Travis Aaron Wade is an actor from Los Angeles. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Wade’s career as an actor was taking off when he was cast in Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds, but he broke his nose on the set of The Fix with Robert Patrick the same year. Now after rebuilding his career from the ground up, Wade can next be seen in the CW’s long-running hit show Supernatural, The Forger with John Travolta and Christopher Plummer, and in Criminal Activities with John Travolta, Dan Stevens and Jackie Earle Haley.
What made you want to become an actor?
I was twenty-two and I had gotten out of the Marine Corps. I didn’t really know how to get back into the civilian world. I have the utmost respect for the Marine Corps, but what they have you training to do is inhumane and you have to react a certain way. They have to strip you of all of your emotions. When I got into the military, I didn’t expect those things to happen to me, and when they did, I kinda came out lost. I was in college studying and I was working. I was going through the motions. I was doing everything I was supposed to do, but I just felt null and void. My sister passed away giving birth to her second child. The funeral was very hard on a lot of us, but I was very cold and I didn’t have any emotion. I remember going to my mom and I said “I don’t feel, I don’t know what’s wrong with me.” And she said, ‘What is it that makes you feel?” And the only time I can remember feeling was watching movies. She said, “Why don’t you work in the movie business?”
A friend who was an actress said, “Take an acting class and network. Meet some people in the business and maybe you can do some grip work.” Walking into acting class, the first people I saw were Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Jessica Biel, Claire Danes, Danny and Chris Masterson. These kids were not famous: they were just TV stars at the time. They were putting up this work on stage that was mind blowing. I was just in awe of what they did. At some point, the teacher said, “Stop auditing and get up there and do it.”
I finally tried to put up a scene with people watching. The minute I tried to perform, I had a nervous breakdown. I started crying. I just went blank. The next thing I know, I got a phone call from the teacher. She said, “You just left! You need to come back to class.” I said, “I don’t know what happened. I wasn’t suppose to cry in the scene. I just lost it and I had a nervous breakdown.” It was the first time I had cried and let all these emotions out that were suppressed for many years. She said, “The class was being audited by Judy Savage. She’s an agent. She wants to sign you.”
What was your biggest fear?
Being thirty-nine years old, not married, no children and wondering how I’m paying rent. The fear was where I’m at today. I’m kinda living it! With the success I had early on doing films like War of the Worlds and being closely connected to Jarhead, I didn’t think that I’d be where I’m at today: hoping that my next job comes. When acting does take over, you are in Vancouver shooting a television series, and it’s very difficult to do anything else. Then, that job is over. The fear is not living it. It’s where I’m at today. It’s not so scary now, because there is light at the end of the tunnel. That was the unknown. But, I’m here at this age and it’s not that bad. If you get into acting thinking it’s a five year or ten year gig, you’re gonna be sorely disappointed. It’s a lifelong journey.