Yessenia Cossio (born Yessenia Cossio-Alonso) was born on December 31, 1988, in Miami, FL. She is an actress and stuntwoman and is best known for her role as “Dynamite” on the FOX TV Show Ultimate Tag and her stints on Marvel’s The Punisher. She is also a philanthropist and was awarded the WFPF (World Parkour & Freerunning Federation) Humanitarian Award in 2020.
For Yessenia Cossio, being a stuntwoman is all about following her dreams. At the age of 9, she expressed an interest in singing. She enrolled in music classes where she sang in the school chorus and her local church. However, despite her love for singing, she still felt something was missing even though she had no idea what it was. A 2006 performance of her first dialogue script in her English class about women’s rights, a topic she felt very passionate about, led her teacher and classmates to encourage her to join a drama class. To fund herself through Drama school, Yessenia had to take up a job at only 17, working as a Computer Technical Support Specialist at “Sears Telemarketing Center.” Within a year, she was promoted to Human Resources. Yessenia would also take part-time jobs at “Best Buy” as a Computer Specialist & Business Consultant until she was laid off.
After her stint in the corporate world, Yessenia quit her job and joined the Miami Acting Studio, where she was rewarded with scores of jobs as a brand ambassador. Subsequently, she took it a step further when she joined an Acting Table Meeting and met various artists and dreamers. Drawing motivation from the interactions, Yessenia started doing her research until she found an interest in stunts. The pursuit of her interest in stunt has rewarded her with appearances on Ultimate Tag, Warner Bros’ Dune, the Netflix Marvel TV Show The Punisher, Mcygver, and Queen of the South, to name a few.
According to Yessenia, what separates her from her competition is her humility and professionalism, having grown up not having much. Living with her grandparents in a small home in Miami and seeing her parents struggle to make ends meet humbled her. Her experience working in the corporate world for eight years helped her build a strong work ethic, reliability, patience, and business knowledge, which she can apply to her work in the entertainment industry.
While she admits that she was not the only entertainer who had it tough growing up, she believes her never-give-up attitude has kept her enthusiastic about her goals. Being a woman in the stunt industry is not without its challenges, according to Yessenia. Unlike the men in the industry, their women counterparts have to perform wearing shorts, bikinis, skirts, or dresses, and for obvious reasons, they can’t wear protective gear. If they can, their options are minimal. “We have to perform all stunts such as car crashes, the fire burns, high falls, wrecks, fights, stair falls, wire gags, etc., under any weather, condition, and wardrobe, including heels. Sounds fun yet? Although we physically prepare ourselves as much as possible to take impact and avoid injury, we are always prepared for the worst and train in that same way to be preventative,” Yessenia explained.
Aside from the challenges and the disadvantages of being a woman in the stunt industry, Yessenia still considers stunting her passion. For Yessenia, the sky is only the starting point because working with entertainment giants like Marvel and DC has already set the bar high. Her goal for the next five years is to land a lead role with these production companies. She also intends to take her philanthropy a step further by starting a non-profit to help people with Depression/Anxiety Disorder.
Yessenia’s goal has always been for people to remember her. “But remember me because I sparked something in them or inspired them to keep going no matter what! I want to be the reason one day why someone never gave up,” she says. “I also want to bring awareness to the world of strong women, the stunt industry, everything we go through, and parkour athletes. I feel it’s not highlighted enough and or given enough credit. I want to help be that change and be a voice to these communities,” she adds.
Yessenia hopes to inspire kids and adults, especially those who think it is too late, never giving up because anything is possible. All that is required is hard work, patience, determination, and a humble heart.
Learn more about Yessenia by visiting her website.