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

I gave Birth

December 10th, 2019 by Bekah Brunstetter

I just realized a few days ago that at one point in time, I would’ve been about to have a baby, as our last pregnancy was due on Christmas Eve. I’m actually quite shocked that I forgot this, as I DO love to torture myself with sad facts. But instead of a baby, Christmas 2019 will be the Christmas I had a Santa Play:

South Coast Repertory commissioned me last year, and I immediately knew I wanted it to be a Christmas play. Enter one Christmas issue of Our State Magazine sent to me by One Jodie Brunstetter, featuring an article about all of the different kinds of people who end up playing Santa, and the Ancient Order of Real Bearded Santas — about the friendships in support group slash union for Santas — was conceived, in my brain. At this point, I will DROP the conception / child birth = playwriting metaphors, and just reflect on the fact that my plays really do bring me great comfort. They distract me, make me feel productive; they’re jars for all of my feelings. South Coast hosted a reading of the play last night, and not only did I get to hear it out loud for the first time with incredible actors (Michael McShane and Joe Spano, JUST TO NAME A FEW) but I ALSO GOT TO MEET ACTUAL SANTA:

Technically this is Santa True, a storyteller Santa who’s been helping me with my research, whom I named the main character after — But YOU GUYS, PRETTY SURE IT’S ALL A COVER ACT, AND HE IS HIM, AS LITERALLY NO ONE ELSE COULD BE SUCH A PERFECT SANTA IN EVERY PICTURE TAKEN OF HIM.

Posted in a dream is a wish your heart makes, a lot, famous people stuff, holidays, horn tooting, how interesting, i am a grown up, the making of babies, the writing of drama plays, theater | No Comments »

Private Life

December 4th, 2019 by Bekah Brunstetter

I’ve been avoiding this movie on Netflix for MONTHS. It’s about a couple struggling to have a baby by really any means necessary: IUI, IVF, egg donation, adoption, baby theft. It gets deep into the weeds of the obsession and frustration and heartbreak and madness and mania of infertility. People keep telling me to watch it, but I’ve avoided it, as I didn’t want to have my own feelings shouted back at me. But I finally succumbed and I’m so very happy I did, because if you’re going to go through something trying, there is really nothing better than Kathryn Hahn and Paul Giamatti reflecting your own experiences back to you, and making it all funnier and more profound than it could ever be in your own life. If you’re out there, and for some reason you’re like I haven’t experienced infertility, but Gosh I’d sure like to know what it’s like in Bekah’s head right now and / or what it’s like to get shots in your ass every day and crunch fistfuls of multi-vitamins in hopes they’ll make it down to my eggs THIS MOVIE IS FOR YOU. (It’s for everyone else, too. It’s just very, very good.)

Posted in le film, the making of babies | No Comments »

Fresh Out

November 30th, 2019 by Bekah Brunstetter

This Thanksgiving / Holiday season, I’ve noted a fun new festive quality in myself: COMPLETE AND UTTER VOID OF PATIENCE TO VIOLENT AND SOBBING DEGREES. While we were at Leatherwood, a mixup with our bank led to our mortgage payment not going through, and I had to wait, you know, 24 hours to be able to call them and sort it out, and so naturally, I lost my mind and I’m pretty sure I threw my phone on the floor. Last night, flying back to LA, my stupid entertainment screen did not work, nor did the internet, and so I slammed up my tray table and made sure Morrison and the entire airplane knew that my screen was not working, and it just wasn’t fair, because everyone else’s screens were working, and so MY screen should be working, WHY does everyone else get to watch a Seth Rogan movie while I have to sit in screaming airplane silence? (I should note that Morrison traded seats with me, because he is the best, and completely fine with the fact that he married a tall Baby. I then, you know. Watched a movie, as was my HUMAN RIGHT.) Obviously these big baby tantrums have nothing to do with money, or mortgage, or transfers, or movies, or air, and completely everything to do with my overall frustration with inability to control our baby quest, despite all of my attempts to do so. Here’s the hard truth I’ve learned, that I am still learning: you can have all of the money and doctors and access in the world, and it still doesn’t mean you will have a baby. Surely, it helps, it gets you closer, and I am so grateful everyday for our ability to throw money at this. But still: there is no guarantee, ever. And oftentimes, there is nothing to do but Wait, to sit with yourself, accept where you are, stew in Trust and Hope and Faith and Patience other words that go on Pillows. My Christmas promise (is this a thing?) to myself is to try, really really try, to accept and enjoy where we are, because objectively, OBJECTIVELY, it’s really not so bad, like perhaps even Great.

Posted in love, MAWWAGE., narcissism, the future, the making of babies, the worst, whining, words, worrying, YAY | No Comments »

Rage

November 20th, 2019 by Bekah Brunstetter

I feel like Rage doesn’t suit me. It’s not my natural or go-to state. The closest thing I think I’ve felt in the past is frustration, which is a gateway drug to Rage, the Diet Coke of Rage, Rage’s short friend from college who she sees Sometimes, and Wow, I could make those metaphors all day. But lately I feel so much of it, and it’s like my body and brain and heart don’t know how to process it because it’s so New. It gets Big and Hot and Mean but when it comes out, it’s a cute sputter, it’s a Bee trapped in a cupcake case, buzzing around pointlessly, stinging the glass.

Posted in a lot, silly, the making of babies, trying too hard, whining, worrying | No Comments »

But have you tried

November 14th, 2019 by Bekah Brunstetter

The other day at my acupuncturist, and other words that LA people start sentences with, my gal Dr. Hong removed the needles from my face, and suddenly, without warning or explanation, started to light me on fire. Turns out it’s called Moxa, it’s an ancient Chinese practice whose ‘intention is to warm and invigorate the flow of Qi in the body and dispel certain pathogenic influences.‘ Tiny pods of mugwort are burnt around the body to increase circulation and blood flow and something with Qi. In simpler terms, she lit me with 100 tiny fires, some on my toes, some on my stomach, and it was lovely, and for the rest of the day, Morrison wouldn’t come near me because he said I smelled like Smoked Salmon. I don’t know what it did to my Qi, or if I even have Qi, because somedays, I feel like I left my Qi somewhere, took it off, put it in the wash, forgot to dry it, and now it’s molding there in the machine. But maybe, actually, my Qi is now pulsing, flowing, creating life, or at least okayness, which somedays, is Life.

Posted in a lot, factual smarts, ha, hmmmmm, how interesting, i am a grown up, the making of babies, worrying, YAY | No Comments »

PRIDE

November 8th, 2019 by Bekah Brunstetter

I have always been a very careful person, I walk gingerly across anything that’s not a smooth and flat surface, I’ve never broken a bone or done anything physically daring that could be categorized as ‘gnarly,’ I’ve fought in zero wars, I refuse to jump from an airplane and even feel unsettled on a motorized scooter SO PLEASE LET ME BE REALLY PROUD OF MY GNARLY BRUISES, FROM THAT SUPER GNARLY TIME A NURSE TRIED TO PUT AN IV NEEDLE IN MY ARM A FEW DIFFERENT TIMES. NEEDLE GNAR IS LIFE, THE REST IS JUST DETAILS #SPORTS

Posted in ....ew, horn tooting, how interesting, i am a grown up, the making of babies, trying too hard, YAY | No Comments »

WE’RE FINE, HOW ARE YOU?

October 29th, 2019 by Bekah Brunstetter

I’ve finally located the most perfect anecdote to share whenever I’m asked, How are you, How are things? I will now reply:

Well yesterday, I came home from the doctor frustrated because it takes a long time because it always takes a long time, and it eats into my time to Work, and I’d spent the drive home trying to think through a note on my Santa Claus play, and my brain was too full of big worries to think it through it clearly, and so Morrison found me sobbing in a doorway, crying I DON’T KNOW WHAT SANTA WANTS!!!! SO I’M BASICALLY FINE, HOW ARE YOU?

Posted in holidays, the making of babies, the writing of drama plays, whining, YAY | No Comments »

The Easiest Part

October 9th, 2019 by Bekah Brunstetter

My friend Maggie and her boyfriend Grimur had a little Girl about 6 months ago, as weird and beautiful as her parents. I kept asking Maggie what her daughter’s name was, and she kept saying, we don’t know. And also: we’ll decide when the government needs us to! Granted, they are Icelandic, so basically they ONLY DO THINGS IF INSTRUCTED TO BY HIDDEN PEOPLE, or if compelled to do so by their art guts. They were so busy raising and marveling at her, that her name didn’t really seem to matter. Their little girl went nameless for I think something like 3 months before they settled on Myrra, something that both Americans and Icelanders could easily pronounce. I was thinking about Myrra and Maggie the other day as Morrison and I had our 8 millionth ‘what will we name our children‘ conversation. For us, that has been the easiest part, probably because we’ve had much time to discuss. It started the year before we got married as we floated in a desert hot Spring, poking around the names of our siblings and grandparents and musicians we liked. For going on four years now, we’ve known ****** and ****** and ******. Their names are so clear to us, and we repeat them sometimes, remind ourselves of them, like saying ***** and ***** and ****** will make them exist, before they do. Just as I’m trying to patiently allow myself to think about worst case scenarios, I’m trying to also think about the good ones. Like when ***** or ****** or ****** is grown, they might ask us someday, why did you name me *****? And we will smile and say, because we knew it was your name, long before we knew You.

Posted in i am a grown up, i am lucky, i have peace, kids, silly, the future, the making of babies, whining, worrying, YAY | No Comments »

Chemical Pregnancy

September 21st, 2019 by Bekah Brunstetter
  • a very early loss of a pregnancy, when the Embryo fails to keep growing
  • option C, when you’d convinced yourself there were only two options: A, pregnant, and B, not pregnant
  • a particularly stinging sort of bitchslap, after years of losses
  • the ceremonious lighting on fire of thousands of dollars
  • a fun thing to add to the growing list of Things you will shout at your kid one day, ie, ‘MOMMY AND DADDY ENDURED ‘INSANE THING X’ TO BRING YOU INTO THE WORLD AND WE CAN TAKE YOU OUT OF IT
  • a chance for me to post this WEIRDLY MY FAVORITE PICTURE OF MYSELF, taken before our first embryo transfer, that I was saving for a YAY OUR IVF CYCLE WORKED! post
  • A chance, once again, to share our story, normalize this shit, and perhaps provide a bit of hope, because Life goes On, because People want to Live, both Tiny Embryo People and Grown People attempting to make more Life
  • so off we stumble now towards the Next Time, a couple of Masochists, dreaming of our future, THANK YOU, WE’LL HAVE ANOTHER

Posted in a lot, life, the future, the making of babies | No Comments »

Find it, and Look at it

August 28th, 2019 by Bekah Brunstetter

What is the word for when a writer remembers a quote from something written and it inspires them, but the quote is from something that they themselves wrote? OH RIGHT, NARCISSISM. I keep thinking about these lines from my play The Oregon Trail, in which a young girl is VERY BEGRUDGINGLY traveling cross-country with her sister and Dad.

MARY ANNE: C’mon Jane. Look at the bright side.

JANE: I’m tryin ta. But I just don’t see it.

CLANCY: Find it and look at it.

I keep shouting this at myself in my head. Whenever I feel myself start to drop into anything like self-pity, which sometimes feels like a hot tub full of gummy bears, a warm place I’d like to be. Look at the bright side. Keep turning the thing around or wandering around it until you find it. FIND IT, AND LOOK AT IT.

Posted in a dream is a wish your heart makes, a lot, faith, generally, hmmmmm, the making of babies, trying too hard, Uncategorized | No Comments »

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