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

To write Bravely

August 29th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

I’ve been thinking about what my next play is going to be….all I know is I want it to offer a new perspective on something divisive, like the Cake did. It’s a commission for Theater Breaking Through Barriers, so it’s also an opportunity to be inclusive of actors with disabilities, without making the play ABOUT that. There are things that I’m interested in writing about, but then there’s this layer beneath: things that make me ANGRY, AFRAID, things that make me want to SPIT AND HIDE. Things that the secret part of my brain tends to go to. I think writers often write about the things right above these things. The more socially acceptable, surface skater-y version of these things. WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF INSTEAD, WE ACTUALLY JUST WROTE ABOUT THOSE AWFUL THINGS? MIGHT SOMETHING WONDERFUL COME FROM THIS CREATIVE BRAVERY? DON’T WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO WRITE BRAVELY, FOR ALL OF THOSE WHO RISK THEIR LIVES FOR JUST WRITING? IS THIS THE CLOSEST MY LIFE WILL EVER GET TO GAME OF THRONES?! PROBABLY YES

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Houston.

August 28th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

It’s unfortunate, but it oftentimes takes a personal connection to a tragedy to make it seem more real.  But such are humans, and such also is tragedy, I guess. These southern Texas floods are devastating, and to make them about me, like we do: I was just in Houston in February to develop The Cake at the Alley theater, which looks like this when it’s NOT underwater:

A video posted by a playwright yesterday shows rushing water almost up to that parking sign. There aren’t words, really, but there can be action: Click here to toss the Red Cross some dough for the victims. Houston buds: wishing you safety and dryness and tacos and peace.

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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 »

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