Yessenia Cossio-Alonso, popularly referred to as Yessenia Cossio, is an actress and stuntwoman renowned for her character as Dynamite on the FOX TV show Ultimate Tag. She also performed her stints on Marvel’s hit TV show The Punisher. However, for Yessenia, the journey to the top was not a bed of roses but a path that was fraught with obstacles.
On December 31, 1988, Yessenia Cossio-Alonso was born in Miami to Cuban immigrant parents. At the tender age of nine, she indicated her interest in singing and was then enrolled in classes, where she sang in the school choir and local church. Although she enjoyed singing, the little girl felt ill at ease as she was sure something was still missing but had no idea what it was.
In 2006, Yessenia found her Eureka moment when she performed her first dialogue script in her English class and spoke passionately about women’s rights. The performance was so outstanding that she was encouraged by her teacher and classmates to sign up for drama classes, a decision that would change her life forever.
However, at the time, Yessenia’s plan had a little bump. She could not afford the classes and was in gainful employment with a telemarketing company to save money for a possible acting career and a new car. By the time she was 17, Yessenia Cossio was a full-time employee of Sears Telemarketing Center, where she worked as a computer technical support specialist. Her consistency led to a speedy promotion to human resources.
Three years later, Yessenia decided it was time to pursue her dreams in acting and sought a part-time job that would keep her financially afloat while still freeing her time up. Her desire for balance between a 9-5 job and acting classes resulted in her trying jobs with flexible schedules. She worked six months in medical billing, sold small kitchen appliances for Cutco, worked as a unique event dancer, and eventually worked at Best Buy for three years as a computer specialist and business consultant before she was dismissed.
After nearly seven years of juggling jobs and her acting dreams, Yessenia decided to remain unemployed while she figured out the next best step toward her career. In January 2013, Yessenia Cossio took her first bold step since quitting the corporate world and joined The Miami Acting Studio. She took side jobs as a brand ambassador along with her acting and parkour classes. Soon enough, her career began the steady upward climb to success.
In August 2013, she started training to compete in the bikini division for the National Physique Committee (NPC). For the next two years, Yessenia snatched the sixteenth position in her first bodybuilding competition and came second place at her second bodybuilding competition. Although the fitness journey proved satisfying and challenging, Yessenia knew it was not her passion.
Despite her detour in the bodybuilding industry, Yessenia never forgot her acting dream, and she continued to take acting classes. The desire for a more significant challenge prompted her to become a member of an acting table meeting in Davie, FL, where she met other artists and discussed their future goals. The communication with other artists encouraged Yessenia to research on YouTube, and she found an interest in stunts and started training.
After her first stunt work, Yessenia finally found her balance in acting and exercises and merged the two professions with practice. She practiced martial arts, wirework, high falls, stage combat, acrobatics, parkour, tricking, trapeze, stunt driving, etc., and got her big break in March 2019 when she joined the cast of the TV show, Ultimate Tag on FOX as “Dynamite.” Few years after her debut as a stunt woman, Yessenia relocated to Los Angeles, California. She made appearances on the Netflix Marvel TV Show The Punisher, Mcygver, and Queen of the South, Warner Bros’ Dune, NBC Telemundo.
As a stuntwoman, Yessenia’s job is perhaps one of the riskiest. In her words, she explains, “Unlike men in the industry 80% of the time we are wearing shorts, bikini, skirts, or dresses and cannot use protection or if any very limited. 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.”
Asides from conquering a male-dominated stunt industry, Yessenia Cossio is also a philanthropist deeply involved with her community. She invests and donates heavily towards selfless causes, including Cancer, Epidermolysis Bullosa, Autism, to name a few. She also enjoys bringing cheer by dressing up as superheroes for surprise visits to children’s hospitals, elderly homes, and homeless shelters. Her love for the community was awarded in 2019 with a Humanitarian award from the World Freerunning and Parkour Federation (WFPF).
Her journey inspires everyone to rise above whatever obstacle life may present and reach for greatness. She believes the sky is the starting point as long as you keep pushing forward. In the future, Yessenia Cossio hopes to act in a Marvel, DC, or Disney movie. She also wants to establish a non-profit organization to help people with anxiety/depression disorder and leave a legacy of hope and inspiration while also bringing awareness and well-deserved accolades to the stunt industry’s strong women.
To know more about Yessenia Cossio-Alonso, you may visit her website.