On-screen and off, Moe Headrick lives his Western dream.
Moe Headrick was raised a cowboy, he's made his living as a cowboy and he's even played one on TV.
For the past decade he's also been the man in charge of all the cattle and horses for the Weatherford College Agriculture Department.
"I'm the only seven-day employee," he said, referring to feeding the animals, and joked, "I'd like to wean them, but it won't work. I also help with the rodeo team. They take care of their own animals, but I take care of the cattle that they rope and things like that."
When not tending to the animals, Headrick is either continuing his 30-year leatherworking business or he¹s on set making Western movies.
Headrick's entry into the film industry occurred in 1982 when he was working as a horse trainer and provided some horses for a movie. While on set, the stunt actors caught his eye.
"I got to watching how they did things, and it interested me," he said. "I'd always been interested in Western movies; I grew up a cowboy. It all kind of fit together. So, I joined the stunt association."
He went on to perform stunts or arrange special effects in "The Alamo," "American Outlaws," "Pure Country" and "Walker, Texas Ranger" among many others. After landing stunt roles in "Problem Child" and "Texasville," the sequel to the "Last Picture Show," both early on in his stunt career, Headrick was eligible to join the Screen Actors Guild, but he turned down the opportunity.
"Texas is a non-union state so I can work more not being in the union," he said. "When you are in the union then you have to pay to be able to work on an independent project. I didn¹t want to do that. I stayed independent and I¹ve worked on 107 projects."
His five-page resume includes work in television, movies and commercials for companies like Pace Picante, Rooms to Go and Chick-Fil-A. He's also been in several music videos including Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive" and "Poncho and Lefty" by Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard.
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Not all of those projects were as a stunt man. Headrick understood early on in his film career that he couldn¹t fall off horses forever.
"It¹s like playing football," he said. "After a while your age, your weight, everything is against you. Because when you¹re 40, there is someone 20 doing the same thing. So, I started watching things behind the camera and that's when I got into directing and writing and special effects and all that."
His latest work is also his first feature-length film to write and direct. "Headin' for Mexico" is an old-west story where a case of mistaken identity sends the wrong twin brother to jail for 20 years. During his incarceration his wife and daughter are killed and everything is against him, Headrick said. But it's a story of redemption.
"At the end he gets a reprieve and gets out of prison and then, he dies," he said. "And it¹s kind of his idea of heaven. You feel sorry for him all the way though because everything is against him, but at the end he finds the Lord."
The hour-long movie was filmed mainly on weekends over the course of six months at nine locations in the North Texas area including Santo, Glen Rose and Whitt.
Headrick and the rest of the crew responsible for "Headin' for Mexico" entered the film into the Billy the Kid Western Film Festival in Hico this past October where it was up against nine other films in the Old West category and won first place.
"We were tickled to death about that," Headrick said. "The fact that this was my first feature and we won first place gives us a head up above the others."
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