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The historic Stockyards in north Fort Worth is a hot spot for old Western culture in north Texas.
David McKnight is an actor in an old Western gunfighting reenacting group known as the “Legends of Texas.”
The group travels across the state to perform a comedic-like depiction of dialogue from the Old West, with some gunfire to keep people on their toes.
For McKnight, this is more than just something he does after his day job at American Airlines.
McKnight is trying to become a union actor and propel his career as a western performer through networking at the Stockyards.
“If I can get to where I want to be, I’ll be doing movies full time and I’ll take an early retirement from American Airlines,” McKnight said.
Having union actor status would give McKnight the opportunity to work with credentials and leverage as far as payment for his work.
Working as a musician for over two decades made it easy to transition into acting, he said.
McKnight started his new career path in 2014 and since has begun his personal marketing into a connections-based industry.
“I am not going to sit back and let someone do it for me,” said McKnight.
McKnight’s initiative as lined him up with three projects since April. He is currently waiting on a new production later this year that will be called “Hot Bath, Stiff Drink.”
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He goes by the stage name “Angus Brodie,” the lead bad guy role in the skit, but visitors and spectators can see just how well he carries himself in that role.
A mean face and slow walk may create the right character for the job, but that all seems to change when visitors line up to take pictures with McKnight and the rest of the legends.
Performances give McKnight continuous exposure and make it easier for him to network his skills.
“He’s definitely getting the practice he needs and exposure to the public,” said Patti Crabtree, Director of the Stockyards Visitor Center.“I feel confident that if he pursues it, he has a pretty good chance at breaking into acting.”
David and the rest of the Legends of Texas perform at Stockyard Station off of Exchange Ave after every cattle drive.