People of OKC: Meet an amateur boxer, an actor and a home renovator
Oklahoma City — Our day jobs don't define us. Life often happens outside of a 9-to-5.
Jhon Koyck worked for five years at APMEX in downtown Oklahoma City, where he was in charge of managing gold expenses and silver dollar orders to collectors. After saving up, he is pursuing his dream of renovating homes.
“I saved up enough and finally feel free to launch myself into what I like to do,” Koyck said.
When asked about the move, he said that although the labor of renovation is not hard to go into, the stability of APMEX was hard to leave behind.
“I spoke to my wife and decided that this was a better opportunity for my growing family.”
Koyck had just started his family two years ago before making the final decision to change businesses.
He learned the business of renovation from his uncle, who he worked in home construction with when he first got to Oklahoma City. He worked it as a side job, usually during the summer, while also working at APMEX.
Working as a contractor, Koyck works by himself for most of the renovations, while his wife, Katey, is in charge of promoting his business through social media.
“The thought of doing this seems almost a dream come true because I am my own boss,” Koyck said.
Koyck is working on three projects that involve setting up an entire patio balcony, a bathroom restoration with marble, and shingling a tool shed.
A punch above the rest
Boxer turned real estate agent Alejandra Maciel-Ramirez loves her current job for support, but still dreaded putting up the gloves.
“Boxing was my release as a young girl because it was exciting to be a part of,” Maciel-Ramirez said.
She started amateur boxing at the age of 17 in Los Angeles, where she finished her career with a 3-1 record.
When asked why boxing means so much to her, Maciel-Ramirez emphasized that it was more than just hitting someone.
“The whole thing is like a game of chess,” Maciel-Ramirez said. “The way they hit on UFC or MMA is something you can't do in boxing because you would get knocked out quickly. You have to be patient and wait for your hits to come.”
Thinking about her future and her family, she earned her real estate license after moving to Oklahoma City and has quit boxing — for now.
“With the hours of work while going to school for real estate and raising my daughter, I just couldn't do boxing,” Maciel-Ramirez said.
Currently taking phone calls and setting up meetings, Maciel-Ramirez still occasionally ponders on her time boxing.
“I love boxing too much to just leave it completely,” Maciel-Ramirez said. “I love the feeling of training for something that could last 10 rounds or 10 seconds showing how much we prepare ourselves for the match.”
Silver screen ambition
Pokey Spears is pursuing both acting and directing while waiting on his next production after codirecting "Exile: A Star Wars Story" and being a Core Dauntless Rebel in the movie "Insurgent."
"I moved to Oklahoma to be by my co-producer and best friend's side, Justin Parks," Spears said.
Spears said he is consistently growing and learning from the execution of his projects.
"Film has taken over my life, For me, walking up to a gas station door isn't just a push or pull to enter so I can buy some snacks. I have multiple different shots of the lighting, camera angles running through my head," Spears said.
Growing up in Dikes, Iowa, Spears said he was hoping to continue his football career but after high school he was contacted by "Big Brother" and "The Real World." After not making it onto those reality shows, Spears spent his last $100 for an audition in Atlanta.
"I was looking at more auditions when I got home and then I got a call back the next day for a web series," Spears said. "I drove to Atlanta and got offered a part for the stunt team in the movie 'Insurgent.' "
Spears worked as an extra and a stuntman for multiple projects, including "Honeybee" and several TV series before realizing his passion for directing.
"Eventually the love for films did not satisfy my thirst for it being an actor and I want to head out my own projects," Spears said.
Currently producing and directing, Spears said that the most important lesson is patience.
"Be patient, be a risk taker, confidence, everyday work on your craft, keep a close group of friends with you forever and build yourself a family — no one makes it alone," Spears said.