Girl Night Stand

Girl Night Stand

The internet has been a crazy landscape these past two weeks for one of my projects. About a week ago we released my short film GIRL NIGHT STAND on After Ellen and had some incredible feedback. Everyone loves an awkward one night stand. Sexuality aside, those confusing emotions are universal. It’s the universality I’m interested in exploring. At the core, we’re all humans trying our best. And through comedy, an audience can be united in laughter.

After another featured article on Bustle, and then getting featured on Elle.be, I have to say – I’m just floored.  I’m beside myself with gratitude for the amazing support I’ve received from complete strangers helping and encouraging my feature Lez Bomb and the Lez Bomb team’s endeavor to get the film made.

Girl Night Stand from Jenna Laurenzo on Vimeo.

As most things in my life – this adventure started in a yoga class. I was deeply conflicted about directing Lez Bomb. Instead of focusing on my breathing and my practice on the mat, I was mentally going back and forth about whether or not I should direct the feature. I had gone through many conversations with potential directors, and there was always some reason that got in the way. I finally had to ask myself – should I just direct the piece myself? I had written and produced so much content in the past, and I had directed before.  But a feature?! My feature.  That’s scary.

My yoga teacher asked us all to grab two blocks and then asked us to kick up into handstand on the blocks.  I found myself afraid of kicking up.  But why? We were against the wall. Then I realized I didn’t want to fall – in front of who? The teacher? The class? “Oh my God, I’m afraid of falling! I’m afraid of failing!” I kicked up into handstand on those two blocks – successfully. I just sucked it up and mustered up the courage – who the hell cares if I fall?! And that’s how I decided to direct my feature. And short. I realized I was the only one holding myself back.

Thankfully I found two blocks, a handstand, and a little boost of courage. I’m terrified of directing an entire feature.  But sometimes we just need to confront fears – especially when they are self created, and kick upside down to gain new perspective.

#Hiking and #handstand. Happy fall day. @aineod8

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Reflective Run

Definitely the happiest runner at the #NYCHalfMarathon Go @jennalaurenzo !

A photo posted by Aine O’ Dwyer (@aineod8) on Mar 15, 2015 at 6:11am PDT

It’s March! How did that happen? I’m going to write about running again…

After the Philadelphia half marathon, my fiancé entered us into the lottery for NYC’s half marathon.  Well, I got picked. Solo. Running through Times Square was an amazing experience. The lights, the cheering people – it’s all a bundle of inspiration that ignites the spirit to push further.  I hope to do a full marathon one day.

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With the solo time I was able to go into deep reflection over the past year.   January marked the ten year anniversary of wave day:

I can’t help celebrating life recalling that memory.  While the experience was scary, I wouldn’t trade having faced fear head on.  The reality is, we create so much drama for ourselves.  But having been on a ship that near capsized, it helps keep the “drama” in perspective.  Thank you Semester at Sea for teaching me what “high stakes” really means.  I try to keep life grounded, and bring the high stakes to my writing.  It’s a worthwhile challenge.

Within the year I got engaged, bought a condo, met Radhanath Swami a handful of times, studied with my yoga teacher, lived in a LA for a few months, developed a stint of Alopecia (what?!), grew that hair back, blamed LA for the hair loss, got over that, wrote a ton, and ran two half marathons with a lot to reflect on.  The second of which I never stopped running.  Those neon pink shoes kept a continuous pace pounding the pavement for 13.1 miles.  It was a personal victory.  As all trial, tribulation, success and triumph should be.  We all have our own mountain to climb.  Fulfillment lies in the ability to bring our personal peak performance inspired by experiences and people who teach us along the way.

#NYCHalfMarathon inspiration from @aineod8 #SavasanaTime.

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I couldn’t help but smile through the race.  Gratitude inspired each step.  It’s been a hell of a year and I knew pancakes awaited me after the finish line.

Searching for X (another year…)

I realized it’s been a year since I started writing this blog.  Oct. 10th 2010 was the first entry.  I remember standing at work, writing the entry.  I was working in a restaurant, so I was definitely not supposed to be online, let alone “blogging.”  “Costume Hunting,” was the name of the entry.  Here I am, a year later, and it’s that time of year again.

Ironically, I left that restaurant 6 months ago, and now find myself back there once a week.  In some ways, nothing has changed.

In other ways, it feels like a lifetime ago.

I hit “submit” with an overwhelming sense of fear.  “Find your voice,” “TRUST your voice,” have been what people have told me the past few years.  I’ve heard it in acting class, yoga class, life, etc.  “Find your own way to express light,” was my favorite wording.  How do you illuminate truth? What does that even mean?  My preoccupation with these questions mirrors my preoccupation with the concept of “story” and the power in telling stories.  We’re all living a story with the power to learn its lesson and the power to re-write the twists and turns.

Life offers us countless challenges to purify the soul.  It’s a battle, learning how to face situations without jumping to an emotional response.  But those challenges are gifts, without which we’d never grow and evolve.

An acupuncturist once told me to look over my days, each night.  See the day and how it played out, and ask yourself, “Have I gotten closer to myself or further from myself, today?”

Here I am a year later, and it’s Halloween season.  The difference is, I’ve been spending the last few days looking for someone else’s costume (oh the joys of part time, personal assistant gigs).  I haven’t been thinking of my own potential costume, or any ways to mask myself.

I’ve put my “voice” out there a number of ways this past year through song, a number of projects, a web series, and all the ways in which life required me to speak.   I could only attempt to have the best intention behind all.

Perhaps, I’ve gotten a little closer to myself this past year?  It’s a constant trek up the mountain, but with each step we have the choice to get a little closer.

Spring Cleaning for Fall

The Universe always provides me signs when I’m looking for them.   To put it bluntly, when I am in need of signs, the Universe becomes “All about Me.”

I recently ended something with someone (keeping it cryptic) and found myself in a yoga class where the teacher was going on and on about getting rid of unnecessary things and people, “…clearing the mind and heart clutter.”  Naturally, I concluded she was talking directly to me.

It’s impossible to allow room for the new, when we hold on to the old.  It’s like clearing one’s closet.  Do I really need my high school basketball shoes? No.  Why I am holding on to them?  The memories.  The memories will last with or without those bball kicks, but those kicks are taking up room in the closet where perfectly NON-embarrassing, more attractive shoes could go.

Out with the old, in with the new.

We make it far more difficult than need be, out of fear of letting go.  If we observed our lives from a detached place, we’d see so clearly which items, people, etc. we benefit from, and which merely take up space.  It gets complicated when we infuse things with an imaginary life of memories and mental fabrications.   Ah, how we love to do that!  Expectations, hopes, dreams, heartbreak, memories of that one perfect evening, and such.  None of which exist without our own projection.  People and things have no power without our magical ability to grant them such.

Clean out that closet, and come out a new person.  No pun intended.   Stripped from all the non-essentials, you may find new doors opened.  There’s finally some room to enter, for whatever’s been trying to enter!  I’m not just talking heinous clothing you bought in high school.  I’m talking people too.  Don’t hold on out of fear.  Life is short and time is precious, so keep company who inspires and brings out the best in you.  What’s the point of anything else?