Japan

My wife and I just spent the past ten days on a trip to Japan; a country that quickly rose to the top of my most favorite places in the world list! Despite things getting comedically dramatic as we tried to navigate our food allergies with translation cards, we ate well. And, thanks to miscommunication regarding whether or not clams and scallops count as shellfish, I accidentally ate both – and I’m still alive AND they were delicious. For my wife’s celiac disease, we had to opt out of soy sauce on our sushi adventures, but were able to find a local, non touristy spot in Kyoto, where the chef was willing to accommodate our high maintenance requests. My wife got a belly echoing “NO” when she tried to put ginger on her sushi, really capping off our culinary misadventures.

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Breakfast spread for days.

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By far our favorite place on the trip, and the world, was a gem of a ryokan suggested by a friend who travels to Tokyo monthly. We enjoyed hot springs under moonlight, and 12 course breakfast & dinner in our room. It was…magical.

What really struck me on the trip was the attention to detail – always. From coffee making, to drinks, to dinners, to ingredients, greetings and farewells, there was precision. Every movement, gesture, and act is filled with intention. The sushi chef we experienced in Kyoto was full of mastery. The tasting menu we had in Tokyo was from a chef who proudly said he was a 2nd generation chef. The time and energy put into mastery was a blessing to experience. We’re so often inclined to skate along the surface, not really penetrating the depth of knowledge available once time and energy’s put into really experiencing something so deeply true craftsmanship unfolds.

Taking a momentary break from work, we were able to turn things upside down the past few weeks diving into a new culture and experiencing the world through new lens. Maybe not so new…but a 14 hour flight and time difference defogged our personal lenses which have been caught up in routine these past few months. It was nice to shake things up a bit and see things a bit more clearly once again.

The Bentonville Experience

We premiered Lez Bomb to two sold out audiences at Geena Davis’ Bentonville Film Festival last week. It was an incredible experience. About 20 of my nearest and dearest flew in for the premiere and we all got to celebrate in the charming town of Bentonville. I had no idea what to expect dropping the Lez Bomb in Arkansas, but Bentonville was straight up charming as hell, and at times mystical. The audiences were rowdy with laughter, supportive, and had a ton of questions. I’m pretty sure a handful of them thought they were seeing a french film called “Les Bomb,” but they were pleasantly surprised by our dysfunctional family ensemble comedy, Lez Bomb.

First and foremost – the food! My wife has celiac disease, so we were ecstatic when we discovered The Preacher’s Son, which is a restaurant inside what used to be a church. The ENTIRE menu is gluten free. The food was fantastic. So fantastic in fact, in the week we were there I believe we went a total of 4, some of us 5 times. In the basement of the restaurant is a speakeasy, where I had the chance to drink and chat with Geena Davis. Every bit of my A League of Their Own dreams came true!

Lez Bomb ended up winning the best narrative film jury award, which was an amazing experience in itself. But the entire week – I was overwhelmed with gratitude for meeting many inspiring and passionate people, and getting to share the experience with so many members of the Lez Bomb team, along with family and friends. It felt like a second wedding!

We released a clip of Lez Bomb last week on DEADLINE:

I look forward to sharing more information regarding the film in the near future.

Magic

Believing in the impossible has always been what motivates many of my decisions. They say faith can move mountains and I’ve held on to that sentiment since childhood.

While dreaming of things that seem out of reach can be frustrating and a test of one’s patience, it’s also a reminder each day’s filled with mystery. Not knowing how things will unfold is mysterious. The unpredictability of it all can be unnerving. But if we had all the answers it would get boring.

My Dad sent me this video this morning. It was a wonderful reminder to look for magic each day with faith in whatever path you’ve chosen. While there are so many questions that expand beyond our day-to-day, sometimes the greatest miracles can be found within our day-to-day.

Dream Big

“Dream Big” has been circling my mind. One of hashtags the Bentonville Film Festival is using is #DreamBigBFF.

As actors, writers, directors, artists, all who reach for the unknown looking for ways of expressing the depths of the imagination, the phrase “dream big” becomes an endeavor; in dreaming big, artists try and take that dream, and actively translate it to an audience with their medium of expression.

These dreams and expressions hopefully reveal truths. Once those truths reveal themselves, we can let go of that particular dream, which is sometimes more difficult than the actual creation of it in the first place.

On this springtime Friday filled with dreaming, I’m rereading Prospero’s speech in Shakespeare’s The Tempest:

Prospero:
Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d tow’rs, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

Being “…such stuff As dreams are made on…” one of the trickiest things to learn is having the passion to dream, the perseverance to take that dream and turn it into reality, and then the discipline to let go of that creation that will, like our life, dissolve.

Bentonville Film Festival

Lez Bomb will premiere at the Bentonville Film Festival the first week in May.

LezBomb_BFFannouncement

A few weeks back I had coffee with a mentor. She asked if I could remember being excited about Lez Bomb. Finishing the script, getting funding, attaching cast, shooting the film, finishing the edit, getting accepted into festivals. The opportunity for excitement and the victories along the way are endless. But so are the hurdles. It’s often the hurdles that blind us and prevent celebrating the victories. Then we forget the victories even happened. Our perception becomes blurred by stress, holding on to the negative, instead of celebrating the small wins along the way. This mentor told me she thinks she missed the opportunity to enjoy the big moments as they happened; she was too wrapped up in anxiety.

The conversation with her was a gift, a reminder, to take each step with presence. Otherwise it’ll all blow by and be a mere memory. A memory colored by anxiety instead of gratitude.

I think endlessly of story and our innate ability to script our life’s authentic narrative. As Lez Bomb begins its festival journey, I hope to script the journey grounded in presence. Making the festival run about connecting with people, visiting new places, enjoying new experiences, and telling stories along the way while hearing others. I’d hate to miss this story, because I was too wrapped up in the pressures surrounding the one already filmed.

Girl Night Stand // Part 2

Girl Night Stand will be included in WxW: For Women. By Women. The event takes place April 22nd at the Los Angeles LGBT Center. You can RSVP here.

WxW Short Films

I’ve been toying around with the idea of doing a follow up short to Girl Night Stand. A part 2, if you will.

Would it be a before or an after? How much would we find out about each character?

I’d love feedback, suggestions, ideas, enthusiasm! Feel free to comment below or e-mail me at Jenna@LezBombMovie.com.

Girl Night Stand trailer from Jenna Laurenzo on Vimeo.

 

Intentions

We’re getting ready to show Lez Bomb at festivals.

Holy sh*t, people are going to finally see this thing. 

And with that, fear creeps in. At lighting speed. “I’m fucking terrified.”

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As my teacher so succinctly put, I had/have an intention. And I’ve stuck to it. That’s the grounding root of this tree, reaching far below the unpredictable surface of this industry.

Having a clear intention provides stability when externalities come flying into the equation. Another teacher of mine once said when he teaches a yoga class, after class, when people say “I enjoyed your class,” he always responds in a way that takes it away from himself. “I’m glad you enjoyed class.” There’s a subtle difference, but in putting the enjoyment on the other, (vs. “‘I’m glad you enjoyed my class”) it takes his ego out of the equation. He teaches with intention. Whether or not the students enjoyed the class is outside his control.

We can’t control responses. We can control mindfully taking each step forward with intention. I have to remind myself daily. With the weekend upon us, I encourage one mindful step at a time. Happy walking.