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News for Southeastern Arizona, provided by the University of Arizona School of Journalism

Playing cowboy in a street actor’s fantasyland

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Men and women travel from around the globe to dress up and play cowboy in Tombstone, where everyday is Halloween. Many of the Tombstone actors have zero desire to move to Hollywood to pursue a silver-screen career and are simply satisfied in the town of make believe. Five years ago, the O.K. Corral busker, Ian Messenger, was an oxygen tank delivery man in Sierra Vista. One day he had enough of the real world. “I realized I can’t do this, delivering oxygen is basically like being the grim reaper, you visit people when they’re dying,” he said. The thought of having a 9-to-5 job no longer appealed to Messenger. He knew his childhood dreams of becoming a professional wrestler were behind him, so seeking an acting job in his hometown of Tombstone became his next plan. “I had real...

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