YEM Interview: Travis Burnett speaks about his experience as a guest star on “The Conners”

Travis Burnett is an actor that is in The Conners. The Conners is a follow-up to the comedy series Roseanne, centering on the family members of the matriarch after her sudden death. Travis portrays the character of Logan in the show. YEM was able to speak with Travis about what it is like being an actor, his character Logan on The Conners, and his favorite memory from his career so far.

Young Entertainment Mag: You started at a very young age getting standing ovations and working in theater. How did that shape your acting?

Travis Burnett: In theater, your goal is to establish a relationship not only with your character, but the audience. It’s magical and every audience brings a new experience. Every performance is fresh for each new audience so you have to give it your all every time. You also have to make it just as meaningful for the last row as for the front row. It taught me to make every moment count. Also, in theater it’s a team effort, to make the show great. I learned that everyone’s role, backstage or onstage is important for the success of the show.

YEM: What was it like going with your grandma to rehearsals?

Travis: I loved going with her. The people she worked with were really like a family…all dedicated to sharing live theater with children. I watched and learned. The performance and music and sound directors were all professionals and I learned from watching them. I often sang with the cast and sometimes got to stand in for an absent actor…. Even when I was little. I loved the music, the dance, and seeing the young audiences enjoy the performances. It felt natural to be there…. Like my second home.

YEM: Did her acting experience influence you in some way? How?

Travis: It helped to grow the love of acting in me. I saw how much she loved doing it and that brought me joy. I really wanted to do what she was doing. It also made me appreciate music, dance and singing. One of her directors still gives me advice and one of her music directors is my current vocal coach.

YEM: What is it like growing up and continuing to train with Lisa Picotte and David Kaufman?

Travis: Actually, one of my grandmas directors recommended David and Lisa. It’s amazing being able to continue to train with them both in classes and in private coaching. They too are like family and it’s wonderful feeling their support of my career and goals. They’ve taught me so very much. I can’t thank them enough for all they have done for me.

YEM: What have you learned acting wise from them?

Travis: I’ve learned to be very disciplined with my work. Being prepared in everything you do is so important. Study your character, the authors, the script, the directors, learn your lines, and be ready to go all in. I’ve learned that every line counts, to stay focused and to never give up. I’ve learned to let the parts I don’t get go, to take what I have learned from the experiences and reach for the next one, I’ve learned to appreciate what I’ve earned and also appreciate all of those that are helping me to follow my dreams.

YEM: You’ve had a lot of experience on Disney Channel. What has that been like?

Travis: Working with Disney is really magical. To be able to say you’re a Disney kid is such an honor. Disney takes such good care of their actors and creates a great family atmosphere in which to work. The actors and producers and directors I have been blessed to work with all had so much knowledge to offer me. To work and learn and be on a Disney show all at the same time is an actor’s dream come true.

YEM: What is one of your favorite experiences working on Disney?

Travis: What I loved about Diary of a Future President was how my role was able to grow from my initial episode of a few lines to a character who makes an impact on major characters story lines on the show. I also really liked and appreciated how Covid safe their protocols made us all feel.

YEM: What has it been like working with Jason Segel? What have you learned from him?

Travis: Working with Jason Segel was really amazing. From the moment I met him when he came into the makeup trailer when they were working on my clown makeup and how he drew on my face to show them what he wanted, to working with him directly on set, I could see and feel his passion for the project. He cared about every part of it… every detail. It made everyone work all the harder to make the show great. He was kind and let people really know when he was pleased. He was open and natural with everyone so he created a very comfortable atmosphere. I have to give credit as well to Charlie McDowell who helped direct Dispatches. I loved that he used some of my ideas in the scenes and was so encouraging and supportive to work with. What I learned from Jason Segel was to look deep into my character and to envision several ways to play the scene. I learned that pursuing your dreams pays off, as this series was something he’d for years wanted to do. I’d love to work with him again some time in the future.

YEM: You have now been added as a recurring guest star on “The Conners.” What has that experience been like?

Travis: The experience was amazing. The atmosphere on set was so warm and welcoming. They have been working together for so long they truly are a family. Working with such talented actors was the best experience. I enjoyed watching and learning from how they approached their lines and scenes. John Goodman was hysterical as was Laurie Metcalf. It’s great to see actors working as characters they’ve played for years. You can see how much a part of them their characters are.

YEM: How did you react when you found out you would be a recurring guest star?

Travis: Well, I actually got the part after a single self tape. We taped it and then got the call about 3 days later. My agents and manager always call and all get on the phone as a conference call, so we knew it was something big…but we weren’t sure what it was. When they told me, we go SO excited!!!

YEM: Your character Logan is a rebellious bad boy who is also gay. What has it been like for you to play that role?

Travis: This role was quite different from others that I have played. There was a serious side to Logan, but yet his scenes were often comedic, with serious information being conveyed through humor. I have had much coaching throughout my career and I feel prepared to take on challenging roles such as this one. I’m not usually the bad boy, so it was fun to step in and be that person. That’s really one of the joys of acting…to be able to play something totally different. And then to layer the fact that he was gay on top of it made it all the more interesting to portray.

YEM: Are you excited for Logan and Mark to begin their relationship? What does that look like for your character and yourself?

Travis: It is always so exciting to take on a character that will have a strong impact on actors that have been on the show for a long time. This gives Mark the opportunity to change and explore new aspects of his own character. I love to be the one to create that opportunity and have a strong impact on the story line. As for where the story will go, I do not know. There is the conflict between the relationship and the bad boy element. The family will have to react to both and we will see what prevails. Will I get an opportunity to reform? Will Mark influence me as well as I him? Only time will tell.

YEM: What’s one of your favorite roles you’ve done so far? And what was something you learned about yourself that you didn’t know before taking on that role?

Travis: I’d have to say that the Clown Boy in Dispatches From Elsewhere was one of my favorite roles. I chose this one because once again I play someone that impacts s major character in a significant way. In fact I am a younger Jason Segel. What I learned is how much respect can be earned from great performance and hard work. When I did the scene in the farmhouse with Jason I knew that I had booked the role based upon my audition, but the director and producers and crew hadn’t seen me do it live. When I did, it seemed to have a big impact upon them and on Jason. So even as the only kid on set you can impact the story in a big way… by really being in that moment and giving it your all. And that’s a big lesson for any actor. Being all in makes the work great. You have to truly commit to your part, no matter what it is.

YEM: You’ve won a lot of awards and already appeared in quite a bit of TV; What advice can you give to your peers about acting and your journey?

Travis: I guess the biggest thing is to maintain your focus and always work on your craft. Take classes, get coaching, and stretch and challenge your skills. Keep your heart in the work that you do. Keep your focus on your dreams. Also know that in any audition there is something to learn. Even if you don’t get the part, take the lesson and put the rest behind you and move on. As I said before, be all in. I once auditioned to play a turtle, and being all in as the turtle was such fun. You can master any role with the right mind set.

YEM: Do you have a favorite memory from your career so far?

Travis: Without a doubt traveling to Prague to film The Defeated two times would definitely be a favorite memory…although there are many more! I remember we got lost on our first night in Prague walking to the welcome dinner in the Old Town area where we stayed. We had to be rescued, and that was challenging since we didn’t speak the language! Filming at an old castle style home was another great part of this role… and working and talking with Taylor Kitsch. He’s really nice and so talented. Also, being in old Town Square was amazing as so much history was there and it was beautiful. The food was amazing both on and off set. Once on set they serve pheasant. I also remember filming at a lake and I was sitting on a boat facing the water when suddenly from far across the lake skinny dippers came down to the water to swim. The director asked me if I had seen them and I said “yes,” and he said “that’s Europe for you!” Also right after that during the same scene, some swans came swimming by. The director ended up adding them into the scene. It was pretty cool. Getting to travel internationally to a beautiful place when filming was totally a dream come true.

Watch Travis Burnett is The Conners!