Special Guest: Max Lemberger - The Greek Chorus
In this episode of The Tragedy Academy, we meet runway model and actor Max Eric Lemberger. Max's journey into acting and the fashion industry came later in life but with double the intensity. He is a true testament to time having no boundaries and an inspiration to those who have a dream to chase but think it's too late for them.
💪 Acting at 69
🏡 Becoming an at-home dad
🔍 Getting discovered by being seen
⛹️ Multisport athlete
🤩 Breaking into the fashion industry
🚫 Being a part of a non-inclusive industry
[04:06 ] Max began acting at 69, but the journey started in 1959 when he saw Steve Reeves in Hercules. At the time, he felt that a career in acting was unachievable, but the desire never left his heart. In his early 60s, Max revisited his love for acting and decided to take the plunge. He did his research, took his headshots, and joined a modeling agency.
[10:00 ] After losing his job and leaving a collapsing career, Max became a stay-at-home dad. Throughout the years, he started picking up handyman jobs and in his community. At 41 years old, Max discovered that he enjoyed handy work and felt he would have pursued a blue-collar career had he been exposed to it. Yet, through trial and error, he landed on his lifelong dream of acting.
[18:57 ] Max shares that getting discovered is only part of the battle; another important factor is how you get found. He gives the example of filming adult movies as a bad way to get noticed. Conversely, Max has been given opportunities from other non-traditional forms of scouting – he's become a regular at a local shopping channel that has a reach of over 70 million homes.
[23:43 ] Max shares his background in athleticism. He was a multisport athlete growing up, with his main focus being basketball. Max shares that although he was one of their top players, his 5'9" stature kept him from getting any scholarship offers. In his 30s, Max took up tennis and skiing while maintaining a consistent gym schedule throughout his whole life.
[25:40 ] Max gives his experience breaking into the fashion industry. He recently signed with Naturally Fit Agency to join their campaign focused on hiring models of senior age with a goal to shift towards inclusivity. The fashion industry is known for being ageist, with editorial being the most ageist. Nonetheless, Max expresses being overwhelmed with pride and accomplishment.
[33:00 ] Breaking stereotypes and becoming a part of a traditionally non-inclusive industry is inspiring. Max shares a similar story of a colleague who broke into fashion on similar terms but with different body types. He tells an example of a friend who is a plus-size model and dominating in her career, setting the standard that anyone has the potential to become a model.
[40:44 ] Jay describes the reason behind all the masks we wear in our lifetime; he notes that they each serve a purpose, and they each rose from a wound that wanted to remain hidden. Jay gives the example of growing up in poverty and having a false idea of what happiness is. He notes that pursuing other people's ideas of happiness will only overshadow your happiness.
[48:18 ] Connect with Max
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