"That’s what makes acting so attractive. You get to break all your own rules."
See Me in Underpants
If you remember from my last post I am now a company member at the incredible Theatrum Elysium and our season is well underway. I’m currently in rehearsal for a hilarious play written by Steve Martin himself called ‘The Underpants.’ I play Franklin Angelo ‘The Cat’ Luigi Versati the Third, a romantic poet who has fallen head over hills for a married woman simply because he caught a glimpse of her underpants. The show is wild, fast paced, physical, and downright hilarious. Grab your tickets here. If you’re an industry person contact me and I’ll make sure we get a ticket for you.
Chasing a Melody
I was just in a short film for the Brooks Institute of Photography called Chasing a Melody and it was a great chance for me to play a character that I haven’t been able to play before: A paranoid, agoraphobic, genius composer. Needless to say, it was a great challenge and a blast to work on.
Blue Chip Entertainment
Last month I went to a Manager Showcase and I am stoked to say that I have signed with the great guys at Blue Chip Entertainment. So far I couldn’t be happier. They’ve been everything I’ve ever wanted in a management team. They’re the best.
Quick Start Brands recently hired me to be in a commercial explaining their product and what it does. It was a great shoot, and it gave me a chance to play someone articulate and business savvy. It was also a good opportunity to practice making jargon-y product based dialogue sound natural.
You know me. I can’t help but keep myself far too busy. So I decided to write, direct, and produce a new web series called ‘Where?’I’m very excited about the way it has been going and the first episode should be up on our website by next week.
Life in General
It’s pilot season, so to say that I’m insanely busy kind of goes without saying… but I am insanely busy. I’m usually exhausted in the best possible way, and I’m always looking for something else to get my hands on. I love feeling like I’m moving my career forward and lately I definitely feel optimistic, excited, productive and driven. Let’s hope it all pays off.
If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot [act],’ then by all means [act], and that voice will be silenced. -Vincent Van Gogh
Thanks for stopping by to check out what I’ve been up to lately.
This show marks the first Shakespeare for me since college and it was so wonderful to get back to it again. This show was the ultimate actors dream role for so many reasons. First of all the production itself was unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. This blurb from the company website explains it best:
Theatrum Elysium’s Cymbeline offers theatre-goers a production that does not simply “take place outdoors”—but rather a rare opportunity to be transported into the vivid, but often dangerous, world of Shakespeare’s imagination. Infused with expressive choreography, riveting music, explosive battle scenes, and a narrator to guide audiences through the flurry of adventures, this theatrical experience rediscovers the magic and mystery of mistaken identity, star-crossed lovers, and the dreams that define us all.
So yeah, it was awesome. Secondly, I got sword fights and dance numbers. Those are awesome. Thirdly, I had the opportunity to play both Cloten, the King’s dolt of a step-son, and Posthumous, the poor banished husband of the Kings daughter Imogen. It was a great challenge because on one hand these two characters had similar journeys to go on, yet on the other hand they could not be more different. It was so much fun to literally go from one character to the next from scene to scene. And if several audience members telling me that they were unaware that I was the same actor is any measure of success, then I suppose I can be proud of my work. Fourthly, the show was a great success. We sold out almost every show and ended up extending our run to four more completely sold out shows. You can’t ask for much more than that.
Ultimately, this show goes down as on of those undefinable experiences that no blog can fully describe. The cast was amazing, the crew was amazing, the show was amazing, and the company was amazing
It Gets Better
Working with Theatrum Elysium was more than just doing a great show. It was developing as an artist. Which is why I was honored when they offered me a position in their company as a full time company member. So I’m thrilled to announce that for the 2013 season I will be participating in every show for this amazing company. (If you’re a casting director considering hiring me and are worried about how this will affect my availability, don’t worry, this is a very flexible, supportive, and understanding company.) Also, if you have some money these people gave me a job so it would be awesome if you could support this great company.
I won’t bore you with more details but just so you know in the past months I shot a commercial for Mio Energy which should be out soon. I’m booked to do some Christmas Caroling with the Tinsletones this season. Mild Mannered is still moving forward, Flick and Burn is wrapped and is awesome, I produced, and acted in a 24 hour short called Brainstorm, and I’m set to start filming on a new indie short next month. More info to follow!
The Moral of the Story
I just got a new job as a bartender at a Kareoke bar to pass the time in between gigs. (Awesome right?) And one of our regulars is a 50 something overweight hispanic guy named Rich who is one of the most shy people I’ve ever met. But when he gets on the stage he just lights it up. The man has a great voice and is a true performer. I was talking to him about his life and about how he has a dream to write music and produce albums and how, even now with the limited success that he has or hasn’t had, he is still going after it. He is still scribbling lyrics in his notebooks while he downs non-alcoholic bloody mary’s at his favorite Kareoke bar. Because it’s like Rich says, people don’t fail… they stop trying.
Thanks for reading.
Things have been going very well for my ‘career’ and I’m happy to say that I have been very busy as of late. So busy, actually, that it would be tedious for me, and SUPER boring for you, to cover everything. Therefor I’ll just go over a few of my favorites.
You’re Awesome! Gold Star.
Contrary to popular belief very few actors, that I know anyway, are in the business for the fame and the recognition. That said, it is nice when someone says, “Hey, you’re kinda good at this.” Which is why I’m proud to say that I’ve been nominated for the Inland Theatre Award for Excellence for two separate performances. One for Ali Hakim in Oklahoma!, and one for The Mikado in The Mikado. So yeah, yay me!
New Headshots! New Demo Reel! Finally!
After millions and millions of years filming this we’ve finally been able to put some episodes online! The response has been very positive and I can’t wait to see how the rest of the season comes together. Check out Episode One and Episode Two. Then go ‘like’ us on Facebook!
Handle with Care
This film will go down as one of the best acting experiences I’ve had to date. It was such a dream. My character was so much fun to play and the director (Elizabeth Spitsbergen) was good enough to let us ad lib and play a little. My co-star was my beautiful and talented wife, which is always a dream. And the film covered so many different emotions and scenarios that we really got to cover a huge range. From the joy of proposing after a carriage ride through Seaport Village, to the devastation of realizing that we were not able to have children, to the joy of retiring together in our old age. (My wife and I got to put our Make-Up skills to the test) It was a phenomenal process and I can’t wait to see the film.
Student films are always a scary thing to sign on for as an actor. (You never know what you’re going to get.) But ‘Aftermath’ was definitely a great experience. We shot in the most beautifully disgusting garage ever on the RED camera. My role in this, as the one roommate who was perfectly fine with NOT changing the world, was relatively small so I’m excited to see how the film comes together.
Flick and Burn
This is a project currently underway and so far the process has been great. Red Cup Cinema (the production company) is a passionate group of guys and they’ve got some great things lined up for this. Not only is it going to be a great film, I get to play a drummer. And that’s awesome.
I know this film is old news but it just keeps popping up. We’ve been accepted into another film festival! (Yay) So if you’re in the Riverside area stop by and see us.
As my life progress on and I take a step back to see where I’m at it is very easy to get discouraged at the fact that I’m not rich and famous yet. I mean, I’ve been here almost a year and a half, how long is it going to take!?
Yes. That is a joke.
I feel very lucky to have the success that I have had so far and I definitely feel like the momentum is on my side. Here’s to the future and continuously growing as an artist.
Thanks for reading!
Under the sublime law of progress, the present outgrows the past. The great heart of humanity is heaving with the hopes of a brighter day. All the higher instincts of our nature prophesy its approach; and the best intellects of the race are struggling to turn that prophecy into fulfillment. -HORACE MANN
Hey Travis, what have you been doing with your life?
I’ll tell you.
For the first time since moving to L.A. I went back to my theatre roots for a little stage time… and it was a blast. I was cast back to back, at a great theatre called Performance Riverside, in two roles that I never would’ve imagined myself playing: The Persian peddler, Ali Hakim, in Oklahoma! and the Japanese emperor, The Mikado, in The Mikado. I guess I can officially call myself a character actor! Playing characters so unlike myself really amplifies all of the fun parts of acting and helps remind me why I love doing it. It really was a great experience working with some very talented actors under a very talented director.
I am super proud to say that I finally tried my hand at film directing. I wrote and directed a spec commercial for the 'Doritos Crash the Superbowl Contest.' It was a small project but the perfect thing for me to get my feet wet. I’m thrilled with the result and had a blast working behind the camera. See the commercial here: Commercial.
My next project is also behind the camera. I wrote a short film called ‘Life After’ and we’re about to start filming. I. Am. Pumped. I won’t go on to long about it here but read more about it on this page.
It’s hard to explain to my non-actor friends back home how I’m loving life in L.A. and feel really good about my career when I’ve already been here for a year now and I’m still not rich and famous. But it’s because I look back on this incredibly short year and I can see all of the progress that I’ve made and how the momentum is really picking up. I have no idea what the future holds for me and my career but I know that I’m getting closer to my goals, and I know that I’m happy. I wouldn’t trade this crazy life of being a poor, starving, actor in L.A. for anything else in the world.
Thanks for reading.
You might also like to work with my incredibly talented wife: Whitney Morgan Cox
Nope. Not dead. Just too busy/lazy to update my blog.
We’re well on our way with this awesome web-series, episodes one, two, and three are completely wrapped and I’m told that the first episode should be up any day now. The little bits that I’ve seen look great so I can’t wait for everyone to see the finished project. Check out the website to watch our behind the scenes videos to put you in the mood. (In the mood for what? I don’t know.) Mild Mannered the Show.com
Filming Death Canyon was a total blast. Nothing like spending a few nights up in the mountains making movies. We shot a full feature film with a mostly improvised script in 24 hours. It was a totally unique acting experience. Not only will watching it be like watching a documentary, but filming it (and thus acting in it) was a lot like a documentary as well. The directors (Helvijs Vingners and Bethany Pelton) say that the first cut looks great and it should be hitting festivals soon. Check out the trailer here: Death Canyon Trailer.
Next up for me is a very exciting film called 86’ed. Directed by Christian Purdie this feature length action movie will be the biggest film I’ll have worked on to date. If the set is half as exciting as the script it’s going to be an awesome 3 weeks of shooting. Gun fights, explosions, etc… plus I get to play a crack head so that’s bound to be awesome. Check out the films website here: 86’ed movie.
In other exciting news I’ve entered pre-production for my first short film ‘Life After.’ As an actor I’ve always wanted to be able to make my own movies (just in case no one else wanted to put me in theirs.) so I wrote a script and now I’m making a movie. I won’t go on too long about it here. But you can check it out here: Life After Movie.
Saint Valentine was accepted into the AOF film festival so I went to that and had a great time. I’m still studying improv and hosting Wednesday nights at iO West. And I’m still meeting amazing people, and learning amazing things.
I’m still here. Here’s what I’m doing.
I mentioned this great little web-series in a post when I was first cast a few months ago, but now we’re well under way with shooting this thing and all I can say is that I’m loving it. Actually that’s not all I can say… I can also say that the script is hilarious, the shoots are a blast, the cast is extremely talented, Nick Rieber and Mark Mushakian are ridiculous (in a good way) behind the camera, and I have very high hopes for the future of this series. Check out the website here, and be sure to watch all of the fun behind the scenes videos here. Trust me, this is gonna be a good one.
About a million years ago I lucked into a spot in a show called ‘Twist the Night Away’ that was being produced in Zion National Park in Utah. ‘Twist’ was the first professional show I ever did and I ended up doing the show for total of 12 months between the two years I was apart of it. I can definitely say that the confidence I gained while being a part of that 1950’s jukebox musical as an awkward teenager really secured my conviction to, you know, follow my dreams. Anyway, a few months ago my good friend and director, Rhett Thomas, called me up asking how I felt about a little Reunion Run of the show. Of course I was all for it. All the original cast mates came together for a completely sold out run of the same great show we did together almost seven years ago. It was all nostalgic and mushy and everything. Great times.
I’m very happy to say that I’ve been cast in two feature films to be filmed this summer. The first is called 'Death Canyon.' A ‘found footage’ horror film that takes place in the desert mountains of Utah. The script will be mostly improvised and we’ve got a great team of actors and crew lined up. It’s a very ambitious project with all sorts of exciting twists and turns. The second film is called ‘Eighty Sixed’ which is best described as a action, heist, thriller, shoot em’ up, movie of awesome proportions. Complete with gun fights, bad guys, mobsters, and hot Irish girls (my wife is playing one of them.) It’s going to be very good.
"Acting is half shame, half glory. Shame at exhibiting yourself, glory when you can forget yourself." - John Gielgud
Being an actor is kind of nuts… and kind of awesome. Everyday I learn something new, meet another incredibly talented person, and have ridiculous amounts of fun. It’s a good life.
Life is good.
My First Screening
Remember ‘Straight Bashed’ from my last post? Well, it’s finished now and we had a screening party. As great as the party was (Really great job Will!) and as great as the film was… (It really turned out well, everyone had great things to say) the screening was one of the most awkward moments of my life! I don’t know what it was but watching myself surrounded by other people watching me made me extremely self-conscious. I heard a rumor that Johnny Depp never watches the movies he’s in; At the premier he shows up for the photos, and the press, and the hub bub, and then sneaks out the back before the show starts… I might have to adopt that philosophy.
I have been shooting a really awesome short film written and directed by Gui Pinto called Alienated. As an actor, this movie pretty much crossed off all the boxes on the ‘cool stuff an actor gets to do’ list. *Shoot on the RED camera. *Play a character with extreme mannerisms. *Have not one, but two awesome fight scenes. (Featuring extreme slow motion awesomeness.) *Stand on a roof wearing a trench coat and sun glasses. *Have super awesome CGI effects. *SAVE THE WORLD And the list goes on and on. Needless to say it was an extreme blast to film. Gui is a true professional and will no doubt go far. The cast was stellar, the crew was superb, and I can’t wait to see the final product.
Between us Friends - Wrapped
The first week I arrived in L.A. I auditioned for a web-series called Between us Friends. For the past few months I’ve been working with some great people on an all but non-existent budget to make a six episode web-series and we wrapped it a few weeks ago. It was a really great first project for me. I learned a lot. And always had a ton of fun on set. I can’t wait for the season premier. We’ll see if Between us Friends is as fun to watch as it was to make.
Will Brown, the writer of ‘Straight Bashed’ reminded the audience at the screening that it is important not to get caught up in ‘becoming famous’ and that the reason why most of us are here, doing what we do, is to ‘make art.’ And he’s absolutely right.
"We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth, at least the truth that is given us to understand. The artist must know the manner whereby to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies."
Need a great actress? Cast my wife: Whitney Morgan Cox.
I suppose it’s about that time again to post another update. Here’s what has been going on:
Big Time Auditions!
This is probably not big news to most people who have been out here acting for a while, but I feel pretty cool about it. In the past few weeks I’ve had the opportunity (thanks to my awesome agent Gail Marx at Daily Talent) to attend some national commercial auditions for Snickers and Nokia. While I didn’t book either job it feels good to be in the mix.
I just got done filming a pretty interesting five minute short called ‘Straight Bashed.’ It’s a story about a gay man named Eric who, because of being judged for his sexuality, snaps when he sees a straight man hitting on a girl in West Hollywood. My character, Malik, stops Eric from beating up the straight guy and helps Eric to see that change and acceptance is on its way. The shoot was excellent, and everyone involved was super talented. Hopefully you’ll see ‘Straight Bashed’ in a film festival near you.
Spec Commercial Fun
A professor at the New York Film Academy in L.A. Recently cast me in a spec commercial for AT&T he was shooting for a contest in Barcelona. It was a great experience for me to make some good connections and to work with a great crew. This shoot was a blast and I can’t wait to see how it all comes together.
My First Music Video
On my bucket list has always been to have a shot of me running and screaming in slow motion while holding some sort of battle weapon. Well, thanks to the band Cut Copythat dream has become a reality. The fact that I was wearing 1970’s Basketball garb (John Stockton style short shorts and rec specs included) is besides the point. All I can say about this is that I can not wait to see this video. It is going to be the most random video ever. In the best possible way. Once again, a total blast to shoot. The album is released in February so keep an eye out for the ‘I Need You Now’ video.
I just got word today that I have been cast in a LA Film School feature called Alienated and I’m very excited. I’ll be playing the lead in the film who is a homeless man, turned ‘save the world’ guy. I haven’t read the entire script yet but I’ll be able to tell you more as we move forward. Should be great!
Bring on 2011
2010 has been great to my wife and I. (Check out my wifes page here. She’s the best actress I’ve ever seen!) We made the move to L.A. Got jobs and a place to live and have started living the dream. Needless to say it has been stressful, expensive, terrifying, and all together wonderful. I look forward to our first full year in L.A. 2011, here we come.
Thanks for reading.