In episode 2 of Online with Richard Sandoval we talk about living an actors life with Yeniffer Behrens-Mendoza and Mauricio Mendoza. Yes, they are husband and wife. They are also partners, collaborators and survivors of the roller coaster ride of our economy. During our conversation we talk about career, expanding their business options and one of my favorite subjects the groundbreaking show Resurrection Blvd. I want to thank them both for the kind words they shared with me at the end of interview. The feelings are mutual.
More about the actors below.
Actress, producer, writer, director Yeniffer Behrens, born in Caracas, Venezuela moved with her family to Washington D.C. at age 4, led by her diplomat grandfather. At age 9, Yenifferʼs mother moved to Miami with her and her baby brother. Growing up she was fully bilingual. She trained in dance and modeling, pursued acting and participated in beauty pageants in high school, winning Miss Teen Miami ʼ89 after graduating high school. Her mentor Ms. Sciolino encouraged her to apply to conservatory drama schools. She received a scholarship from Miami-Dade two-year college, where she trained in acting and also attended North Carolina School of the Arts. She did private coaching training for three years with Dan Chernau, who filmed her audition for Angel Blue landing Yeniffer her first starring film role. She moved to Los Angeles and trained with mentor Jeremiah Comey. Yeniffer is a SAG-AFTRA actress. She has acted in English and Spanish commercials, films, national and international primetime and daytime shows, and has produced independent films in Mexico and the United States.
Series credits include American Horror Story, Nip Tuck, In Plain Sight, I Hate My Teenage Daughter, Desperate Housewives, Sons of Anarchy, East Los High, Boston Legal, Jag, The Agency, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Grays Anatomy and comedy Young Sheldon. She had a recurring role in the Venezuelan Soap Opera El País de las Mujeres, and the American soap opera General Hospital as the loved Marianna Erosa.
Her film credits include: Angel Blue( winning her a positive note on Variety) The Specialist with Sylvester Stallone, Seven Pounds with Will Smith and Rosario Dawson, A Day Without a Mexican, After School, El Contratista, Taco Shop, Fighting for Freedom, American Flyer, Por tu Culpa, two faith-based films; The Pastor and The Law of Moises and up-coming Torrance with Ben Affleck. Her short films include: Borderlines, Lucia no besa a nadie, It Can Only Be Used Once, The Mind Conjurers and “Mi Amor” marking her directorial debut in 2017-2018. Yeniffer just won her first “excellence in directing” award at the Prestigious Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema.!
Her production credits include award-winning web series Encounters, award- winning feature film After School, and award-winning Documentary Create Option C: MJWC,
Award winning short From Now On; directed by legendary actress Ivonne
Coll, award winning short Mi Amor, Him and Her, award winning music video The Power of One, SinVergüenzas, Between the Lights, Fighting Chance, Short-
doc: The Real Faces of Dialysis, The Shifting and Unknowns and latest music video
Come Get it.
As CEO and Co-owner of True Form Films Inc. with husband Mauricio Mendoza and business partner DeWayne Cox, she is on a quest for the company to be funded as a Latino studio producing and creating American-Latino stories that educate and deliver content with a message. Inspired by directors such as Ava DuVernay, Steven Spielberg and Guillermo del Toro, she works to create unapologetic, courageous and powerful storytelling, and films that are rich stories of family, survival, triumph, and the strength of the human spirit. Yenifferʼs charitable work includes fund-raising and collaboration with the Susan G. Komen Foundation fighting against breast cancer. She served on the 2017 executive board of the BIBO Foundation celebrating and supporting women from all walks of life, and received the Reflection BIBO Award for Outstanding Media Innovator.
She has fund-raised for El Faro orphanage in Tijuana and is an advocate for dual- language education, creating the Multicultural Harmony Gala Event in 2008-09 benefiting this cause. On her free time, she is an avid traveler, loves pilates, dancing salsa, hikes and cooking fun meals for her beloved husband Mauricio and children Adrian & Julianna.
Mauricio Mendoza was born in Davis, California to a Colombian mother from Pasto, and father from Bogota. After his birth, his parents returned to Bogotá, and to Cartagena for a few years. In 1982 at the age of 12, his family relocated to Davis, CA. Mauricio’s mother always encouraged his brothers and him to perform. He was inspired by actor Raúl Juliá’s ability to sing, dance, perform in film, and his great strength as a Shakespearean actor. He attributes his Masters in Classical Theater to the motivation felt from Juliá’s career. He also found inspiration and motivation as an actor in Esai Morales after seeing his performance in La Bamba, and feeling he had finally seen an actor on screen that he could identify with.
Mauricio lived in San Diego where he got his Bachelors in Musical Theater from the United States International University, his masters from the University of San Diego and Old Globe Professional Actor Training Program in Classical Theater. His mentors, William Virchis, director/teacher and Richard M. Brunelle, his music teacher pushed him to become the best and to believe in himself by telling him that he had what it took to achieve his dream. Once he graduated, he decided to pursue everything from theater, to commercials, television, film, and voice overs. He moved to Los Angeles in 1994 where his versatility, and being fully bilingual allowed him to maintain constant work in all mediums.
Mauricio has been part of four groundbreaking Latino based television shows including being series regular in Sony Tristar’s /Telemundo’s Angeles for one season and Showtime’s Resurrection Blvd., which lasted three years with best actor nominations. His most recent roles include work in La Quinceañera, East Los High, Hacienda Heights, Criminal Minds, The Last Man On Earth, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larceny with Dolph Lundren, Crave-The Fast Life, Blow and True Form Film’s The Internationals, which he also produced. He looks forward to working with directors such as Alejandro G. Iñarritú, Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, and Robert Rodríguez, and with actors Al Pacino, Denzel Washington, Antonio Banderas, Javier Bardem, Hugh Jackman, Robert De Niro and John Travolta
In 2007 Mauricio became interested in working as producer. In an assertive move to change things in Hollywood and to be able to create his own opportunities he became the executive producer and producer of the Imagen Award winning 13 episode web series Encounters along with Miguel Torres and Armando Acevedo. Mauricio’s production credits include films, music videos, shorts and web series including After School, Fighting Chance, SinVergüenzas, The Shifting and Intolerance; music videos The Power Of One and Recuperar starring his brother Andres Mendoza, and the shorts Mi Amor, It Can Only Be Used Once Directed by Michael DeLorenzo, From Now On directed by Ivonne Coll, Between the Lights, One directed by Carlos Carrasco, Him and Her, and The Real Faces of Dialysis. He is part owner of True Form Films, a production company he runs with wife Yeniffer Behrens and with DeWayne Cox. His goal is to build True Form Films to be a self-sufficient production company that is able to produce content all year around.
In addition to film, Mauricio has over 50 theater credits including a very successful run of Karen Zacarías’ Destiny of Desire directed by José Luis Valenzuela. This stage production ran at the South Coast Repertory Theater last year for two months and then headed to Chicago at the Goodman Theater for two more. His most notable theater performances include playing Bernardo in West Side Story, El Gallo in the Fantasticks, Guido in Nine, Juan Julián in Anna In The Tropics, Kevin Rosario in In The Heights, Cinderella’s Prince in Into The Woods, Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, Ernesto Del Río in Destiny of Desire, The New Mambo Kings conceived by him and his twin brother Actor/director Carlos A. Mendoza, and Magaldi in Evita. His charitable work includes fund raising and visits to Casa Hogar an orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico and organization he was introduced to by his friend and actor Nicholas Gonzalez. On his spare time, he works on producing material that will makes a difference in the world, on becoming a game changer, and being a great father and husband.