In 1984, as an acclaimed young actor, José Angel Santana recognized pervasive media violence's destructive influence on young people's lives. Rather than continue making such programs, in 1987 he set out to work full-time to help young people.
Over his 20 years of working with teenagers, first as Drama Director of Jane Fonda's Laurel Springs Performing Arts Ranch, then as co-founder and Drama Director of Santa Barbara's award-wining City At Peace Youth Program, Dr. Santana combined professional actor training with the openhearted methods of conflict resolution/mediation to create a unique approach to reaching and teaching "empathy" to young people, who otherwise might have fallen through society's cracks.
For his work with City At Peace, he was recognized as a Santa Barbara "Local Hero" in 1999.
Today, José Angel Santana, Ph.D. is an award winning teacher, mentor, actor, director, and innovator in the field of interpersonal communications. He is the creator of YOUAND, the first system to combine the finest in professional actor training with the most innovative tools in the field of conflict resolution/mediation, to serve both the professional actor's and non-actor's need for clear communication, high performance, and personal effectiveness.
YOUAND is a step-by-step openhearted approach to learning a daily practice that improves communication, self-confidence, personal initiative, and significantly enhances the quality of human interactions and relationships for the performing artist, in business, and in one's own personal life.
He has been the exclusive provider of Customized InterActive Video Tele-Training services to the Force Modernization Division of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM,2000-2007). And from 2008-2012 he was head of the NYU Graduate Film School Acting Department. He continues to mentor some of today most promising filmmakers Shaka King "Newlyweeds," Josef Wladyka "Manos Sucias," and over 800 filmmaker members The Casting Directory*Social one of the Internet's most innovative resources for independent filmmakers.
Dr. Santana teaches YOUAND (TM)in his company The Art of Connecting and at the School of Visual Arts, in New York City, since 2007.
Dr. Santana received his B.A in Mass Communications from The University of Vermont. He is a graduate of The Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theater, training under Sanford Meisner. His Master Degree in Mythological Studies and a Ph.D. in Mythological Studies with an Emphasis in Depth Psychology are from the Pacifica Graduate Institute, home of the Joseph Campbell Library.
He is a lifetime member of The Ensemble Studio Theatre.
Name: José Angel Santana
Known for: Desperately Seeking Susan