San Antonio native Jesse Borrego to discuss experiences, life as Latino actor during Woodlawn Theatre masterclass

Woodlawn hosting zoom video conference with Borrego on Saturday

From San Antonio’s south side to Hollywood to the streets of New York City, actor Jesse Borrego has been a fixture of film and television.

SAN ANTONIO – From San Antonio’s South Side to Hollywood to the streets of New York City, actor Jesse Borrego has been a fixture of film and television.

The San Antonio native has acted in more than 40 films and 20 television shows. Now he wants to share what he’s learned and his experiences over his decades-long career.

“The collaboration with Woodlawn Theatre and doing masterclass for them specifically is to give back to where I got started,” Borrego said.

Borrego is taking part in the Woodlawn Theatre’s online masterclass Saturday at 1 p.m. The 50-minute Zoom session is a fundraiser to benefit the theater.

Borrego will discuss navigating the entertainment industry as a Latino actor. A question and answer session will follow.

“I think that I can share with them the benefit of my experience and increase the skill set that I think is necessary for them to succeed and have fun in their career, because that’s what it’s all about,” said Borrego.

The Woodlawn, like other theaters, has been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The actor grew up performing in Chicano and cultural theater centers, like the Woodlawn and on the South Side. He knows the importance of community theaters for performers and musicians.

“We have to sing, we have to dance, we have to act. We have to tell stories,” said Borrego. “We are the storytellers of our time, and I think the Woodlawn experience creates that place where people can go see entertainment, can have stories shared with each other.”

Borrego is an advocate of diversity and more Latin voices in the arts and films industries.

Over time, he’s seen more Latin representation in movies. His latest film, “Phoenix, Oregon," is an example of that.

“I’m very proud of this character because the director, Gary Lundgren, really pays homage to the Latino community,” Borrego said.

More than anything, Borrego wants actors of all backgrounds and races to be authentic, true to themselves and never forget where they came from.

“That’s been a very strong part of my identity, not only as a human being but as an actor,” said Borrego. “I encourage them to look into their families, groups, to look at who their ancestors are, to look at their history.”

The masterclass session is $10 per household. Borrego’s new film can be seen on Apple TV and streamed on iTunes on June 1.

About the Authors:

RJ Marquez is co-host of KSAT News Now and reports for Good Morning San Antonio. He's been at KSAT since 2010 and covered a variety of stories and events across the San Antonio area. He also covers the Spurs for on-air and digital platforms, including his Spurs newsletter. RJ has reported stories for KSAT Explains.

Valerie Gomez is lead video editor and graphic artist for KSAT Explains. She began her career in 2014 and has been with KSAT since 2017. She helped create KSAT’s first digital-only newscast in 2018, and her work on KSAT Explains and various specials have earned her a Gracie Award from the Alliance for Women in Media and multiple Emmy nominations.