Yeniffer Behrens and Mauricio Mendoza are widely recognized among their Hollywood peers as unique, versatile professionals in the motion picture industry. The pair are award winning actors, but are also at the top of their game as producers, directors and writers, with films in both English and Spanish. Then COVID-19 hit us hard, causing entertainment venues to shut down. Studios and production sets from Los Angeles to Broadway went dark. That’s when the spirits came calling.
“I had this dream that woke me up at 4:30 in the morning,” recalls Yeniffer, a vivacious lady of Venezuelan descent who came to SoCal via Miami. “I saw myself making a difference by producing a show on social media.”
Yeniffer’s dream was complicated and involved provoking positive thoughts, occasional meditation and conversations about love, self confidence and tolerance. That being said, it was an amazing message to embrace at a time when our country appears to be falling apart at the seams. Mauricio was asked to team up in the project, and he was a bit hesitant.
“I’ve never done anything like that before,” admitted Mendoza, who grew up in Cartagena, Colombia. “I wasn’t real comfortable with it.”
At this point, I should explain that Mendoza and Behrens are husband and wife and have a couple of great kids. While both have been incredibly successful in solo projects, they are love birds who feed off each other.
“I could have never launched this idea without my husband,” admits Behrens. “I needed him”
So on March 31st, the tag team partners jumped into uncharted waters and kicked off their show called “11:11.” It was self-produced live on Facebook and Instagram and combined with the April 1st broadcast, the show received 950 views and 90 favorable comments. Now about 10 weeks in, the ratings and hits keep soaring. The ultimate goal, according to Mendoza, is to have YouTube anchor the show while combining other social media outlets in the mix.
For folks who are not quite up to speed on numerology, 11:11 is an example of synchronicity that some philosophers believe triggers a spiritual presence. Yeniffer feels like her dream was a calling of sorts to address some tough times we are facing in this country. It’s heavy stuff but not overwhelming. Each show begins with a ringing of the bell and a theme for the day. In other words, it could be Wisdom Wednesday, Theatrical Thursday, or Sexy Saturday. Yeniffer and Mauricio stick to the script, but it’s an open forum and all comments are acknowledged by the hosts. The program begins at that magic time six days a week, and it’s amazingly comfortable with plenty of laughter. If your day is off to a bad start, tune in for an immediate positive mood swing.
“We want our listeners to love themselves while embracing others,” explains Yeniffer, who likes to pull “Angel cards” and choose book readings for extra emphasis. “People need to understand that even if you don’t like someone, we must try to respect them.”
Behrens and Mendoza have another personal creation that has been temporarily side-tracked because of the pandemic. Their independent movie company, “True Form Films,” has been instrumental in producing several hit movies like El Contratista, Fighting Chance, The Shifting and Sin Verguenzas. In total, they have launched 10 productions including several short films. They also take young actors and actresses under their wings and teach them the ropes in this highly competitive business. Yeniffer’s son, Adrian Moreira Behrens, 19, played leading roles in After School and Mi Amor, but decided to take a break to attend Princeton University and study engineering. The couple also have a young daughter, seven year old Julianna, who frequently appears on the talk show while home schooling.
When things slowly get back to normal, the schedules of Yeniffer and Mauricio will fill up quickly. So with their personal services very much in demand and other fish to fry, where does that leave “11:11?” This is not a silly “Kelly and Ryan” pop news show. It’s a production important to mainstream America, including Latinos clinging to the bilingual format. So I asked Mauricio how far he and Yeniffer were willing to take their unique inspirational project?
“We’re going to take it as far as it goes,” he said with conviction.
Good answer and I wish them well.