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

The power of NOprah

August 18th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

If you happen to be a person who says yes to everything, out of fear that if you say no, the person will reject you or think you are terrible, which is to say, 97%  of professional women –chances are you will end up overcommitting yourself. Yesterday, I listened to an interview with Oprah, in which she spoke to the power of No, and the moment in which she realized the word was in her Quiver. Stevie Wonder asked her to write a check for a charity, and though she feared that Stevie Wonder would think she was lame if she declined, she said No. The world did not explode. She has been practicing intentionality ever since: only saying Yes to things that she really, truly cares about. All of this to say: if at any point in the  near future you ask me to do something for you, and I say no, it is only because I THINK THAT I AM OPRAH.

Posted in YAY, a lot, awesome, famous people stuff, generally, ha, hmmmmm, women, words, working, worrying | No Comments »

RUDE

August 11th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

Scene: as I approach the lunch table, my face morphs for joy to horror as a I spot a GIANT TUB OF MAC N CHEESE NEXT TO MY SALAD. I confront the very nice and considerate Writer’s PA, as he passes by.

Me: What is this?

Writer’s PA: Oh, I got it for everyone.

Me: Why would you do that?

Writer’s PA: Oh, I just thought it’d be nice for everyone to –

Me: WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT TO ME

Writer’s PA: Oh — I really just thought

Me: WHY.

Writer’s PA: Oh, sorry, did you not want any?

Me: NO.

Writer’s PA: That’s weird because I think you just ate half of it in the last seven seconds.

Me: MUFHHHGHHHHHHmmgghhhhcheese

Posted in YAY, a lot, food, generally, ha, life, working | No Comments »

playwright gamez

July 15th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

I like to think that every playwright has their own coping mechanisms slash games to get themselves through the very vulnerable experience of sitting in a room with people as they watch your soul play out live for ninety minutes. My personal favorite: focus on the person who clearly does not want to be there. TRY AND WILL THEM TO WANT TO BE THERE BY STARRING AT THE BACK OF THEIR HEAD SO HARD IT MAKES YOUR EYEBALLS HURT. Whenever the person sighs heavily or even just slightly moves, convince yourself that you’re a hack. Start to draft an apology letter to the person in your head. BEFORE YOU KNOW IT, PLAY IS DONE / PAIN IS OVER / RUN AWAY FROM PERSON / NEVER DELIVER NOTE.

Posted in YAY, a lot, silly, the writing of drama plays, theater, whining, words, working, worrying | No Comments »

skirtchalance

June 30th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

Some of the actors came into the writer’s room today to hear their storylines for the season, which has absolutely NOTHING to do with the fact that I chose to wear this fun skirt that makes me feel like I might be allowed to sit at the same table with famous people.

I would never try to be perceived as more elegant or put together than I actually am.  I am FAR too busy and engaged in my own work to actually wonder things like ‘if I wear this skirt will the famous people notice?’ or ‘why, no matter how much of my money I give to Nordstrom, do I still look like a very tall baby?’ or ‘why is there cabbage in my hair?’ FAR TOO BUSY TO EVEN CARE.

Posted in I write for television?, YAY, a lot, awesome, famous people stuff, how interesting, i am a grown up, what I'm wearing, working, worrying | No Comments »

I would like to not thank the Academy

June 10th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

Fox graciously and generously got all of the This is Us writers memberships with the Television Academy, which at first makes one feel quite lucky and fancy, but then, THE BOXES START TO COME.

As a TV academy member / Emmy voter, basically every single show and every single network sends you a highly flammable box containing DVDs of their shows, ALL OF WHICH ARE AVAILABLE ONLINE, and yet, they still send the boxes.  Clearly so much thought and care has gone into the design and presentation of them, and it all just makes you so sad for the people who put so much time and energy into the making of them because you have no time to even open them or watch them because you are too busy making other TVs, and it all just feels so very wasteful and looking at the stacks of them makes you question not only your own time management, but also the entire world, the people in it, and the peoples’ relationships to the that world’s resources. WHAT ARE THINGS? WHAT IS TIME?

Posted in I write for television?, YAY, a lot, i am lucky, i am scared, life, the future, the whole world, things, working, worrying | No Comments »

not this, but

June 8th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

One of the most valuable things I’ve learned about writing from the process of writing for TV is the concept of ‘not this, but.’ It allows a writer to say ‘here is the terrible version of my idea,’ and then present something obvious and bald and not great, but chances are, there’s something there that can be finessed into something more elegant. If you slave over the perfect version before you even present the idea, you will not only drive yourself insane but also probably slowly grow ulcers if not brain tumors and / or resentment for the creative process over time. But if you can be brave enough to present the inelegant version of the idea, with the neurotic disclaimer that it’s SO VERY BAD, chances are you will stumble your way towards something brilliant, if not palatable, if not mediocrity’s slightly taller, more attractive cousin.

Posted in I write for television?, hmmmmm, how interesting, i am a grown up, the writing of drama plays, words, working | No Comments »

assistance

June 5th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

I’m thrilled to announce that a very lovely college student who I met at the Ojai Playwright’s Conference is going to be my assistant for the Summer. I think it’ll be an interesting experiment in delegation and letting go. I’ve never had an assistant, so in an effort to understand how this lovely person might be of assistance to me, how I might use her in a way that is rewarding to the both of us, I’ve started a list of tasks.

- organize file cabinet

- figure out why my computer no longer knows that it has a USB port

- find articles and books for me to adapt

- help me get this piece of lettuce out of my teeth

- take my hands to get a manicure

- nurture my drifting friendships

- figure out why my eyes are rejecting my contact lenses

- determine to what extent climate change can be slowed by our behavior

- be my hands

- be my eyes

Posted in I write for television?, YAY, a lot, whining, working, worrying | No Comments »

Kind World

May 31st, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

I’m really loving this podcast, Kind World. It’s just tiny, seven minutes-ish stories about people whose lives were transformed forever by kindness from complete strangers: a parachute instructor who threw his body under a woman so she would survive a crash landing, a little girl who comforts a lonely old man in a grocery store, random people helping a woman carry her Dad’s wheelchair through the narrow streets of Venice. I can listen to 3-4 on the way to work, and by the time I get there, any faith that shook loose in my dreams has been officially restored.

Posted in how interesting, i am a grown up, life, love, optimism, words, working, worrying | No Comments »

layers of Irony

May 2nd, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

While I’m an upstanding member of the Writer’s Guild, I can’t say for sure whether or not I actually know the definition of irony, but LET’S TRY and also WHO DOES?  For the past few months, especially weeks, there’s been a tonnage of anxiety about whether or not there would be a WGA strike come May 1st. In the weeks leading up to the potential strike, I found that I actually had no brain or emotional space to worry, as I was too busy re-writing a movie based on The Secret. I gave pretty much NONE mental energy to the strike, and in fact, I convinced myself it wouldn’t happen. CUT TO 1 AM LAST NIGHT, when the WGA negotiators reached a tentative agreement with the Producers. No Strike. DID I JUST IN FACT USE THE SECRET TO AVOID A POTENTIAL WRITER’S STRIKE WHILE WRITING THE SECRET?

Posted in I write for television?, LA angst, a lot, hmmmmm, how interesting, i am a grown up, i am lucky, words, working | No Comments »

scriptpiphanies

April 13th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

I would just like to formally apologize to every actor who came to callbacks for The Cake last night for how much I was frantically writing during every read. If I were you, I would of course assume that I was making a long list of everything that was annoying about my body and voice and just me as a human, in general. But actually,  when a playwright sits in on auditions for their play, suddenly all of the emotional holes in the scenes become clear, and the playwright must frantically write these holes downs along with any ideas re: how to fix them before they escape. Unfortunately sometimes this must happen while an actor is beautifully emoting. Basically La La Land is a documentary, and sometimes, I AM THE VILLAIN IN THE ROOM I’M SORRY.

Posted in a lot, the writing of drama plays, theater, things, tout, trying too hard, words, working | No Comments »

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