Standish913.com has been blessed to do an exclusive interview with...
TRAVIS: Hey brother, I know we have been in contact.. Appreciate the time man. I grew up kind of a military brat. Lived a little bit of everywhere: born in philly, moved to Florida, Washington state, california, texas, louisiana, arizona, finally settled in for my high school years in Louisiana...
Honestly had not been around of lot of different races of people so it was a little bit of a shock. In fact most people don't know this, but I was transferred on a majority to minority transfer. Which basically means you're transferred for your race to a school. And I was transferred to a school called Linwood Junior High in Shreveport louisiana. That was 90% black. I won't lie there was a very rough couple years for me. But I learned a lot about myself and a lot about race in the United States. My experience in extreme amount of reverse racism being a short chubby white male with long hair that kind of look like a girl. But all in all I think it was a very great experience for growing. It helped shape who I am today and made me realize that at the end of the day we're all just people. Are insecurities passions and bullshit can be ironed out in one fell swoop... I adjusted. The other thing I learned from being a military brat was that you had a certain amount of time to fit in and you better fit in. Cuz there's no telling when you're leaving!!!
Where to start?!?.. So I graduated high school after a pretty hefty party mode in my past. Cleaned up on the senior years. And graduated with a 3.9 GPA which was impressive considering my first year. And then did not know what to do. I had a tennis scholarship to several schools full ride. Also had a state scholarship from the federal government for being poor so I decided on the federal scholarship and went to LSU. Figured I wasn't dumb so dropped into the hardest thing I could think of which was pre-medicine. About 6 months in through partying and just not knowing what I wanted I knew specifically that I did not want to go to school for 10 years. So I opted out to go to EMT school. And went to work for a local company in Louisiana. Had an amazing 2 years, and decided to get my paramedic. Was on the fast track for all of that and my mom called saying that there was a stand in job for John Claude Van Damme for the movie called universal soldier the return. I remember telling her, now is not the time Mom I'm studying for my paramedic and I have a lot on my plate . She said son I don't have a lot of requests but he is exactly your same height and your same build and at the time I had three black belts so everything just kind of lined up. So long story short I ended up getting the gig for the stand in work for Van Damme. If you don't know what a stand in looks like , it's not like a body double it's very different from that. I did the whole movie had an amazing experience with Goldberg, Van damme, Michael Jai White! About a month into filming I decided I was going to move to Los Angeles and be an actor. I had gotten contact info for the costume designer for Jean-Claude Van Damme my young man named Jackie Cheng( still owe that dude the world ), who was the costume designer for Van Damme and also Jackie chan, Lucy Liu. He said he had a room for rent so when the movie wrapped I drove home packed my stuff and literally 4 days later was sitting in LA on a payphone next to his house telling him that I was ready. I don't think he was ready. I didn't give him a chance to say no 🤣
I honestly spent the next 10 years waiting tables and trying to get my foot hold in the business I found, through a lot of hard work and pavement pounding, two amazing acting coaches. At the time I did not understand it and least bit. But I knew I had to work. And the first assistant director Albert Cho that told me on the set of universal soldier return that Los Angeles is going to eat you alive. He really was not wrong 😳. I had a lot of experiences that were negative. Probably could have belonged to the me too movement but decided that wasn't for me. I put my nose down got to work and just ironed out the real world is the real world. And that if you want anything done you have to get to work. So I'm glad I can say that I didn't do anything I didn't want to do. And that if you as an actor or director or writer or whatever creative thing that you want to do. If you put your nose down and you get to work and you don't listen to other people. It's possible to make it in the industry. And it's possible to make it without people that have influence and or millions of dollars telling you that you can't and or trying to sway you in other directions. But like the saying goes between every overnight success is 10 years of hard work. So I put my 10 years in.
STANDISH: Hey Travis, I really appreciate you taking the time to do this exclusive interview...
TRAVIS: Absolutely Standish, I know we went back and forth with my resistance. Honestly there's just so many scams and you never know what's real and what's legit. But after you watching your channel I'm excited to be here and interview. Can't wait for the podcast! You've had a couple heavy hitters and amazing people on your channel. I'm always super excited to have conversations about the business. How things really work. The Good the bad the ugly. And of course the golden egg 😁. Which when I booked Jeepers creepers 2 was definitely that.
Let's get into some exclusive questions...
STANDISH: You played "Izzy Bohen" in "Jeepers Creepers 2", tell us how that felt and also how you landed that role?
TRAVIS: So originally I got called for the role of Scotty! Who was the bully of the film. Played by Eric nenninger (who was amazing ). I did the read and Victor told me that I had a very authentic anger. It didn't really fit Scotty's character cuz I had a justifiable anger in his opinion. He asked me if I would read for the role of izzy. I agreed. I grabbed the sides looked over the character came back in the room and did the audition. And about halfway through he stopped me and said , no I need the same passion and anger that you tackled Scotty!!!
At first I didn't really understand and I said I don't see this character is the same person. I feel like he's justified his anger but reserved. He said no he has to be just as passionate and just as angry, I had an amazing read with the poor actor that was across from me. Cuz I remember specifically him not paying attention to me and me standing up and saying dude you're not FUCKING listening!!!
So most of us were called in a call backs. The callback was extremely intimidating with the producers and or writers, God you choose. About 25 people sitting across a desk watching you with one actor. Most of us didn't do well cuz it's nerve wracking. But the few of us that did okay and or Victor saw on his vision got the parts. But I would say most of us were not booked on our callbacks.
STANDISH: Tell us a little about your overall mission, Travis -
TRAVIS: You know I'll be honest these days I don't really have a mission. So I'm a flight paramedic for a local company in Texas these days. I took a break from acting after my daughter was born. I've done a couple short films and some commercials during and absolutely 100% ! still love this business but started being dedicated more to the certainty and cement of having a full-time job and taking care of a family. Now it's just me and my daughter but things are going well.
STANDISH: Curious, the jean jacket/striped shirt that you wore in "Jeepers Creepers 2", do you still own to this day, 20 years later?
TRAVIS: God I wish I would have swiped it. So at the time I kinda knew it was a no no to snag clothes from set at rap. But also found out years later people do it all the time. I have a friend's who was headed of the greens department on all the hunger games and he has a ton of cool stuff from the movies. So short answer is no, but damn I wish I would have grabbed one of the 4 outfits. Especially the jean jacket.
So the jean jacket is kind of a funny story so I was in. I was in the wardrobe / costume design for jeepers. And the entire cast was there. The entire cast was supposed to be basketball players. Obviously me being the sports writer for a school newspaper I was supposed to be smaller. But in musculature and stature I was bigger than some of the actors. So Victor asked if the costume designer come up with a way that I would look smaller. And due to not knowing when the timeline of the movie took place, the jean jacket seem to be the way to go. I was placed in a jean jacket which good or bad. Depending on the timeline 🤣🤣🤣. I definitely got used to. I still love timberland shoes to this day 😋
STANDISH: When you worked with Director Victor Salva, what was that experience like?
TRAVIS: So honestly working with Victor was the first time that I worked with a really good director. I had done some shorts and commercials , but not like that . And I remember specifically a scene where I was supposed to walk double D and Rhonda back to a vehicle to get away from the creeper. I believe that was the case anyway. I remember doing the lines and walking the scene. It just felt off.... it felt so weird in a strange and not real. So I went to Victor and I said, hey this feels off!. He said Travis honestly. This is throwaway dialogue, your mission is to get them to an escape vehicle. That's it! the rest of it is not important. We did the scene again and it came out feeling super authentic and perfect. And I remember thinking very specifically that is what a good director does. They line you up in their vision and make things feel real for the actor.
STANDISH: How does it feel to be such an inspiration in the Horror community?
TRAVIS: Honestly I didn't expect it at first. It's been an amazing opportunity to reach back out to horror fans. I was not a huge horror fan prior to Jeepers creepers. But over the years I am jaw dropped amazed at the dedication and inspiration of the horror community. And at this point anything I do from here on out for Jeepers is only for the community. I am very grateful for everything that I've gotten and have been given back on Jeepers creepers 2, and the franchise.
STANDISH: What can we look forward to in the future from you?
TRAVIS: Honestly I took a break from acting for a long time I started doing some short films and the Dallas/fort Worth area. Just to test the waters. And just like anything that you're passionate about when you love it you love it. So who knows honestly. I have a very good career right now as a flight paramedic but it's always been in the back of my mind. It's always been my number one passion. And I hope to give back to the horror community with another Jeepers creepers. I think it's crazy that it's been 23 years give or take. Since the first one was filmed and that just seems to be the time frame of the way the creeper works. So I was really hoping for a great script for Jeepers creepers 5 and to be involved. I talked to a guy that had had a idea for Jeepers creepers 5 for me and Mariehb to start off in the beginning as a revenge film and fell in love with the idea. I even reached out to the producer of the franchise on Instagram just to see. And that caused me to try to realign my IMDb page to get myself current. But it's been a little bit of a cluster. But I guess at the end of the day I would just love to be involved in the industry again I love it, I think there's a passion there that people recognize when they've hit on something in their lifetime that they know that they could never give up ♥️
STANDISH: Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?
TRAVIS: Honestly, I think that's open. I guess the whole 5-year from now question is taken with a grain of salt. I think that you don't know unless you put yourself in a position of positivity and knowing what you want. Maybe not even knowing what you want, maybe going for what you think you want. I think that I've dialed away from the acting experience for a long time in the guise of safety and security. And I don't think that was a bad thing for my family at the time. I think I did a very good job at providing security for my daughter. But now that she's grown I think I'm a unique position to choose again where I'm going. I think the sky's the limit. I used to think that only young bloods and good looking kids got roles in movies but after years and years of study and watching amazing films, I know that's not the case. I think talent and or passion take precedence over and I'm excited about my future.
STANDISH: Who are some of your mentors?
TRAVIS: Oh my, so I'll be honest like I was not interested in acting in any way shape or form before the standard work for John Claude Van Damme. I was a huge fan of movies and when I say huge.... I went every week with my mom to the cinema to watch the next blockbuster. And lived vicariously through those characters. But after being involved in the industry and knowing what I know now. I have to say my mentors are few. My biggest inspiration as far as film goes is Godd Will Hunting and braveheart. I would say Good Will hunting number one because they wrote the script driving back and forth from Los Angeles from Boston and even their mom said you can't do this (in a way). And they both wrote and or produced in my opinions one of the greatest films of all time. And that kind of drove home that it's doable. It may be a lot of hard work and it may not come out the way you wanted to. Cuz I know they had multiple rewrites with professional writers. But at the end of the day the ideas and or passion behind a project are yours and even if you have no idea what you're doing there may be a place for you if you're talented enough and or persistent enough. Braveheart just seemed like one of those movies that if you scrolled pass it on television or streaming you could not pass it by. And ironically one of my favorite films, had the second unit and stunt director, basically the same director is universal soldier the return. Which I can say didn't turn out to be great but as far as stunts and second unit that guy is bar none! I wondered always what that was, about those films , but I think there's just an extreme amount of passion involved in films that are important in your life. And I think braveheart was one of those for me as well, so I think as far as mentors go I would say people that are passionate and disregard what other people say and put their nose to the grindstone and just work! In an extreme way, against what other people say. Because the first assistant director of universal soldier of the return was a guy by the name of Albert Cho. He is a brilliant first assistant director, but he told me, and I quote, "Los Angeles is going to eat you alive". I can't say that he was wrong because it kind of did. But at the same time if I would have listened to him I would have never gone to Los Angeles... I would have never stuck my nose into the industry. It almost gave me a backbone to go forward and say you know what, !you can't tell me what I can and can't do.
So don't listen to anyone go after what you feel like you're meant to do here. End of story!!!!
STANDISH: During COVID, we all faced struggles, what was one of your main struggles?
TRAVIS: So honestly I was a flight paramedic during the covid struggles. And it was horrific. I don't think anyone saw how horrible the transition was from everyday activities to isolated in a hospital dying of covid. But having seen all of it firsthand I will say the worst thing that I witnessed was people dying without anyone else. There were people dying in hospital beds with family members outside the window watching. And it was truly one of the worst tragedies in our history. Because not only did we feel hopeless people are dying alone without their family members. They were dying in hospital rooms sterile but by themselves. And I wouldn't wish that on anyone. I came out of the experience with a new outlook on life knowing that the most important thing in life is connection and family.
STANDISH: As all know, Victor Salva was convicted for child pornography & rape, did time, apologized, then kept moving, how do you honestly feel about the overall situation & did it break you away from the Jeepers Creepers collective?
TRAVIS: Honestly this is one of the hardest questions I ever get asked. Did he keep moving? In prison, yes... Having been around Victor for a very long time. He is the biggest hearted, sweetest guy that you will ever meet. He is a brilliant director and I feel like he ruined his career with his bad choice. I don't know if you know this, but Victor wrote the movie powder in prison on toilet paper. I will never justify the behavior of pedophile. But I will say that when you have a person that you talk to on a very deep level that has gone through counseling, done their prison time, paid out millions of dollars to family members that were affected by the event. And still has their career ruined... by a moment... Of bad choices (no matter how horrible ). I can't talk about what goes through his head. But I will say this. I personally have down some awful things that I have been in trouble for... Let your imagination go where it may. Does it go to killing someone? DUI? Pedophile? Abortion? Let society judge(which they did). Then, be done....is a person not worthy of forgiveness. If they 100% changed. Are they not worthy of that. And if not.. where is the end of that line. And I would also challenge you put yourself in the same situation with the same regrets with true honest disgust for oneself. Are they not worthy of forgiveness? I know I will get kick back from that but at the end of the day here is how I feel. If you did a crime no matter how horrible and unforgivable, are you ever to be free of that crime ? Ever? No matter the penance... I say yes..... Victor never got that. I stand by saying, I never had a negative experience with him. And I can say that having many very personal conversation with him. That he was truly sorry and did his time. But that 100% ruined his career. Good, bad, indifferent.
We often find ourselves at a crossroads. Obviously the behavior is not acceptable. If it was my child I would be beyond angry and would have reacted the same way. But when you hear the whole story and you see the person behind the mask you realize that he's a person. He has a dark dark past and you see the things that shaped his behavior. And I don't think that's an excuse but we're all human. And I think that at the end of the day Victor paid for his transgressions. Not only did he pay for his transgressions... those transgressions ruined his career. So I would go so far as to say that he overpaid for his transgressions. I worked with Victor he is a brilliant writer and director with so much to tell the world and express. But because of the transgression he'll never get that chance. 100% hands down it ruined his career.
STANDISH: Where can fans find your work?
TRAVIS: You know at this point God I don't even know. I will have to reup my IMDb because I've been out of the loop. I've done some commercials and some short films. But you can find me on social media under my real name. If you ever want to reach out I'm here.
STANDISH: Anything you'd like to include?
TRAVIS: Yeah hollywood, I really feel like there is this stigma about Hollywood that provided is probably true. But if you're an actor, director, writer. And your second guessing yourself and you don't know that if it's doable. I'm telling you it's doable go out to LA or hunker down wherever you are put the work in. Know that it's going to take a long time and with that knowing just Chase your passion and things will happen. There's no overnight success that's a wives tale. This whole thing of I was discovered in Whataburger parking lot is not true. People put their nose down they get to work and in thatwork they have results. The reason that British and or Australian actors are shocking to us where when we finally figure out that they're not English American is because they work so hard. Put your nose down get to work things happen. And honestly like I can say that's just a message for me here in my life, where I'm at now.
STANDISH: What are your social links?
TRAVIS: You can find me on Facebook, instagram, tick tock, under my full name and or travisty911. If yon feel like you really need to get ahold of me please reach out through Standish, I'll give permission for my contact info if it's something that I can help with and or is inspiring ♥️
Thanks so much for your time!!!
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