Denver Actors Fund in Action: Jake Mendes


JAKE MENDESActor discovers there’s no such thing as a cheap dental emergency

Aid recipient: Lakewood native and True West Award-winning actor Jake Mendes recently starred in the Arvada Center’s “Bright Star” and in DCPA Education’s “Corduroy.” He won the 2018 Henry Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical for his performance in the Aurora Fox’s “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” Other seminal roles have included Dr. Frank-N-Furter in StageDoor Theatre’s The Rocky Horror Musical in Conifer, and the sadistic dentist in Miners Alley Playhouse’s Little Shop of Horrors. Jake has been named to the Arvada Center’s 2020 Black Box Rep Company, and will be a featured player in “Murder on the Orient Express” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Small Mouth Sounds” beginning January 31 and running through May 17. Jake is a graduate of Green Mountain High School and the University of Northern Colorado.

His medical story: Jake recently went in to see his regular dentist and was told he needed an immediate root canal and crown. Jake has dental insurance through Actors Equity, but still faced out-of-pocket expenses totaling $1,090 from both procedures.

How we helped: The Denver Actors Fund Board of Directors has voted to reimburse Jake for his entire $1,090 out-of-pocket obligation.

A message from Jake: “I recently went to the dentist … I hate the dentist … and I wasn’t surprised to be told I needed some work done. But I was very surprised when it turned out to be an urgent root canal and crown. And, of course, the surprisingly high cost to accompany those exciting procedures. I am beyond grateful to The Denver Actors Fund for what they do in our community. Their financial assistance not only helped ease the stress with my bills, but reminded me of how lucky I am to be a part of such a generous theatre community here in Colorado. I’m grateful to everyone who has ever contributed to the DAF, and look forward to paying it forward in the future.”

The Denver Actors Fund has now made more than $421,000 available to Colorado artists in medical need.

Jake Mendes in the Arvada Center’s ‘Bright Star.’ Matt Gale Photography.

How you can help us help us help more Colorado theatre artists: If you would like to make a donation 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 their story told.



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 $421,000 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.


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

Hippo Health LogoGET FREE, INSTANT MEDICAL ADVICE: The Denver Actors Fund has launch of a major new FREE medical service for qualified Colorado theatre artists: We are partnering with Hippo Health to provide access to emergency medical evaluations via video conferencing with a Board-certified physician. Click to read more about this wonderful, innovative new partnership that will further improve the lives of artists!



Go to our online giving site at: ColoradoGives.Org


Send checks made out to The Denver Actors Fund to:
P.O. Box 11182
Denver, CO 80211


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


Sign up for King Soopers’ Community Rewards Program and raise money for The DAF just by shopping for your groceries – and it doesn’t cost you an extra penny. It’s like the Amazon Smile Program. To sign up, simply go here and designate The DAF as your preferred non-profit. Each quarter, King Soopers sends us a donation based on how much our supporters have spent. Thanks to all of you who are shopping for The DAF!


Check back in the new year for updates!


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

By John Moore

Award-winning arts journalist John Moore was named one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the United States by American Theatre Magazine during has 12 years at The Denver Post. Hen then created a groundbreaking new media outlet covering Colorado arts an culture as an in-house, multimedia journalist for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. He also founded The Denver Actors Fund, a nonprofit that has raised more than $600,000 for theatre artists in medical need. He is now a journalist for hire as the founder of Moore Media Colorado. You can find samples of his work at MooreJohn.Com. Contact him at