nay, present around – Madonna. Yes, that Madonna. The queen of Pop. The legend. Everyone’s favorite “material girl.” But for Max Schneider, he didn’t go out of his way to find her. His talent led him there. Bo Born and raised in Manhattan, Max began performing at the age of three, and he hasn’t stopped since. Singing and dancing for family and friends on his living room table, Max ended up on a Broadway stage. He began his professional career in the musical, 13, and that became the harbinger of the assortment of projects to come. During YoungArts Week, Max studied with incredibly talented performers such as Liv Ullman, Malcolm Gets and Kevin Caroll. In early May 2010, Max walked into a casting for the Fall/ Winter 2010 ad campaign for Dolce & Gabbana featuring Madonna. A week later, Max was posing arm-in-arm with Madonna for world-renowned photographer Steven Klein. The ad campaign was released in August of 2010 in 44 countries. Shortly after 13 closed, Max booked a guest star role on Law and Order. He has also appeared on television shows such as One Life to Live and The View. Admittedl Max goes to the gym everyday before Admittedly, school, and dances 2-3 hours a day. His favorite places to travel are Rome, Paris, Puerto Rico, and Spain, and a small island named Hydra in Greece, that has no cars, just donkeys. He lives in New York City. Read Max Schneider’s blog “My Day with Madonna!” URL: http://youngarts.org/blog/my-day-madonna More about Max Schbeider. URL: http://maxschneider.com/mainmenu.html
We recently caught up with Max and asked him to share some insights about the YoungArts program and the life of a actor:
1) How has YoungArts prepared/affected your life? YoungArts was a transformational experience for me both as an artist and an individual. All of the people in the program are incredibly talented and inspiring. It was an absolute pleasure to be in their company. I met some of the most brilliant artists of my generation and grew so much in just one week of the program. 2) As an actor, acto what obstacles have you faced in your professional career? How did you overcome them? As an actor, I’ve definitely faced the challenge of being type-cast and not being cast for a role because of my age. I believe with hard work, focus, and unwavering passion for your craft, you can truly overcome any obstacle. Thus far, I’ve done my best to be my best and I feel truly blessed and grateful for the success I’ve had. 3) Who has inspired your work? And what was it like to work with Madonna on the Dolce & Gabbana ad? I definitely have a lot of inspiration but if I had to narrow it down I’d say Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Frank Sinatra, Tom Hanks, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Justin Nozuka, Michael Jackson, Madonna, and many more. It was really surreal and amazing working with Madonna. She is a brilliant woman in so many ways, not only as an artist but also as a performer. One immediately senses that she just knows what she’s doing and one can have an absolute trust in her work. If she says something should be one way, it’s going to be that way.
4) How did you become involved with Nickelodeon? And tell us about your upcoming show! I’ve auditioned for Nickelodeon projects for a few years and this year I was fortunate enough to book two awesome projects for them. One project is the TV movie, Rags, which is essentially a hip-hop “Cinderfella” in which I play the Cinderella character opposite the incredibly talented Keke Palmer. The other project is a new musical comedy series called How To Rock in which I play the new guy in school who forms an awesome hip-hop, pop band with the triple threat talent Cymphonique Miller. We go through hilarious adventures with our band and make some really great music in the process! Both projects are set to air in early 2012 and I’m so excited for both of them! 5) What advice would you give emerging artists? Besides the usual corny but completely true statement: follow your heart and your dreams (which I totally believe in.) I’d say trust your instincts; never belittle yourself as an artist to gain fame or success; and just stay true to who you are, because everyone else is already taken.