February 22nd, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter
There are plays you read in undergrad and grad school and watch scenes from and do scenes from, to the point where watching the play actually staged feels like a very long, hazy moment of deja vu. O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night is definitely one of those plays, and I even though I spent a summer at the O’Neill conference, did a three-night long, all playwright reading of it, visited the very house in which the play was set — I did not actually see the play until last night, at the Geffen (staring Alfred Molina and Jane Kaczmarek, who were both magnificent.) Even though I’ve read it so many times, last night it revealed itself to me as something new — not a play about brothers, about fathers, about grudges you can’t let go of — but a play about a very poetic addiction. It’s really Mary Tyrone’s play, the mother’s play. It’s actually about her withdrawing from and indulging in morphine, hiding it from her family. When she’s on morphine, she just talks and talks and talks, and says the saddest and most beautiful things:
None of us can help the things life has done to us. They’re done before you realize it, and once they’re done they make you do other things until at last everything comes between you and what you’d like to be, and you’ve lost your true self forever.
The past is the present. It’s the future, too.
Her addiction allows the playwright to speak through her. We have things we want our characters to say. They are the things that we want to say, but can’t. But you can’t just insert the things into the mouth of a character. You have to give them some profound reason to say them, a reason that ideally creates a story. This is something I already knew, but must be reminded of, every time I write a scene. A character is not a robot for your poetry. A character is a human being who must be cared for, who must be motivated, who is usually based on your mom (not really.) (but sometimes.) (HI MOM!)
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February 21st, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter
Very pleased to announce that we have graduated from crappy, flammable Ikea furniture to sturdy, maybe slightly less flammable, moderately priced CB2 furniture. I am also proud to announce that the bookshelf contains a great many old issues of the Babysitter’s Club, and that Morrison plays video games on the TV. ARE WE GROWN UPS YET?
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February 20th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter
Once a year, there’s an awards show that’s actually not for the famous people, but for the people who write the words for the famous people to say — The Writer’s Guild Awards, which honors excellence in TV, Film, Video game writing and New Media. (This is Us was nommed for Best new show / we lost to Atlanta / truly an honor to lose to them.) Both writers and famous people gather at the illustrious Beverly Hills hotel. The writers, unaccustomed to wearing things other than the jeans they never wash, dust off their finery and get their hairs did, and are fetched by fancy car services sent by their various TV studios:
The writers, who are actually responsible for 92% of the world’s consumption of Trader Joe’s Olive Oil popcorn, and basically all of the different types of popcorns, are greeted immediately with a banquet.
The famous people are also in attendance, mostly to remind the writers why they are writers and not the face of Loreal, but also to give out awards. There is, in fact, a red carpet, for the writers to walk, where photographers scream their name because a nice man next to them has written their name on a piece of paper so that the photographers know which name to scream. The writer feels, just for the tiniest of moments, like a glamorous person, and can be heard saying things like I’m going to come at the camera from an angle, am I doing it? AM I COMING AT THE CAMERA FROM AN ANGLE? and also WHAT’S AN ANGLE?
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February 4th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter
I was re-reading the Boxcar Children last night, like you do. I came across the part where the kids find the old broken dishes in the dump, take them home, clean them off, create a quick makeshift shelf in their boxcar, and arrange their new dishes on the shelf so that the boxcar might feel like home:
And it filled me with SUCH FEELING. I remember reading this part for the first time years and years ago. I remember how it made me long for a house with shelves that I could arrange things on. And I realize, that perhaps every time I can’t leave my house without making my bed or every time I put flowers on the table or stack dishes accordingly, and then do this psycho thing where I just kind of pause and look at the Order, appeased, I am living out this very boxcar children moment over and over.
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January 25th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter
I’ve been playing this drama play writing game for some time now, and have, at this point, received a fair number of reviews. I’ve never been much of a critical darling, so I figured that I’d share some advice on how to read and process reviews of ones own work.
1.) A review is one person’s attempt to interpret and assign meaning to a piece of art, which is basically impossible. It’s a moving target. There is no one answer. So it’s all an attempt. Your work is an attempt, as is theirs.
2.) Even if the review is unfavorable, you cannot let it detract from how YOU feel about your work. You have to approach your work with at least SOME confidence, some solid command of what you are intending to say. It can’t be fragile, or a review will easily knock it down. If this happens — revisit what you meant to do in the first place, and think about how to make it stronger.
3.) A reviewer is a human being engaged in their own life, stepping into your life, just for a minute. You must take whatever they have to say in the context of their own life, which again, is not yours.
4.) A review should not affect how you perceive your own work.
5.) JUST KIDDING THEY ARE EVERYTHING EVERYTHING THEY SAY ABOUT YOU IS RIGHT AND SHOULD BE INTERNALIZED AND THOUGHT ABOUT OVER AND OVER UNTIL YOU FIGURE OUT EXACTLY HOW TO FIX THE FLAWS IN YOUR OWN WORK TO THE LIKING OF AFOREMENTIONED CRITIC AND IF YOU CAN’T FIGURE IT OUT WELL YOU SHOULD PROBABLY JUST QUIT AND WORK AT A YOGURT STORE
6.) I would actually really enjoy working at a yogurt store
Posted in YAY, a lot, generally, ha, hmmmmm, i am lucky, i am scared, the writing of drama plays, theater, whining, words | No Comments »
January 16th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter
Today, on White Girl with Blog, I spent some time this morning reading through some of MLK’s best quotes, just to hang out with his memory for a few minutes, acknowledge all that he did. Inspirational quotes that are memes waiting to happen are only a PALTRY SLIVER of what he contributed and made happen, but I will leave a few favorites here, all the same. They transcend issues of race and tap into even larger questions about humanity. WE BASICALLY NEED EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEM APPROXIMATELY RIGHT NOW.
“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
“Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”
“That old law about ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing.”
“Intelligence plus character–that is the goal of true education.”
“I have decided to stick to love … Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
No one really knows why they are alive until they know what they’d die for.”
“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”
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January 15th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter
The Kilroys went on a retreat this weekend to a giant golf resort / conference center in the City of Industry, which is an actual name of a place about 20 miles outside of LA. We picked it at random, but little did we know that it was the perfect place for gathering and scheming up plans for the coming years (hot tub / chocolate fountain / two weddings / one child’s math competition). What do thirteen lady theater nerds need nightly? A safe place to sing, by which I mean, a DEEPLY SERIOUS KARAOKE NIGHT HELD IN A CONFERENCE ROOM FEATURING PEOPLE IN THEIR 60S WITH STUNNING VOICES THAT CLEARLY COME TO THIS CONFERENCE ROOM EVERY WEEKEND TO BELT OUT UNCHAINED MELODY AND ALSO THE THEME TO LOVE BOAT. We sang not one, not two, but approximately thirty songs, a decent split between musical theater, Alanis, and completely unrecognizable but very personal numbers. We were at first met with trepidation, but eventually welcomed into the fold of regulars, until that time Sheila accidentally scratched one of them with her shoe while line dancing, at which point we could have been kicked out, but then someone revealed we were TV writers, and suddenly, we were heroes, not activists, per se, just girls who used to sing in closets, and then cars, and now, in conference rooms. Also we made plans for the future. That, too. We need movements for gender parity now more than ever. STAY TUNED…..
Posted in YAY, a lot, generally, ha, i am a grown up, the writing of drama plays, theater, women, working | No Comments »
January 5th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter
There’s a delightful new show on the CW, No Tomorrow, which is NOT, as its poster MIGHT suggest, about a girl who considers cannibalism, but instead about a risk-averse young woman, prone to living her life safely (I perhaps relate,) whose world is turned upside down when she falls for a bearded Brit who thinks the world is going to end in 8 months when an asteroid slams into the earth. And so, he teaches her to live life more fully. It’s charming and winning and hilarious, and I repeat, NOT ABOUT A GIRL WHO WANTS TO EAT A BOY’S FACE. SERIOUSLY SOMEONE IN MARKETING AT CW NEEDS TO NOT BE FIRED PER SE BUT DEFINITELY PERHAPS A STERN TALKING TO.
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January 3rd, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter
Dreamt I was writing in a beautiful green meadow, with a pencil in a clean white college ruled notebook. I was JOURNALING, even, writing towards figuring out exactly what it is that’s blocking me from becoming the best person and writer I possibly can be. After a page of writing, I arrived at it. The very thing that I needed to confront. The one thing that needed fixing. I stared at it there on the page, circled and underlined it, felt sort of free, and ready to fix. So what is it? What is the thing? NOPE. NO CAN DO. DON’T REMEMBER EVEN AT ALL.
Posted in a dream is a wish your heart makes, a lot, generally, ha, hmmmmm, whining, words, working, worrying | No Comments »
December 17th, 2016 by Bekah Brunstetter
Folks, if you’re just tuning in / playing along from home: we are in fact leaving on our honeymoon TOMORROW instead of YESTERDAY. Also, this is a terrible game show. There are no prizes. Maybe find something else to do. Other announcements related to the trip that I am going on, but YOU are not going on, so why do I force you to ride the waves of its drama with me?!: I’m not bringing my computer. Huge, I know. While I COULD get some cool staged pictures of myself ‘working,’ I am more excited to disconnect from my beast friend for a few days for the first time in years and years. I have nightmares monthly that I leave it somewhere. I will now do so on purpose, open my brain back up, confront my bad handwriting, force myself to not google my own thoughts, but instead just have them. The real question: will I blog? I can do so from my phone. And so, PROBABLY.
Posted in a lot, generally, hmmmmm, how interesting, i am lucky, i am scared, i have peace, the writing of drama plays, things that I Have, trying too hard, vacay's | No Comments »