Yessenia Cossio-Alonso, professionally known as Yessenia Cossio, is not the typical woman people meet on the street. Beneath her jacket and shirt, she wore her true identity as a superwoman. Although this superwoman does not possess any superpowers, what makes her different from others is how she challenged and broke the stereotypical idea that women cannot do what men can. Born and raised in Miami, Florida, Yessenia is a renowned actress and stunt woman known for playing Dynamite on the FOX TV show Ultimate Tag and became a part of Marvel’s hit TV show The Punisher.
Before discovering her passion for acting and doing stunts for the television, Yessenia showed an interest in music and enrolled in classes where she sang at the local church. Though she loved to sing, Yessenia knew that something was still lacking, but she was unsure what it was. A few years later, Yessenia was given a chance to play her first role in her English class on women’s rights, which she upheld and believed. There Yessenia expressed excitement. After the momentous event, her life began to change gradually.
She also learned that achieving something is not as easy. Yessenia could not afford lessons that would develop her love for acting, so she worked with a telemarketing firm to save money on her first car and potential acting efforts. After nearly seven years of struggling between having a regular job and having a dream in mind, Yessenia decided it would be better to remain unemployed for a while and risk losing something to figure out her future.
In January 2013, after a precarious but adamant decision to leave the business world, Yessenia entered The Miami Acting Studio, where her life had finally changed. That year, she worked side jobs as a brand ambassador, attending acting and parkour lessons, which made her career improved and thrived. There she knew that becoming a superwoman needs not only passion but also sacrifices and effort. It rings true from the old saying; one cannot forge a sharp sword without fire and a hammer.
Yessenia continues to improve her physique to participate in the bikini division for the National Physique Committee (NPC). She placed 16th in her first competition and 2nd in her second bodybuilding competition. Although the exercise experience was challenging and satisfying, it was not still her passion. Yessenia’s vision is focused on becoming an actress and a stunt woman.
After her first stunt work, Yessenia eventually discovered a balance between acting and stunts and began practicing in both disciplines. She would train in martial arts, wirework, high falls, stage combat, acrobatics, parkour, tricking, trapeze, stunt driving, etc.
She expressed that most people’s answers would probably be a receptionist, construction worker, doctor, or retail employee when asked about what kind of job they want to have in the future. Yessenia dreamed of being a stunt woman, which is ‘badass stuff’ to do for a living aside from getting to see herself on TV.
Her fondest memory was when she worked in Best Buy as a retail employee watching The Avengers. She said to herself, “One day, I will be there. I will work for Marvel.” After six years, she achieved her dream and played a role in the Netflix Marvel TV show The Punisher.
As a stuntwoman, scratches, bruises, and minor injuries are inevitable. “We have to perform all stunts such as car crashes, fire burns, high falls, wrecks, fights, stair falls, wire gags under any weather, condition, and wardrobe, including heels,” she says. “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.”
Besides her passion, Yessenia was awarded the Humanitarian Award from her sponsor, World Freerunning and Parkour Federation (WFPF) for being closely involved in making surprise appearances, dressing up as various superheroes for children’s hospitals, homeless shelters, and elderly homes. Yessenia invests and donates extensively to many different causes, such as cancer, epidermolysis bullosa, autism, and homeless shelters.
Learn more about Yessenia Cossio by visiting her website.