Johnny Ray Gibbs dreamed of being a cowboy, a movie star, and a success in life. Recently, he can cross off all three on his life list. He has been there, done that.
Gibbs, 50, has run his business, Lighthouse Electric in Pearland, for 23 years.
As a master electrician, he serves the Houston area, including Pearland, Friendswood, Seabrook, Clear Lake, League City, and Alvin. In his spare time, he writes songs and poems. It was this pastime that opened up a new world for him.
He shared his poems and songs on Facebook and YouTube for others to enjoy. When producer John Pocino communicated on Facebook with him, he asked Gibbs a favor. Could Pocino use one of Gibbs’ poems for the plot of a movie? Gibbs said yes and would there be a chance the poet could be in the production. Pocino said yes.
The poem, “The Cowboy and the Brown Eyed Saloon Girl,” is the story behind Destiny, a movie that was filmed in Washoe State Park between Carson City and Reno, Nevada. It was at this park that a scene was shot with John Wayne in his movie The Shootist.
It took more than a year to complete the script and then location and cast were completed. Gibbs portrayed the lead posse member.
The plot involves revenge with a cowboy on the run after robbing a bank and the girl who accompanies him. The two are being chased by a marshal, her stepfather, with his own agenda.
The runaway cowboy is Christian Boeving, actor, writer, producer, fitness model, personal trainer, and former bodybuilding supplement spokesperson. He has had roles in major motion pictures such as Batman & Robin, Daredevil and Kingdom of Heaven.
The girlfriend is Jessica Morris, an actress who held a role on ABC’s One Life to Live for several years and was also in the soap opera web series Beacon Hill.
The duo are chased by a posse with Gibbs and Greg Grant co-stars as the marshal. Grant is an actor, music composer and musician in Virginia City, Nevada where he also stars in the city’s Wild West Show.
Gibbs along with the rest of the cast, began filming their roles in August and by mid-September, the movie should be complete.
“Kudos for all actors and how hard they work,” Gibbs said. “I never realized what a hard job it could be. Every day we would begin at 4 a.m. and finish late at night only to have to be on the set again the next day at 4 a.m.”
While Gibbs found it great fun to be a cowboy, it didn’t come naturally right away.
“There is an old saying that you aren’t a real cowboy until you fall off your horse,” Gibbs said. “And I did that right away. Everyone got a kick out of that and several people had the same thing happen. I just got right back on and eventually, I got the hang of it.”
Gibbs is not sure of where or how the movie will emerge.
“It’s considered a short Western film or feature movie. It will be entered in film festivals including Sundance so we will see what happens,” Gibbs said. “It might be a Netflix movie. We just don’t know right now.”
Two of Gibb’s songs are being considered for the soundtrack.
Gibbs hopes to return to acting possibly with the same producer.
“He liked my acting and I told him I was available for any other parts down the road. He gave me hope that I just might get a call,” Gibbs said.
Until then he won’t be idle. Along with his full time job, he has several songs that might be going places in Nashville. This month he will travel there to meet with Johnny Garcia who plays with Country legend Garth Brooks. Gibbs might have some songs recorded there.
“I always wanted to be a cowboy and I always wanted to try acting,” Gibbs said. “I can’t quit my day job but I am living proof that there is life after 50.”
Story by Karolyn Gephart