Denver Actors Fund in Action: DaNia Mortimer

DaNia Mortimer family

The Mortimer Family: DaNia, Marlowe, McKenna and Matt, with family friend Leslie Randle.

Just after pregnant actor was ordered on bed rest, her daughter was diagnosed with cancer

DaNia Morimer.

DaNia Mortimer

Aid recipient: Denver actor and soprano DaNia Mortimer is a longtime member of the local theatre community. Her credits include “Little Women,” “Annie” and “Bye Bye Birdie” at the Town Hall Arts Center and Performance Now’s “South Pacific” in 2013. In the time since, she has worked as a Teaching Artist for children at the Denver Center and Arvada Center, and she has performed as an employee of Wands & Wishes and The Original Dickens Carolers. DaNia, a Special Education teacher at Leawood Elementary School, graduated from Alameda High School and studied Music and Vocal Performance at Colorado Christian University.

Mark Mortimer

Mark Mortimer

Her medical story: DaNia recently went into pre-term labor and was in-and-out of the hospital six times during the final six weeks of her pregnancy and was ordered on bed rest. During that time, her 12-year-old daughter, Marlowe, was diagnosed with cancer and on March 8 had a tumor surgically removed. When DaNia had her third child, Mark, on March 28, the boy was directly admitted to the NICU (Newborn Intensive Care Unit) for eight days with pneumonia. During this trying period, out-of-pocket medical bills totaling $5,201 mounted up for DaNia and her husband, Matthew.

How we have helped: The Denver Actors Fund Board has unanimously voted to cover the Mortimers’ present medical obligation of $5,201.

A note on eligibility: The Denver Actors Fund realizes that DaNia’s last local theatre production was in Performance Now’s “South Pacific” in 2013, which makes her fall just outside of the DAF’s five-year eligibility period by a few months. However, the DAF board recently added an exception clause to our Distribution Policy that reads: “Upon request from the Executive Director, the Board of Directors may, by unanimous vote, authorize any Financial Aid Distribution that it deems to be consistent with the mission of The Denver Actors Fund, regardless of whether such distribution is otherwise authorized by the Distribution Policy.” In approving the request, the Board cited seven supporting reasons for applying this clause to the Mortimers’ application, including her longstanding place in the local community before family commitments forced her to step away from performing; her continuing participation in the theater community in other capacities; and most of all: She has a particularly compelling need for assistance.

Marlowe Mortimer

Marlowe Mortimer was diagnosed with cancer in March and underwent surgery.

How you can help us help the Mortimers more: As you can imagine, with another newborn, the Mortimers are in for all kinds of expenses, medical and otherwise. If you would like to direct a specific donation to help the family further, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund (with Mortimer written in the topic field), to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80212. Or use this donation link. If you use the online option, be sure to designate that your donation is a targeted donation for the Mortimer family. (They will receive 100 percent of your donation.) Otherwise, your donation will be applied to the replenishment of the Denver Actors Fund’s general fund.

The Denver Actors Fund has now made more than $350,000 available to Colorado artists in medical need.

A message from Matt, DaNia, Marlowe, McKenna and Mark Mortimer: “We are so grateful for the love and support of the Colorado theater family and The Denver Actors Fund. Being out of the theatre scene for a while now, we could have been easily brushed aside, but this community has embraced us during this very difficult time with wide-open arms. We didn’t want to worry about finances and decided we would cross that bridge when we came to it. The fateful bills arrived and we were overwhelmed. The Denver Actors Fund has lifted a huge weight off of our shoulders so we can focus on our new baby and our now cancer-free daughter! Thank you!”

How you can help us help us replenish: If you would like to help us replenish by donating to The Denver Actors Fund, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80212. Or use this donation link, with our humble thanks.

Read testimonials from other Denver Actors Fund beneficiaries here

Note: At the Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have his or her story told.

DANIA MORTIMER WANDS AND WISHES


ABOUT THE DENVER ACTORS FUND:

The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. In addition to $350,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers have offered good neighborly assistance to more than 100 beneficiaries including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at DenverActorsFund.Org.


HOW TO APPLY FOR AID:

To apply for Denver Actors Fund aid: Fill out this brief online form here


MORE WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE BY MAIL:

Send checks made out to the Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80212

VOLUNTEER:

Ever thought about taking a more active role in the Denver Actors Fund? Click here for more information

COME TO OUR EVENTS:
Friends, we at The Denver Actors Fund believe in building community while building funds. Most of our events are performative in nature so that you have a good time while helping a good cause. Here are some of the events that are currently being planned on our behalf. Visit denveractorsfund.org anytime for an updated list.

SUNDAY, JUNE 2: One Night Stand Theater presents themed, script-in-hand performances about four times a year at Vintage Theatre, and the June 2 event will feature local playwright Jeff Neuman and his work. He ill be reading five stories of love, silliness, sex, darkness and mortality. Participating actors will include Linda Swanson Brown, David Cameron, Randy Diamon, Stephen R. Kramer, Leroy Leonard, Maggy Stacy, David Ufford, and Andrew and Kelly Uhlenhopp. The directors are Cindy Hall, Lorraine Scott and Suzanna Wellens. Jeff asked Vintage if they could make it, in some way, a benefit for DAF. There will be donation stations around the theater on the night of the event and some clever raffling of prizes at the event. Vintage is located at 1468 Dayton St. in Aurora. No reservations necessary. Please save the date!

SUNDAY, JUNE 9: Join us at a Denver’s Tony Awards Viewing Party to benefit The Denver Actors Fund on Sunday, June 9, at Cap City Tavern, 1247 Bannock St. It’s hosted and organized through the lovely volunteer efforts of the Denver-area Actors’ Equity Association Liaison Committee, SAG-AFTRA Colorado Local and the Colorado Theatre Guild. There will be a $5 suggested donation. Limited seating so please RSVP your intent to attend by May 31 by emailing denver@actorsequity.org. Thank you all, especially you, Abner Genece, T David Rutherford, Dino McTaggart, Piper Arpan McTaggart, Charles Blackwell and Sheila Traister!

VISIT OUR ONLINE MERCH STORE:

Click here to see how you can buy DAF products such as T-shirts, key chains, puzzles and much more

Denver Actors Fund in Action: Jacob Villarreal

Jacob Villarreal

‘I’m now able to replenish funds that were lost while I was sick.’

Aid recipient: Actor Jacob Villarreal has been an active member of the Colorado theatre community since first moving here in 2012. You may have seen him around the state in “Forever Plaid,” “Hair,” “In the Heights,” “The Music Man,” “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” and many others, most at Littleton’s Town Hall Arts Center. He also played Chino in Candlelight Dinner Playhouse’s “West Side Story” and a brother in BDT Stage’s “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” He recently participated in both recent stagings of “Motones vs. Jerseys” at the Candlelight Dinner Playhouse in Johnstown and at BDT Stage in Boulder. [Side note: Collection efforts led by “Motones Vs. Jerseys” co-creator and Denver Actors Fund Board Member Kenny Moten raised a combined $26,000 for the DAF during those two runs.] Jacob will next appear in the Midtown Arts Center’s final production, “Take to the Highway: A Celebration of James Taylor,” from June 7 through August 3 in Fort Collins.

JACOB VILLARREAL Motones Vs. Jerseys 400

Jacob Villarreal in ‘Motones Vs. Jerseys.’

His medical story: During the Boulder run of “Motones vs. Jerseys,” Jacob was knocked out by an allergy-induced chest cold. He lost his voice and had to drop both shows and the all-important server shifts that go with them. And such is the life of an actor – when you don’t work, you don’t get paid. Jacob’s illness resulted in lost wages of about $960.

How we have helped: The Denver Actors Fund Board has unanimously voted to provide Jacob with $960 to cover his lost wages while he was sick.

A note on eligibility: Until recently, The Denver Actors Fund required that an applicant must have lived in Colorado for the previous six months. The Distribution Policy now states that an applicant must have lived in Colorado for at least six months in the past year. This gives us the freedom to help long-term members of the Colorado theatre community whose medical needs might arise within a few months of relocating. Or those who might move – and soon move back. Or those who move and come back to work here intermittently. Jacob moved to Oklahoma last September, but he still worked on Colorado stages from December straight through April, he will perform this summer in Fort Collins, and he plans to move back to Colorado by the fall. The DAF Board did not want to deny him benefits given that he has essentially lived in Colorado for all but four months of the past seven years.

A message from Jacob: “If you know me, you know I have gone through some trials and tribulations over the past seven years in the Colorado theatre community: Two broken feet, chest colds, bronchitis, even a vocal-chord lesion accompanied by months of vocal rest. Thankfully I had great insurance to help most of the time. Being part of Motones vs. Jerseys was such an amazing performing opportunity, but I got pretty sick with my yearly allergies. With the help of The Denver Actors Fund and the generosity of the Colorado theatre community and its patrons, I’m now able to replenish funds that were lost while I was sick. I am forever grateful to Denver Actors Fund and the Colorado theatre community for the love and support and generosity.”

The Denver Actors Fund has now made more than $346,000 available to Colorado artists in medical need.

How you can help us help us replenish: If you would like to help us replenish by donating to the Denver Actors Fund, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80212. Or use this donation link, with our humble thanks.

Read testimonials from other Denver Actors Fund beneficiaries here

Note: At the Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have his or her story told.

Jacob Villarreal in Town Hall Arts Center's 'Hair.' Photo by John Moore.

Jacob Villarreal in Town Hall Arts Center’s ‘Hair.’ Photo by John Moore.

 


ABOUT THE DENVER ACTORS FUND:

The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. In addition to $346,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers have offered good neighborly assistance to more than 100 beneficiaries including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at DenverActorsFund.Org.


HOW TO APPLY FOR AID:

To apply for Denver Actors Fund aid: Fill out this brief online form here


MORE WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE BY MAIL:

Send checks made out to the Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80212

VOLUNTEER:

Ever thought about taking a more active role in the Denver Actors Fund? Click here for more information

COME TO OUR EVENTS:
Friends, we at The Denver Actors Fund believe in building community while building funds. Most of our events are performative in nature so that you have a good time while helping a good cause. Here are some of the events that are currently being planned on our behalf. Visit denveractorsfund.org anytime for an updated list.

SUNDAY, MAY 19: Actor and playwright Jihad Milhem, who will be returning to the Colorado Shakespeare Festival this summer for his fourth season, has written a play called “Mosque,” to be produced locally by The People’s Building in Aurora. “Mosque” is the story of a Palestinian American father and son. Set in New York City in the summer of 2010 amid the Ground Zero mosque controversy, an overheard conversation sets in motion a series of actions that change this father and son forever. “Mosque” explores what it means to be American in a post 9/11 world, what it means to be a part of a family, and how one decides to define oneself. Milhem, a previous recipient of DAF aid, has designated Opening Night as a DAF fundraiser. The address is 9995 E. Colfax Ave. Tickets and details here.

SUNDAY, JUNE 9: Join us at a Denver’s Tony Awards Viewing Party to benefit The Denver Actors Fund on Sunday, June 9, at Cap City Tavern, 1247 Bannock St. It’s hosted and organized through the lovely volunteer efforts of the Denver-area Actors’ Equity Association Liaison Committee, SAG-AFTRA Colorado Local and the Colorado Theatre Guild. There will be a $5 suggested donation. Limited seating so please RSVP your intent to attend by May 31 by emailing denver@actorsequity.org. Thank you all, especially you, Abner Genece, T David Rutherford, Dino McTaggart, Piper Arpan McTaggart, Charles Blackwell and Sheila Traister!

VISIT OUR ONLINE MERCH STORE:

Click here to see how you can buy DAF products such as T-shirts, key chains, puzzles and much more

Denver Actors Fund in Action: David Jensen

David Jensen DAF quote

‘To have a resource like The Denver Actors Fund touches me so very deeply.’

Aid recipient: David Jensen just completed a run of “Our Town” at Miners Alley Playhouse playing the town drunk, Simon Stimson. David’s recent roles have included Henry and others in “Angels in America,” directed by Timothy McCracken; Dr. John Buchanan Sr. in “Summer and Smoke”; Carl in “Nobody”; and Ludie Watts in “The Trip to Bountiful,” all through DCPA Education, where David studies acting extensively. Aside from acting and improv comedy, David trains professionals to communicate and assists in improving their bedside manner. David is from Golden, graduated from Wheat Ridge High School and the University of Colorado Denver, and previously worked for the Boulder County AIDS Project.

His medical story: David ended up in the emergency room in late January with intense stomach pain he thought was an ulcer. After two months and much further testing, he was diagnosed with diverticulosis. After all was said and done, David was left with $2,204.72 in post-insurance, out-of-pocket medical bills.

David Jensen LEAP Master Class

David Jensen rehearsing for a DCPA Master Class production. Photo by John Moore.

How we have helped: The Denver Actors Fund board has unanimously voted to cover David’s out-of-pocket medical expenses, or $2,204.72. With targeted donations from the community, The Denver Actors Fund’s total support for David Jensen to date is $2,304.72.

How you can help us help David more: If you would like to direct a specific donation to help David further, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund (with David Jensen’s name written in the topic field), to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80212. Or use this donation link. If you use the online option, be sure to designate that your donation is a targeted donation for David Jensen. (He will receive 100 percent of your donation.) Otherwise, it will be applied to the replenishment of The Denver Actors Fund’s general fund.

A message from David: “I was virtually unaware of The Denver Actors Fund until recently, and definitely never thought I would need nor apply for assistance. Then, I had my own medical odyssey, and the bills started rolling in. Despite having insurance, I found that I couldn’t pay the outstanding bills. I’m not big on asking for help and was taught to just ‘muscle through.’ A few people suggested that I apply for help through The Denver Actors Fund, and so I did. I love acting. It is a great passion in my life, and to have a resource like this touches me so very deeply. An audience member at a recent talkback said he was so grateful for play we presented, and that ‘I know none of you do this for the money.’ He was right. First and foremost, I do it for the passion. Great theatre changes people on and off the stage, and to not be able to act is beyond anything I could imagine. This gift has allowed me to pay off my medical bills and put my energies and passions back into the Denver acting community. I thank all who support and give to this fund. I am blessed.”

The Denver Actors Fund has now made more than $345,000 available to Colorado artists in medical need.

How you can help us help us replenish: If you would like to help us replenish by donating to the Denver Actors Fund, simply mail checks in any amount made out to Denver Actors Fund to P.O. Box 11182, Denver, CO 80212. Or use this donation link, with our humble thanks.

Read testimonials from other Denver Actors Fund beneficiaries here

Note: At the Denver Actors Fund, anonymity of aid recipients is presumed and fully protected, unless and until the recipient chooses to have his or her story told.

David Jensen backstage with the cast of "Our Town" at Miners Alley Playhouse.

David Jensen backstage with the cast of “Our Town” at Miners Alley Playhouse.


HOW YOU CAN HELP US REPLENISH:

To DONATE to the Denver Actors Fund, please CLICK HERE (with our humble thanks)


ABOUT THE DENVER ACTORS FUND:

The Denver Actors Fund is a modest source of immediate, situational relief when members of the local theater community find themselves in medical need. In addition to $345,000 in financial relief, a team of more than 60 Denver Actors Fund volunteers have offered good neighborly assistance to more than 100 beneficiaries including meal prep and delivery, child care, transportation, errands, construction, pet-sitting and more. For more information, visit our web site at DenverActorsFund.Org.


HOW TO APPLY FOR AID:

To apply for Denver Actors Fund aid: Fill out this brief online form here


MORE WAYS TO HELP:

DONATE BY MAIL:

Send checks made out to the Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80212

VOLUNTEER:

Ever thought about taking a more active role in the Denver Actors Fund? Click here for more information

COME TO OUR EVENTS:
Friends, we at The Denver Actors Fund believe in building community while building funds. Most of our events are performative in nature so that you have a good time while helping a good cause. Here are some of the events that are currently being planned on our behalf. Visit denveractorsfund.org anytime for an updated list.

SUNDAY, MAY 19: Actor and playwright Jihad Milhem, who will be returning to the Colorado Shakespeare Festival this summer for his fourth season, has written a play called “Mosque,” to be produced locally by The People’s Building in Aurora. “Mosque” is the story of a Palestinian American father and son. Set in New York City in the summer of 2010 amid the Ground Zero mosque controversy, an overheard conversation sets in motion a series of actions that change this father and son forever. “Mosque” explores what it means to be American in a post 9/11 world, what it means to be a part of a family, and how one decides to define oneself. Milhem, a previous recipient of DAF aid, has designated Opening Night as a DAF fundraiser. The address is 9995 E. Colfax Ave. Tickets and details here.

SUNDAY, JUNE 9: Join us at a Denver’s Tony Awards Viewing Party to benefit The Denver Actors Fund on Sunday, June 9, at Cap City Tavern, 1247 Bannock St. It’s hosted and organized through the lovely volunteer efforts of the Denver-area Actors’ Equity Association Liaison Committee, SAG-AFTRA Colorado Local and the Colorado Theatre Guild. There will be a $5 suggested donation. Limited seating so please RSVP your intent to attend by May 31 by emailing denver@actorsequity.org. Thank you all, especially you, Abner Genece, T David Rutherford, Dino McTaggart, Piper Arpan McTaggart, Charles Blackwell and Sheila Traister!

VISIT OUR ONLINE MERCH STORE:

Click here to see how you can buy DAF products such as T-shirts, key chains, puzzles and much more