January 15, 2014

Wetaskiwin Comp. grad hits the small screen

Lindsay Morey / Wetaskiwin Times

Travis Turner, 2005 graduate of Wetaskiwin Composite High School finally landed his big TV break with a role on the new YTV series ‘Some Assembly Required’. The show is about an eclectic and mismatched group of kids who operate a toy company, Knickknack Toys. Turner will play the character of ‘Aster’ and will appear as a series regular in 15 of 26 episodes.

“I did really need this one. I made the choice last year; I either wanted to get a part that goes to theatres or a part as series regular on a TV show. Both of them for me meant the next level. Just to have that face time on a TV series is really going to help my followers and my fans and it solidifies my career choice. I’ve been [acting] since I was a kid, since I was six. So it feels my work is paying off.”

He found out in July that he landed the role with the production beginning in August 2013. He has received great feedback from fans since the series premiered on Monday, Jan. 6.

“So far so good, people like my character. The show is really funny. I think kids are going to like it and not only kids but adults as well. There are a lot of jokes that adults can get too, so the whole family can have fun with it.”

His character, Aster, is the intelligent, fashionable, witty guy on the show. Turner said Aster has a bit of a sensitive side every once in awhile but he has a lot of good one-liners.

“He’s kind of self-proclaimed as the king of swag. If he doesn’t like what you’re wearing, he will let you know.”

Originally from Oliver, B.C., Turner moved to Wetaskiwin with his family in 2003. Turner said he was very involved in the theatre program at the high school and he felt fortunate to be a part of a really talented class when he was in grade 11 and 12.

Turner laughed recalling when he moved to the city he discovered the grade 12 drama program was cut, “When we moved to Wetaskiwin, to be honest I thought, ‘Oh, there goes my acting career. There’s not a lot here.’ So I thought, ‘Wow I won’t even be able to take grade 12 drama,’ but I enrolled for the grade 11 drama program anyway.”

“And not only that, but the teacher who teaching the drama program was a math teacher – which is unheard of. But he was really awesome. His name was Fred Kong. The kids loved him. He would rap at the beginning of classes,” laughed Turner.

In grade 11, he was a part of a Wetaskiwin anti-violence wave education (WAVE) where his drama club toured around the county to places like Drayton Valley and performed the play, “The Election.” Turner said they got such a great reaction from small schools that the club was given a budget to produce a second play, “A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream,” where he portrayed the role of Puck. Following that success, the grade 12 drama program was reinstated. In 2005, Turner won the award for Best Actor in a supporting role at the Alberta One Act Festival for his role of J-Rat in Mousetown.

“It was pretty awesome because I don’t think Wetaskiwin won anything since the 90’s.”

“Hopefully [the drama program] is still going hard. Maybe this will inspire [the students], if they see this.”

Even though Turner is based in Vancouver now, he returned to Wetaskiwin over the Christmas break to MC a hip-hop show at the Cornerstone Pub.

“I try to come back and visit at least once a year. I still like to support where I come from and my hometown. I still have a place in my heart for Wetaskiwin.”

To find out more about the YTV series, Some Assembly Required, you can tune in on Monday’s at 6:30 ET/PT or follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

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