bekah brunstetter
Bekah Brunstetter I care deeply. About a lot of things. Like really, really deep. Ow
playwright in brooklyn, NY
playwright in brooklyn, NY

PRIZE

September 23rd, 2014 by Bekah Brunstetter

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Today is a shitshow of feelings and stress and Ebola spreading? And email account totally broken down and really don’t know what to do about that that is not contacting soon to be married ex boyfriend of yesteryear, but hey, at least I have this VERY SOFT NEW SHIRT which I earned basically just by being alive (?), mostly paying my rent on time, trying to be a good daughter and writer and friend, though sometimes falling short, and showering most days. EARNED IT!

Posted in Uncategorized, what I'm wearing, whining | No Comments »

*69

September 22nd, 2014 by Bekah Brunstetter

I’m having quite the moment remembering various things about landlines like:

- Whenever Julien and I called the other with someone else secretly on the line, we would ask ARE YOU WATCHING TELEVISION? To alert the other of the spy

- dialing *69 to see who just called to see if it was the boy you liked

- waiting by the phone to see if the boy you liked calls

- oh wait he never did

- oh wait one time this kind of fat seventh grader did and professed his love and you kind of come around to the idea, like aw, he seems like a good guy, and you say yes! yes I will go out with you! and then the next day you get to school and it turns out he was DARED TO DO IT, AND NO, NOT EVEN THE KIND OF FAT SEVENTH GRADER HAS FEELINGS FOR YOU

- But everything’s so much better now

- EVERYTHING IS FINE!

Posted in love, memories | No Comments »

Today, on WHY DID I NOT THINK OF THIS?

September 21st, 2014 by Bekah Brunstetter

This smart and adorable woman, Jacqueline Suskin, sits at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market and writes poems on command for perfect strangers, for however much you want to pay her. You give her a topic, let’s say, love, and she asks you a question, what kind of love? and you say about how I feel about the girl in my Chemistry class or about how I love my child so much it makes me nauseous and then she goes to town on one of her many vintage typewriters, and hands the poem over, and never sees it again. It’s like my monologue business kind of but way more adorable and way more immediate. She doesn’t seem to ever have an unsatisfied customer, especially because she doesn’t demand a certain amount of $ for her work, but instead, just suggests, well, ‘whatever’ (oftentimes receiving 20 bucks for a poem that takes her a minute to write.) What I love about this woman is she’s taken her craft, poetry, and kept her life simple, but also, figured out a way to make a living while doing what it is she was born to do. (I could be wrong, she might not actually make a living, maybe she secretly Temps or like fills out online surveys a lot, but couldn’t find a mention of another job.)  She skipped grad school and opted to work as a vegetable farmer instead. To totally contradict my rage fest of early this week about playwrights being tossed under the bus for writing for TV: perhaps there is something to be said for the inspiration that comes from a simpler life?

Posted in a lot, poems, women, words | No Comments »

INSERTS SELF HERE.

September 21st, 2014 by Bekah Brunstetter

My grandparents, some cousins and my uncle throwin’ down on some Maryland crabs today. I want to straight up Mary Poppins jump my way right into this picture story!

Posted in family, food | No Comments »

how to act more good

September 20th, 2014 by Bekah Brunstetter

I sat in on callbacks for a production of a play of mine today, which I always find enlightening. You just sit there, hearing your words over and over and also over, and the actors, as they try and make sense of what you’ve written, school you hard, exposing the inconsistencies in the characters and the TERRIBLE MOMENTS OF EXPOSITION. Today I found myself thinking a lot about what good acting is, or what personally grabs me when I’m watching an audition and makes me want to hire the actor to follow me around and act out the scenes in my head. And so actors, here is your entirely unsolicited advice that you’ve probably heard before:

Act like you’re not acting.

Do not act.

Do not act, like, at all.

Unless, of course, it’s a specific, larger than reality character, in which case, you should probably act.

But also, be 13% more self aware than an actual human so that you might craft an emotional moment.

So I guess act but act a little.

Okay fine. Act A lot?

Speaking of acting, I’m going to stop acting like I know.

I do not know.

I tried for semesters to hold and feel the imaginary coffee cup and I never could.

One time in college I auditioned so bad I got ‘cast’ as the stage manager.

So basically, never listen to me at all.

Posted in Uncategorized, the writing of drama plays, theater, things | No Comments »

TO DO / MAKE.

September 19th, 2014 by Bekah Brunstetter

Sometimes this blog is for feelings, sometimes for observations, sometimes for HEY LOOK AT MY PANTS, and sometimes, like today, for to do lists: Hey Bekah, fall is sort of nigh, i.e., its 80 degrees instead of 100 and you  can walk to your car without drowning in backsweat / getting skin cancer, so hey girl, why don’t you slap on a sweater and an ella fitzgerald record and make the ever loving crap out of this PUMPKIN BOURBON BREAD PUDDING, EH? TO DEFINITELY DO.

Posted in a lot, awesome, food, i am a grown up | No Comments »

Glue.

September 18th, 2014 by Bekah Brunstetter

I’m going to see NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL TONIGHT HURRAY, so I thought I’d start the day off listening to some songs.  As I shuffled through, Glue (THEIR MOST WONDERFUL GERBILS COVER) came on, and suddenly I was car-crying, ripped back ten years ago when this song was the most important thing in my world, and I listened to it over and over and over, because it spoke some sort of truth to me, and I played it from an iPod dock in scene study class when I became Richard Brautigan throwing himself a suicide birthday, and then played it more and more and more. I hadn’t heard it in years and it I was overcome with this strange nostalgia, for a sadness I felt then that was somehow empowering.

The song:

She comes to me
Whenever I am locked inside my room
Buried in the tune that I call love

She sings to me, the words I cannot hear
But then, the melody’s so clear it makes me cry
Her love is so beautiful
Her love is so real, it smells like glue

She’s leaving me to find a place she never will call home
I stand shaking like a stone
And smile inside

She’s calling me to come to her and curl inside her womb
I hear lies, acid too
But I won’t die, the pain is so beautiful
The urge is so real, it smells like glue

And I will scream, she hears me
I will tell myself she loves me
And all the lies and fears
Will stick to me like glue

And I will scream, she hears me
I will tell myself she loves me
And all the lies and fears
Will stick to me like glue

Posted in memories, music | No Comments »

FEEEEELLINNGGGGSSSSS

September 17th, 2014 by Bekah Brunstetter

My playwright buddy Sam Hunter has just been awarded a Macarthur Genius grant, which is a generous and life-changing gift of $625,000 to support further work on his plays. I HAVE A LOT OF CONFLICTING FEELINGS WHICH I WILL LEAVE BELOW.

1.) JOY. Sam IS a genius. He really is. Not to mention a very kind, grounded, and thoughtful and humble person. He deserves this.

2.) ENVY. Sam grew up in a christian, conversative home in Idaho, and he writes frequently about people of faith with deep questioning but also deep love. I love his plays, but reading and seeing them always makes me turn inward. Makes me mad at myself. I wish I had the intelligence and emotional maturity to explore faith in a plays in a real way, which I’ve been trying and trying to do, with so far, not much success. He nails the thing I so badly wish I could do.

3.) ANGER. In an LAtimes article about the award, this quote:  “…A bumper crop of talented American playwrights more interested in artistic expression than commercial validation is being recognized with the most prestigious awards and lucrative fellowships available. Yes, that’s right, playwrights, not screenwriters-in-the-making, not stage dabblers until HBO comes a-calling, but dramatists through and through.”

WHEN ARE PLAYWRIGHTS GOING TO STOP GETTING SHAMED FOR ALSO WRITING TV? The playwrights that are lauded as noble for maintaining their artistic integrity and not selling out are most likely the ones who are currently having so much success as a playwright, that they don’t have the financial need to pursue a career in TV or film. I had three years of living just off commissions, fellowships, and royalties, but the money ran out. I tried teaching and I was not good at it. Was I supposed to turn down an opportunity to get paid to write in a different medium just so that I might not be able to pay my rent, my debt,  but also express myself? Maintain my ‘integrity?’ I’m still writing plays, but also not worrying about where my rent is going to come from. Is that terrible? Is TV so terrible? Currently, isn’t so much of it interesting, character driven, truthful and relevant? LATIMES, WOULD YOU LIKE TO PAY MY STUDENT LOANS? NO? OKAY.

FEELINGS OUT.

Posted in a lot, whining | No Comments »

HEY USA!

September 16th, 2014 by Bekah Brunstetter

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Lady friend Mamrie’s web series, Hey USA, in which she spends the summer jaunting from town to town in various onesies, doing vodka shots on glaciers, surfin drankin paintin and fishin, all with her best friend Grace, LIKE THAT WAS HER JOB THIS SUMMER, in addition to writing her book for Penguin, has now been purchased and is going to be distributed by Conde Naste, like of Vogue, you guys, further cementing the fact that this woman is one of the hardest workin and luckiest gals in (my and probably The) Hollywood, not to mention pretty much the only one who gets that sometimes I need to talk for two minutes then do work for ten minutes then talk for two, and call it hanging out. So proud of this woman. END OF GUSHY RUN ON SENTENCES!

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How.

September 15th, 2014 by Bekah Brunstetter

I’ve made a completely arbitrary and self-imposed promise / deadline: I will write two TV pilots this school year. I will do that. I’ve got two incredibly vague ideas that are each about 8% percent fleshed out, if I’m being generous. Whereas I know how to start a poem (feelings, wine) a play (humans, conflict, some sort of animal or plant, words) a movie (images, also wine) I cannot for the life of me figure out how to start writing a television moving picture program. I should know this. I really should. How do you begin something that should, in theory, never end? All I know is that good television, or at least the kind of I want to write, starts with humans at breaking points. High Emotion. Through the lens of a certain world. But not like, GIMMICK world. Like world that’s organic to the theme. Theme being the thing that you should know and also forget. Does watching hours of old people in overalls do historical reenactments of how people used to reap and cure tobacco in the early 20th century on Youtube count? DOES IT COUNT?

Posted in I write for television?, whining | No Comments »

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