Meet Maxim Heinen, Étude Class of 2020 graduate. Max joined Étude during his freshman year of high school.
“During my freshman year, I made a project protesting procrastination in civic action. A lot of the project was on what we can do to protest, speak out and how just talking about a problem isn’t going to cut it. I wrote a parody to a Green Day protest song, Troubled Times, because I felt that just saying the same things over and over again won’t cut it unless we actually go out and try to make that change directly. I felt the project was honorable, but one moment that really stood out was what happened when I got on stage to present it. I’ve always been nervous when it comes to performing so I often visibly shake. A senior noticed it, raised his hand, and told me that it’s okay and that everyone was there to support me and wouldn’t hurt me. As a freshman, I understood it’s scary to start a presentation and scary that everyone might be judging you, but hearing from a senior at that time really made me feel welcomed into the Étude community. I knew that I was where I belonged.”
During his time at Étude, Max composed, directed, and starred in an original musical titled Here and There, about time travel, changing the past, and how you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. This year he has extended his thespian endeavors and wrote a movie script titled Pathos. This movie reveals the realities of Schizophrenia and the effects it has on people around it. More specifically the film is about a man, Tristan, who was raised by a single mom who is Schizophrenic and how that impacted him. In many different ways, Tristan had to deal with his mother, listen to her, though she was mentally unstable and fixated on protecting her family when all she really could care about was herself.
“My favorite memory would have to be the night that my partner and I performed our musical Here and There on the North stage sophomore year. Nothing felt better than having our performance that we put a lot of time into, go really well—though the drums were a bit too loud.”
Like a true Étudian, Max still reflects on his projects and analyzes how they could have been enhanced, even two years later.
“Project Block has opened up so many new ways of learning and learning that has directly impacted me. Every year I tried to make something important and utilize my interests in music/theatre during the creation. This has given me a good deal of experience in the areas that I want to explore and what it’s like to go big on some projects. For example, the musical that I made with my partner sophomore year. That project really gave me some insight into what it’s like in every part of the musical making process, not just the acting like I was used to doing.”
Congratulations Max and thank you for being a part of the Étude community! Go forth with an excitement for learning, a desire to explore and the knowledge that you are empowered to change the world.
“Sadly, I will miss Étude for all the things I’ve learned and ways I’ve grown along the way. High school really was some of the best years of my life with all the activities I’ve taken on and with the support of an amazing school structure. The connections I’ve made will always stay in my heart, including connections made with teachers. I will absolutely take with me the communication skills and work ethic I’ve learned I am capable of thanks to Étude High School.”