Actor and singer/songwriter, Max Bartos is as authentic as he is talented. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, he moved to New York City for a role in Broadway’s Sing Street. When the show ended, Max decided to stay to follow his passion which proved to be the best move for this talented young man. I recently interviewed Max on his upcoming album as well as his process for his craft and his future plans.
What drew you into acting and music?
I’ve always loved performing, it’s truly in my blood. But when I was younger, it was definitely more of a hobby that took a backseat to sports, specifically Boxing and Lacrosse. I sustained a head injury when I was 11, which sidelined me from contact sports. I wasn’t able to read or watch tv while I was recovering, so I taught myself how to play Guitar and Piano and began writing songs and music quickly became my life! After I recovered, I began auditioning for theatrical productions, and the rest is history!
What is your process for breaking down a character?
I’ve been working with my amazing acting coach Mark Schneider for a while now, and we always have long and in-depth conversations about the character but also the world around him. Understanding the world this character lives in is vital to the performance and conveying true, human emotions.
What do you look for in a Broadway role?
I look for authenticity and emotional truth. I love getting cast in a show where the character I’m playing has a lot of depth and nuance! Characters are 3 dimensional beings that have leapt from the imagination of the playwright to standing onstage, so I try to make my characters as authentic as possible. Luckily when you have an amazing writer like Enda Walsh, who wrote Sing Street, my job as an actor is very easy!
What is your song writing process?
I always start by writing a chord progression or riff on my guitar. Then I try to figure out and mumble a melody line that I think works for the song. After that, I look at what I’ve done overall for the song, and I come up with one word to describe the emotion the chord progression is giving off. Finally, I’ll write lyrics to highlight that emotional overtone of the song.
Tell us about your newest album.
My newest album, called “Memento Mori” is a concept album about a ghost’s last day on earth before he fades away, and how all he wants is to see the love of his life once more before he disappears. I’m very inspired by the themes and lyrical content of bands like My Chemical Romance, but the sonics of Glen Hansard or Duncan Sheik!
What is your advice for keeping a healthy work/life balance?
I think the most important thing is to block out time every day to turn off your brain. Maybe go outside and take a walk with friends. I do this every day and I’ve never felt better. I also make sure to see my friends multiple times a week, so I don’t become a hermit scribbling away at a notebook at 4 am!
Tell us something people would be surprised to learn about you.
I’m red/green color blind and I am a proud member of the scoliosis club!!! Both things run in my family, but they haven’t slowed me down yet!
What are your goals for 2023?
My main goal is to release my album, I’ll be announcing the release date soon, and go on tour with it. I want to keep creating and making art with my friends, but most importantly, I want to help make people feel better through my music and other creative projects.
Any upcoming projects you can share?
Aside from my album, everything is kind of up in the air. I’m doing a lot of cabarets and concerts at 54 Below in NYC, and I’m doing a bunch of workshops for new musicals, but those are all pretty hush hush.
Where can we follow you on social media?