We had the good fortune of connecting with Max DeLoach and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Max, what role has risk played in your life or career?
It’s important to me to include a healthy amount of risk in my life, as long as it’s confined to the right areas. As performers and artists, we risk many things as we pursue our goals. To choose this life at all is a gamble.
I won’t say it’s necessarily easier, but it is more straightforward to choose a career with long-term employment and a steady salary. As a freelancer of any kind, you’re taking more of a risk. You have the potential of a very high pay ceiling, but there’s also the reality of a non-existent pay floor. You’ll likely encounter lean times when the jobs aren’t coming and you don’t know how you’re going to get by. So, obviously, we are risking our livelihood just to do this. However, in my opinion there is an even more impactful way that artists of all kinds engage with risk.
When you step into an audition or onto a stage, you bear your soul to your audience. You are opening yourself up to criticism, risking rejection, and accepting that this relationship between performer and viewer only goes one way… but this risk is a gift! In risk there is great excitement, so I believe that it’s the risk of all that we are when we start to perform that makes it so thrilling when we succeed!
The highs are never as high without the lows, and the taste of victory is never as sweet without the fear of failure.
Embrace risk, embrace failure, then get back up and risk again.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The way I see it, diversification is the name of the game if you want to make it in this business. That doesn’t mean I think it’s wise to spread yourself so thin that you can’t effectively follow any one path,(and many people do quite well specializing in one thing!) but the more you can enrich yourself with new skills, life experiences, and open-mindedness to possibility, the better your odds. This is the reason I’ve ended up in LA, actually. I went to school to acquire my BFA in Musical Theatre, thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and came out a much more capable and confident artist, but I simply wasn’t the die-hard “Broadway or Bust” type that many of my friends and classmates were. I loved it, but I also love so many other aspects of the arts. I want to do musicals, but I also want to do straight-plays, films, television, play in a band, write, etc.! Of all the places that I could have gone to pursue these things, Los Angeles seemed like the best place for me to be able to effectively chase all of these dreams at once.
I think that when you remain open to everything and try to cultivate skills of many different sorts, the universe will guide your path. One way in which I was able to broaden my horizons over this past year in quarantine was by really learning to play the guitar. I’ve dabbled before, strumming some simple chords (even on stage in a few musicals!) but I never considered myself much of an instrumentalist. I’ve made this the focus of all this free time over the last year, and now I play confidently at an intermediate level with a specialization in fingerstyle acoustic. I’m currently auditioning & playing at bars and restaurants while I wait for the rest of the performing arts to stagger back to their feet.
I feel immensely fulfilled & grateful to have this new skill, and learning has only inspired me to dive deeper and do more. I want to get better, I want to learn more styles, and I want to learn more new instruments.
Check back with me again in a few more years, and I intend to put my money where my mouth is!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
That’s a tough question, because there is just so much to do in this city. I think where I would most likely start is by taking my friend on a leisurely drive down PCH to Malibu. The views are just too beautiful to miss and I think it’s a good way for them to get the lay of the land. Maybe we’d stop at The Reel Inn for breakfast before continuing on with our day. Then we’d drive down Sunset Boulevard into the heart of the city and onward to Melrose to show them some of the interesting shops and boutiques LA has to offer. We’d try to catch a sunset dinner at Yamashiro and then go see a show! There are too many great little theatres to chose from, so I’d take them wherever the most interesting show was playing, unless of course I had the opportunity to take them to see something at The Hollywood Bowl, because that would be a must. After a show we’d wrap up the night with a drink at the Chateau Marmont before heading home. As far as where I would recommend that they stay? Well… hopefully they would be able to stay with me! That way we could get up early and start seeing sights again the next day!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
With Mother’s Day just around the corner at the time of my writing this, I think it’s very appropriate that I dedicate this shoutout, as well as any success I have, to my mother. In my time in this industry I’ve had the good fortune to meet so many wise, supportive, encouraging people, but at the top of that list is one person always in my corner who will prop me back up whenever I fall down.
For that I am eternally grateful, and I hope that I’ll achieve all I’ve set out to do, not only for myself, but also to demonstrate to her the value of that unwavering support.
Thanks for everything you do Mom, I love you very much.
Headshot is Paul Gregory