Q & A : Jenny Lorenzo a.k.a. "Cuban Abuelita"
Your Cuban abuelita, aka Jenny Lorenzo is the hilarious brain behind the adorable online character. The proud Miami local and UM grad moved to California back in 2015 where she’s been reaching new heights within the online media space. Known for her work on the Aggressive Comix channel, BuzzFeed's Pero Like and now, We Are Mitú, Lorenzo is one of the pioneers of Latino Millennial’s in mainstream media. With her hilarious representation of Cuban culture and Latin customs, we’re proud to bring this interview of a Miami local, female entrepreneur and comedian Jenny Lorenzo.
O1S: What are some insights of the kind of work that you do daily? What does a typical day look like for you?
I wear multiple hats on a daily basis, which keeps things interesting. During the span of a day, I’ll write multiple scripts, schedule shoots, brainstorm with my team, film a sketch and edit my own videos. It’s a juggling act that’s worth the challenge. And, usually, I find myself working at home after-hours because I love what I do and I’m always eager to see the finished product to a video that I may have shot earlier that day.
O1S: Have you thought about getting behind the camera?
Haha! Well, I’m always behind the camera. A lot of folks don’t realize that a lot of the actors in our videos (myself included) are actual video producers who conceptualize, write, cast, direct, shoot and edit their own videos. My favorite part of the behind-the-scenes process is definitely video editing. It’s the last, crucial step in the story telling process!
01S:Lately, it seems like there is a deep sense of pride of representing your culture online and this movement like Latinx, intersectional feminism, etc. Have you thought about how your videos embrace our Latin culture and how your narrative and telling our stories positions your content?
Yes, definitely. I think about this practically every day. What I do goes beyond sharing my personal experiences as a bilingual Cuban-American. It involves the constant study of all Latino cultures, foods, slang, traditions, superstitions, similarities and differences. I learn something new every day! My content is to bring about the much-needed representation that has been lacking in our media for a long time. It is of extreme importance to me.
O1S: Where do you see the future of content on social media for bilingual Latinos heading?
Seeing as it is still a fairly untapped market, I see bilingual Latino content continuing to expand across all social media platforms over the coming years. And slowly but surely, this will prove just how important the Latino millennial audience is to film and television execs. Therefore bringing a more authentic voice to the big screen.
01S:Why did you choose comedy to feature your content? What does making people laugh do for you?
I knew I wanted to make people laugh since I was 10 years old. I got to perform a monologue on stage in front of a large audience for the very first time that involved portraying a cheesy sales woman attempting to sell “Scratch-N-Sniff Bibles”. I was heavily involved in theatre-arts growing up and always leaned heavily on comedy. There’s something about making people laugh that brings about a sense of unity and joy. And comedy is a powerful avenue to make a statement, educate others or simply give people the freedom to laugh at themselves.
O1S:You make people laugh but do you have causes close to the heart that you may want to put out that are not comedy based?
I have a big heart for dogs and when I lived in Miami, I frequently rescued and fostered them. In fact, when I was finishing my studies at the University of Miami film school, I was a dog walker and pet sitter. My passion for these little fur balls of love is so great that I want to use my platform to raise awareness on how one should always rescue and take a stand against irresponsible breeders and put an end to puppy mills.
01S:As a Miami local, what do you like the most about our city and this new wave of culture happening here?
I love how vibrant Miami is. The Caribbean culture is something you truly can’t find anywhere else. The food, the dancing, the people. I also love how we celebrate everything with pots and pans (and, of course, cafecito). It’s a melting pot of people who are insanely proud of their culture. Whether you’re Colombian or Haitian. Cuban or Dominican. The city ties everyone together as one.
01S:Why did you leave?
Leaving beautiful Miami, my family, dearest friends, and the best pastelitos on the planet was probably one of the hardest things I ever had to do. Especially leaving my abuelitos behind (may they rest in peace). But there was a severe lack of support for the arts that was hard to ignore. It was very difficult to catch a break, which is why I dedicated a lot of my time to building my own content on the geek-centered YouTube channel, Aggressive Comix, before I moved out west. If nobody was going to give me a chance, I had to pave the path for myself. I moved for the sake of my career and to help my family someday. To repay them for everything they’ve done for me. And, hopefully bring about some kind of positive change to society.
O1S:What are your goals or vision for your videos?
My number one goal for each and every video is to be as truthful and authentic as possible. To me, my audience consists of long, lost primos and primas so I want my videos to bring people, especially families, together. Creating something that many can relate to is massively important in my work.
O1S:What are you up to now, projects in the works, life moments, what can we expect next from Jenny Lorenzo?
I’m starting to work on some pretty exciting, large-scale projects over at We Are Mitú. But what I love about creating content for a digital network is that there is a constant flow of projects on a weekly basis. There’s always something new to see!
Written for Only1 Studios by Christian Portilla - Follow her @RoamFreeWrites on Instagram and Twitter