LaCora Stephens is not only the creator and host of “The YES Show,” she’s recently morphed into the self-proclaimed, “Issa Rae of Christianity,” with her latest short film, “Dating and Waiting,” an intimate project that pushes the boundaries of what it means to be a Christian in today’s fast-paced world of dating.
The romantic “dramedy” follows the lives of two sisters who are polar opposites and share their journey through abstinence in the 21st century. Stephens said the film is “really geared towards women in the struggle of abstinence,” noting the importance of encouraging women and men alike to honor their bodies and value the sacredness of marriage.
“I realize the power in abstinence; I realize the power that we have to say no,” Stephens said. “Find the yes in saying no.”
Stephens noted that dating today is hard enough, and that once most Christian women have found someone worthy of dating, the process that follows is often very quick or rushed.
“It’s hard in these streets to date, number one. And when you find someone to date, they’re so fast, they’re so quick, and it is such a challenge, as a Christian woman, to try to remain abstinent,” Stephens declared.
Stephens also knows that Christians are not perfect. She added that maintaining moral fortitude is even more difficult for the single, Christian woman working overtime to honor her relationship with God. “This film is pushing boundaries. It is provocative, yet Christian. It is entertainment mixed with a lot of realness,” she said.
The bubbly host, actress and creative entrepreneur believes that the new narrative found in “Dating and Waiting” will help to bridge the gap for millennials looking to understand the value in waiting to have sex before marriage.
“It doesn’t matter how fine he is, it doesn’t matter how fine she is, she is worth it, he is worth it, you are worth it,” Stephens said.
In terms of filmmaking, Stephens says that she’s learned some key lessons about the importance of creating original content and maintaining creative control. Part of this, Stephens says, includes developing a team of creative professionals that work for hire versus cultivating a multitude of partnerships that could cause the project creator to comprise their vision.
“The biggest thing I’ve learned from listening to producers, creators, all of the creators in entertainment, a lot of them are stand-alones. They have their way of working, but they’re the top dog in charge and they have the team that works around them,” Stephens said.
“Value the team you have, yes, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that that team is a partnership. There’s so much magic and strength in for hire,” she added.
Stephens, who looks to women in entertainment like Issa Rae and Shonda Rhimes for creative guidance, said she’s elated to take the stage in producing more stand-out stories in the world of Christianity. She also encourages other Christian women not to be afraid to share life as the know it.
“Issa Rae went from YouTube to HBO to the Golden Globes, so why not me?” Stephens said. “Whatever you story is, whether it is abstinence, whether it is motherhood, single-motherhood, marriage, put it out there and try to make it happen,” she proclaimed.
Currently, Stephens is developing a drama series. For more information on her and the short film, “Dating and Waiting,” visit lacorastephens.com or lasentinel.net to see the exclusive interview.