Travis Aaron Wade
You might remember Travis from The Forger with John Travolta or NCIS: Los Angeles. But what you might not know about him is that he is an ardent animal rights activist and works daily to spread the word about compassion for animals. Travis talked to us about his career, philanthropic endeavors and upcoming projects.
- Travis, can you tell our readers a little about your childhood, where you grew up and how you became an actor?
I could truly write a book about life growing up in Southern California. I was born and raised just outside of Los Angeles in a small town called Covina. Anyone born and raised here is beyond fortunate. My parents divorced when I was 10 years old and my childhood pretty much ended. I started living on my own and taking care of myself once their marriage failed. Growing up, raising myself, my friends became my second family. So many artists come to LA from different parts of the world and it’s easy to get lost out here. Having friends and family on the other side of the 605 Freeway is a blessing. When I was in 6th grade I didn’t have any friends. I remember getting bullied and teased pretty bad. It wasn’t until I finally stood up for myself and fought back that things changed, then the most popular girl in school at that time asked me to walk her home. She kissed me and my life changed. At the end of 7th grade it all spun 180% and overnight I became one of the popular kids.
My teen years were like the film Wolf of Wall Street, but without the money and the drugs. I had the freedom to do anything and it led to some bad decisions, but also I learned from those mistakes and it taught me to take responsibility for those actions.
One day after my trip to Tijuana, Mexico I decided to join the US Marines. I discovered very fast how fortunate we are to live in this great nation. I saw a third world country in its darkest of hours. A young girl around the age of 4 came up to me before we crossed over the border back into the States asking me to buy Chiclet’s so she could feed her family. I remember my eyes just looking into hers and seeing something that just broke my heart. I then saw a dog cross the street and I remember seeing all of its ribs as this poor creature was looking for anything to eat. It was starving to death. I looked around and saw all this poverty and quality of life I never knew. I thought that wearing Pro-Wings to school was hard; these kids didn’t even have shoes?
There is no way I can begin to go into my time in the military. It is an experience I will never forget and has shaped my life in a way that has made me the man I am today. Ultimately what led me into the arts and into acting was the Marines. I was so stripped of any emotions and feelings that came from being trained to kill another human being or see another human being get killed that I felt lost in the civilian world. I just couldn’t connect to people and I didn’t know what my place in the world was and what I wanted to do with my life. The one thing I knew I didn’t want to do was hurt anyone. I was 24 years old and I was lost. My stepsister Tami passed away during childbirth. I remember not having any emotions or crying during her funeral. I felt something was wrong with me and it wasn’t until a conversation with my mother where she asked me what it was that I truly loved. She wanted to know when the last time I cried or felt something emotional. It took me a long time to answer her but finally I realized that the last time I remembered crying was watching Braveheart. My mom pointed out that I had a 250 plus VHS collection and that I have always loved movies. And then my mom said: “Well, Hollywood is only 20 minutes away, why don’t you get into the movie business and make movies?” That is the one thing I can say may be the greatest gift my mother has ever given to me outside of my life and unconditional love; she encouraged me to do things without giving any doubt towards anything I have ever wanted to attempt. Acting has saved my life and it has reconnected me to humanity.
sweater : Banana Republic
t-shirt : Banana Republic
jeans : Travis’s own
shoes : Salvatore Ferragamo
pendant : Dior | AD
bracelet : Louis Vuitton
rings : Alexander AD
scent : Tom Ford | Noir