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

sound picture

June 19th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

Sometimes when I’m in a life moment,  listening to a certain song, and the life moment and the song are beautifully synced, like just now as I sit in my office  considering putting an offer on a house with my husband that I always hoped I’d meet some 16 years ago while driving around lost and alone listening to Dixie Chicks and then Dixie Chicks comes on my shuffle — I think to myself, I wish I could take a picture of sound. THEN I REMEMBER THAT ONE CAN IN FACT TAKE A PICTURE OF SOUND, IT’S IN FACT CALLED A RECORDING. Then I feel really deep and profound, then a little dumb, then a little lucky, then I close my eyes for just a second, hit record.

Posted in MAWWAGE., YAY, a lot, where i want to live, words | 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 »

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 »

EYE’M MAD

May 25th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

DEAR WOMEN WHO CAN SEE:

DON’T WEAR GLASSES THAT YOU DON’T ACTUALLY NEED TO SEE JUST BECAUSE THEY LOOK COOL. IT IS INSULTING TO PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY NEED GLASSES, LIKE TO SEE, WHICH IS THE POINT OF GLASSES. IT’S LIKE DECIDING TO ROCK A WHEELCHAIR EVEN THOUGH YOU DON’T NEED IT TO WALK JUST BECAUSE IT MATCHES YOUR NEW FUN HIGH TOPS. VISUAL IMPAIRMENT IS AN ACTUAL THING.

SINCERELY,

OTHERWISE COMPLETELY ABLE BODIED PERSON WITH BAD EYES

Posted in what I'm wearing, what i am NOT wearing, whining, women, words | No Comments »

lady vs. woman

May 11th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

Part of an actor’s job is to hunt for meaning and subtext in a writer’s words. The really good and intuitive ones tend to  find something complicated and rich in your play that you did not even know was there. Naturally, it is then your job to pretend that you totally meant to put that there, so that you remain mysterious and painfully intelligent. The actor playing Della (the baker / the hero)  in the upcoming production of my play The Cake asked why  her character sometimes calls herself and other gals Ladies, and other times Women. My initial reaction was that it was just sort of a random choice, as the two are practically interchangeable. BUT ARE THEY?  Kind of not. I looked back through the script and when Della says lady, it’s more casual, colloquial, and when she says woman, she is referring more to herself or other women in the biblical sense, like a woman as wife, a woman as mother, a woman as sex.  Lady is sort of dismissive and quick, while woman has this breadth and depth, like the word itself bears the weight of the entire Role. I think this is explains why every time I hear or see myself described as a woman I feel I immediately feel like I need a better bra but also  that I should start my own business because I could but also I should be washing my husband’s clothes in the river all at once. It might be the biggest word there is. LADIES AMIRIGHT?

Posted in a lot, hmmmmm, the writing of drama plays, theater, women, words | 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 »

the Book of Love

May 1st, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

Every now and then, I hear a new song and it burrows into that part of my brain that intersects with my soul and I have to listen to it over and over. At this weekend’s wedding, both bride and groom had an absurd amount of musical talent in their extended families, and so everyone from cousin to Grandma serenaded them with these little musical gifts and then we all cried. The Bride’s brother, Spencer,  sang them a Magnetic Fields song, The Book of Love. He was like, pretty good at it, as he is, in fact, a musician by trade. (You can give his band Auditorium a listen Here.) It was one of those arresting song moments that sort of stopped time and lifted every one present slightly above the ground. In a blatant attempt to recapture the moment, I’m going to listen to the Magnetic Fields version about 900 times, and also leave the lyrics here:

The book of love is long and boring No one can lift the damn thing
It’s full of charts and facts and figures and instructions for dancing
but I I love it when you read to me and you you can read me anything

The book of love has music in it In fact that’s where music comes from
Some of it is just transcendental Some of it is just really dumb but I
I love it when you sing to me and you you can sing me anything

The book of love is long and boring and written very long ago
It’s full of flowers and heart-shaped boxes and things we’re all
too young to know but I I love it when you give me things and you

you ought to give me wedding rings I I love it when you give me things
and you you ought to give me wedding rings

Posted in MAWWAGE., YAY, a lot, brothers, love, mes amis, music, what my friends are doing, words | No Comments »

dead mall

April 24th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

Like most kids who grow up in the suburbs, when I was a kid,  I fetishized the mall, like just so deeply and badly needed to get a ride there so I could get my cartilage pierced at Claires or eat a cookie the size of my face or just walk through racks of low-rise pants that didn’t fit me. It’s not my favorite thing about myself, but I am somehow calmed by rows and shelves of Things, organized neatly by color and size. Since I fixated on Malls so much when I was young, I am really disturbed by the fact that they are now dying, so much so that there is now a term for the abandoned or nearly abandoned spaces, ‘dead mall.’ There’s even a term for the abandoned large hub of the mall, the JCPenney’s or Dillards or Sears: that gaping pit emptiness is called a ‘ghostbox.’ There needs to be a word for what I’m feeling — this sense that I am inside of slowly changing world — a world that is moving so fast I barely notice the changes — but every now and then, when I pause, I glimpse the change and it makes my skin buzz and my stomach sink. What is this feeling? Futuresense? Changefeel? DEADMALL?

Posted in a lot, hmmmmm, how interesting, memories, tout, trying too hard, words | No Comments »

blOG

April 17th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

Oh, did you think I was done with niece pictures? NOPE. Meeting wee Olivia Grace, or OG as her parents call her, was so incredible and moving that it perhaps could merit its own blOG. The absolute best part of was having proud Dad / big brother Pete hand her off to me with such tenderness and help me understand how to hold her as my instincts are to handle a child like a discount bag of rice that is really important for some reason, like if you drop it, your life will change forever, in a bad way. After I fumbled, he adjusted her –

Then medium bro Dan joined. He expresses feelings with the fervor and regularity of a wise old tree, which is to say, only occasionally. But OG melted him instantly, at LEAST 13%. SEE THE TINIEST OF SMILE THAT IS THERE?

I then got to just stare at her forever. I think I have a new favorite show.

EMMY FOR BEST SHOW THAT’S JUST WATCHING A BABY BE A BABY GOES TO:

Posted in YAY, a lot, awesome, babies, boys, brothers, family, i am lucky, women, words | No Comments »

the rewrite

April 15th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

I’m in the middle of re-working a movie I wrote a few years ago. Rewriting pulls out the lose threads of my brain and makes everything, my Face, my Self, the World, feel unstable and wrong. WERE I TO SELECT AN IMAGE, IT IN FACT LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE THIS:

Imagine each piece of yarn is either a character or moment or my own self-loathing and doubt or a TIGHT FRENCH BRAID OF ALL OF IT. The goal, of course, after a certain amount of wading through and tripping over and choking on the mess, is this:

And then naturally, this.

Posted in YAY, a lot, silly, sucking, tout, trying too hard, whining, words | No Comments »

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