The 33-year-old tells PEOPLE just a sliver of his rewarding and adventurous life as an emcee around the world
Max Rantz-McDonald refuses to sit still.
The emcee and event manager’s passport is filled with stamps of visits from the most sought-after countries in the world, he’s emceed large-scale gigs such as the Color Run and Yacht Week, and he’s toured with personalities like Katy Perry, Oprah Winfrey and Eminem. He also basically lives in flip-flops.
The idea of entertaining and bringing people together was always exhilarating to Rantz-McDonald. He had been the mind behind many events growing up, from organizing gatherings in professional rugby to setting up a society in his college, Dublin City University, and expanding its chapters in other schools. But he didn’t realize it was his calling until he hosted and emceed a party in Croatia during Yacht Week.
“I enjoyed that so much — being the puppeteer, being able to get people dancing and moving in a way that I wanted,” Rantz-McDonald, 33, tells PEOPLE. “I thought, ‘I’m going to go for a career in emceeing. I don’t know if that’s even possible, but that’s what I want to go towards.’ ”
He then very quickly picked up a job with The Color Run in Ireland, where the event organizers were so impressed with his ability to host that they extended his contract to emcee all the gigs in the United Kingdom to the Middle East to Australia, letting him travel all over the world to stand in front of crowds ranging from 5,000 to 33,000 people.
Traveling and immersing himself in different cultures and crowds seemed to come naturally to the emcee. As a young boy, he spent much of his youth between Dublin, Ireland and Nice, France (he’s half-Irish, half-French), played “an awful lot of rugby,” and was imprinted with the travel bug, “having been to five continents at the age of 16.”
But then he hit another revelation. “When I saw just how much I enjoyed these, I wanted to get a bit more serious,” Rantz-McDonald says, “not just be a guy on stage jumping around, but putting on these events.”
He eventually teamed up with his friends and they hosted events “ski events and some sailing flotillas,” Red Bull events around the world and the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
With an Instagram handle like @LiveToTheMax, he’s certainly not falling short on delivery.
One day, when he was emceeing The Color Run in Australia, he happened to pick up a job emceeing on the Katy Perry tour, enabling him more opportunities working in the music industry, which eventually led him to tour with Winfrey.
One of his favorite moments in his career so far was listening to a Q&A with the renowned talk-show host, where someone asked her what her biggest fear was, to which she answered “the fear of wasting time.”
“I thought, that’s really good. Since then, any big decisions, or even small ones, that I’ve needed to make, I’ve put it through that Oprah moment,” Rantz-McDonald said.
As of late, Rantz-McDonald has been collaborating with Yes Theory, a digital media brand and YouTube channel dedicated to instilling positivity and inclusivity in communities, founded by Matt Dajer, Ammar Kandil and Thomas Brag.
He emceed a Yes Live charity event (the most recent one being Oct. 12 in Downtown Los Angeles), an immersive five-hour event where attendees are able to listen to the founders speak, as well as experience talks from a slew of motivational speakers and performances by music artists.
“The idea was that with my background, I’m producing events, to have something more tangible that the community can come around and be there and be present,” Rantz-McDonald tells PEOPLE. “They can go home with some real takeaways and get a behind-the-scenes look at what Yes Theory is all about.”
With that, the emcee has also been able to help Yes Theory on some of their longer form videos, one of the more recent ones being “The Lost Pyramid,” which follows the three founders, Rantz-McDonald, and their other peers on their expedition to climb El Mirador in Guatemala to “fulfill a childhood dream of Ammar,” who’s Egyptian, of climbing the world’s biggest pyramid.
Rantz-McDonald has also worked with SOUNDBOKS, one of the most powerful battery-powered speakers in the world, where they hired him to “travel around the world and put on different stunts and produce different events.”
“One of them recently was climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, the tallest freestanding mountain in the world, and to put on the world’s highest altitude party at the very summit of Kilimanjaro,” Rantz-McDonald said. “It takes everything on my adventurous side, my production side and just putting a smile on people’s faces.”
He adds, “We also raised a bunch of money for charity, so that was very worthwhile.”
Currently, Rantz-McDonald has visited 113 countries and counting in his career as an emcee — and he’s sure not to stop there.