Jose Yenque has over a decade of experience as a professional actor and devoted humanitarian, which earned him an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from California State University San Marcos in 2011.
Yenque stars in Blake Freeman’s new feature comedy “Mucho Dinero” opposite Casper Van Dein, Eddie Griffith and Danny Trejo and slated for 2014 theatrical release.
2012 Imagen Award nomination ‘Best Supporting Actor” for his performance as DEA agent Enrique “Kike” Camara in 20th Century Fox’s International release “Miss Bala,” produced by Gael Garcia Bernal & Diego Luna. This film premiered at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, was Mexico’s official selection for 2012 Oscar competition for “Best Foreign Film” and also nominated for three 2012 Ariel awards.
Also in 2012 Yenque produced and starred in his first short film “Botes al Amanecer” (Cans at Dawn) a story of resilience in America’s inner city youth. The first international screening at was at 2012 Cannes Film Festival’s Shorts Corner and has won three festival awards since then.
His past film credits include: Steven Soderbergh’s Academy Award winning "Traffic" opposite Benicio Del Toro and Mike Mills’ “Beginners” opposite Christopher Plummer, HBO’s “The Blue Diner,” with Teresa Yenque, and the Academy Award winning short film "Wednesday Afternoon." His television credits include: “CSI Miami,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” “Law & Order SVU,” “Heroes,” “Lost,” and most recently in NBC’s new comedy “1600 Penn” with Bill Pullman, Josh Gad and Jenna Elfman.
Yenque’s work has been recognized by numerous organizations within the entertainment industry, including SAG and the NCLR (Alma Award). In 2007, he earned the Imagen Award for his stand-out performance in Lifetime Network’s thriller “Between,” opposite Poppy Montgomery which premiered at Sundance Film Festival.
At the age of 14 years, Yenque’s life was turned around by the transformative power of art when his mother New York veteran actress Teresa Yenque (30 Rock, Law & Order) enrolled him in a drama workshop that helped him go from a shy, 230lbs young man who stuttered, to a confident and gifted actor, at home on the stage and comfortable with himself.
Thanks to this life-changing experience, Yenque has a passion for helping teens make it through those sometimes-difficult years, using art as a vehicle for development of life skills and self-confidence.
His 13 plus years of humanitarian efforts and educational outreach include substantive and ongoing service to the youth of the Casa Hogar orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico, motivational talks at orphanages and youth development centers throughout Latin America, and lectures/workshops on high school/college campuses from coast to coast.
In 2012 Yenque created Arts for a Better Tomorrow (ABT), an international arts program that harnesses the transformational and healing powers of the theater and media arts, to effect real change and offer positive paths to the future for at-risk youth on both sides of the border. The program does more than just work with teens in Tijuana orphanages and US inner city public schools. The program uses the ABT network to connect students on both sides of the border through video messaging teaching empathy while creating an international camaraderie. Video Link: vimeo.com/71695755
Part of Arts for a Better Tomorrow’s acting/film-making workshops will be an on-going short film series created, written, produce, acted and filmed by the US inner city and orphanage youth along with professionals in the international entertainment industry. Other ABT activities include Arts and Culture trips exposing orphanage youth to the arts on both sides of the border. ABT’s first field trip brought 10 Tijuana orphanage youth to the US for the their first tie to visit San Diego Museum and the San Diego Latino Film Festival. ArtsForAbetterTomorrow.org
He has taken the lead in significant humanitarian and educational projects, in an effort to utilize his recognition in the entertainment industry to the benefit of those in need, and regularly seeks out opportunities to help other non-profit organizations realize their goals, lending his talents to many causes close to his heart. His energy, charisma, and professionalism have benefited fundraising and public awareness campaigns for “Campus Chill Out” (of the National Wildlife Federation), The Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre, The Cameroonian Women’s Association neonatal incubator drive, and the Foundation for Orphaned, Abandoned and Disabled African Children.
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