Eight Years of Lez Bomb

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After eight years, my first feature was completed yesterday afternoon. EIGHT YEARS! I realized I drafted the first version of the script that long ago, and it’s taken a near decade to make the film a reality. The editor, the sound mixer, and I listened for any last minute sound adjustments before we printed the mix. I was reluctant to say “Okay. We’re done.” But the moment came, and we finished.

Looking back at the eight years, I can see the many miraculous dots it took to connect in order to reach this moment. There were countless seemingly random encounters that led to relationships, that led to miracles and doors opening. But I think the most important factor in the eight years, was in fact, the amount of time it took to make Lez Bomb. Had I made the film eight years ago, it would have been a very different film. The first draft was confused, emotional, in turmoil, and jam-packed with all the emotions of coming out. What the eight years allowed was the necessary time it took for me to settle into my sexuality with comfort, pride, a sense of ease, and the ability to look back at the process through a comedic lens.

Coming out seemed one of the most difficult things I had to navigate. Dealing with expectations, my own being the loudest, and my future not matching with what I had imagined, was a challenge. But it ended up being the greatest gift. It’s through experiences that force us to confront who we are and what happiness personally means to our own unique soul that force us to grow into the best version of ourself.

Over the past eight years and well over a hundred drafts of Lez Bomb, I can most certainly say that coming out may have took some time, but was well worth the wait and reflection. It’s given me the strength to tell a story and hopefully spread a bit of love and laughter.

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

A post shared by Jenna Laurenzo (@jennalaurenzo) on

Freedom within Boundaries

It took me a long time to call myself a writer.  I don’t like labels.  Took me an even longer time to identify with any part of the sexuality spectrum for the same reason.

I’m in pre production for my feature LEZ BOMB, which I started writing over three years ago and just Friday I finally had my protagonist say “I’m gay.”

While I don’t like labels, I must admit I’ve come to appreciate the focus that comes with the specificity of labels.  I’ve always resisted labels and structure, because they felt limiting.  Once my yoga teacher asked me what it is I want.  “I want to be able to fly and do the impossible.”  His response: “Well, both entail limitless potential.”  Our conversation brought me right back to him telling me to do my Sadhanna, which requires specific poses, breathing techniques, etc. done every day.  I was right back to the structure I wanted to break free from.  However, once I dedicated myself to repeating the same poses, over and over, I found that because of the routine of it, it forced me to dive into each pose, every day, from a different space.  Approaching a pose over and over again, and figuring out how to utilize the structure of the body within the structure of the poses, forces creativity.  Within the rigid structure, there’s a world of creative freedom.

The same principle applies to screenwriting.  I resisted the formula of screenwriting books for a long time.  I just wanted to write and let the magic happen.  With the lack of structure, my writing had a lot of tangents.  My scripts moved in no particular direction because they moved in every direction.  But once I allowed structure to enter my process, that’s when the magic happened.  Just a little structure and straight lines bounding my creativity helped focus the energy, and then within that bound space, there was far more freedom to play.

…Bringing me right back to sexuality and relationships.  Asking the question: “Who am I attracted to?”  “Who do I want to be with?”  Being specific, honest, and direct with one’s self opens the door to boundless opportunity because it’s clear and specific.  A pair of binoculars will allow for a breathtaking view at whatever landscape’s out in front of you, but focusing on the particular details of that landscape (a tree, a bird, etc.) will allow for the landscape to come alive in a far more rich way.  And going further and further within that detail will unlock a world of potential and awe.

Being specific doesn’t bound you from infinite possibilities.  There’s infinite possibilities for you to discover within the focal point.