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

HOW TO FIND OUT NEWS

August 9th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

HUGE NEWS! I just found out that Katie Holmes has signed on to star in my movie adaptation of the Secret, which I’ve been working on on and off for quite some time.  How, you ask, did I receive this news? FROM THE INTERNET. This is apparently how it goes in Hollyweird. There you are, mindlessly eating your lunch, getting mayonnaise in your hair, when suddenly the internet informs you that you just had a baby. You knew you were pregnant, yes, but it was three years ago. BUT GUESS WHAT YOU ARE NOW A MOM! Very thrilled at this news, regardless of how I received it / secreted it / THE SECRET.

Posted in I'M SO EXCITED, YAY, a lot, famous people stuff, fancy, le film, words | No Comments »

‘when you hit a wall, just kick it in’

August 1st, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

Yesterday we lost a brilliant playwright / thinker / actor / human, Sam Shepard, to Lou Gehrig’s disease. Just as every theater person ever has now expressed on the internet: I, too, was obsessed with his plays in college and grad school: Buried Child, True West, Fool for Love, Curse of the Starving class. They taught me how a play could be a poem that was alive,  but that also contained active human beings who want things. His characters are brutally honest and his imagery is effortless. In his honor, I’m spending my lunch break hanging out with his memory via some of his quotes.  A few favorites:

“Look it – you start out as an artist, I started out when I was nineteen, and you’re full of defenses. You have all of this stuff to prove. You have all of these shields in front of you. All your weapons are out. It’s like you’re going into battle. You can accomplish a certain amount that way. But then you get to a point where you say, “But there’s this whole other territory I’m leaving out.” And that territory becomes more important as you grow older. You begin to see that you leave out so much when you go to battle with the shield and all the rest of it. You have to start including that other side or die a horrible death as an artist with your shield stuck on the front of your face forever. You can’t grow that way. And I don’t think you can grow as a person that way, either. There just comes a point when you have to relinquish some of that and risk becoming more open to the vulnerable side, which I think is the female side. It’s much more courageous than the male side.”

“I hate endings. Just detest them. Beginnings are definitely the most exciting, middles are perplexing and endings are a disaster. … The temptation towards resolution, towards wrapping up the package, seems to me a terrible trap. Why not be more honest with the moment? The most authentic endings are the ones which are already revolving towards another beginning. That’s genius.”

Posted in a lot, famous people stuff, generally, the writing of drama plays, theater, words | 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 »

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 »

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