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

VERY SUBTLE, GOD

March 10th, 2019 by Bekah Brunstetter

Last night I found myself in a not unfamiliar and very overdramatic place, a place I like to hang out in basically after each of my plays debuts in New York —   spiraling about my ability to write, wondering if I would ever do it again. I decided to look for more bad Cake reviews, searching for confirmation that I am, in fact, a shallow hack that should go crawl under a couch and or / go back to customer service. AND WHAT, YOU ASK,  DID I FIND? I suddenly have a  Wikipedia Page . A long and thorough wikipedia page, with  a section for Early Works. A page that includes not one but quotes from ALL of my bad Times reviews, but still, a page that steps through my whole career thus far, from overwritten one acts in festivals to TV awards nominations, my marriage to actor Morrison Keddie (my favorite part.) And I remembered that every time I feel for the tiniest of moments that I can’t do it anymore, that it’s all been a lie, that I am the empress really wearing no clothes at all — I get some little sign to keep going. The timing is always so sharp, it always feels as if I’ve written it. HI, SIGN. THANKS FOR THE NUDGE.

Posted in a lot, generally, ha, hmmmmm, the future, the writing of drama plays, theater, trying too hard, wanting, whining, YAY | No Comments »

Beverly, Forever

February 18th, 2019 by Bekah Brunstetter

As I relish / writhe in this life phase I’ll call ‘pre-kid aware,’ in which I don’t have kids yet but want them, and so think of all life things in terms of having or not having kids — one of the thing that’s struck me is that once I create a kid, I create a Person separate from myself, who then grows and forgets me, for at least a little while. That’s one of the great big sad and strange things about being a human — you have your own brain and your own will that sometimes carries you away from the people that made you. But somehow, on my Mom’s side of the family, our matriarch Beverly has stayed a focal point if not GODDESS for all of her granddaughters, no matter where we are at in our lives. And so, when we were asked if we could make it to Maryland to surprise our Grandma for her 90th birthday, naturally we all said yes, and the result was THIS FACE, WHICH WAS WORTH A THOUSAND PLANE TICKETS, WHICH WAS THANKFULLY NOT ACCOMPANIED BY A HEART ATTACK:

Literally every granddaughter, daughter, and daughter in law made her way to Beverly’s surprise tea, except for two who are out of the country. She cried, we cried, we heard stories from church friends about how she could talk to a lamppost, how she opened her house to everyone and anyone, then we all went to said house, gathered around her like she was a Queen and listened to her regale her tales from a life as a young Flight Attendant, when we were all just dust.

I marveled at the individual attention she always gave and continues to give to each of us.  I think that’s her greatest trick, her greatest gift. I know I’ve made hundreds of grandchildren, Bekah, but right now, it’s just you and me. 

Beverly, Forever.

 

 

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Why I’m Tired

February 2nd, 2019 by Bekah Brunstetter

I hate it when people are like, I’m so busy and tired, here’s why I’m so busy and tired, and yet, I feel compelled to document the absurdity that was January. And so I’ve gathered these facts, for my own amusement, and maybe yours:

January 4th, my last This is Us episode started pre-production.

Jan 6th, The Cake started rehearsal in NYC.

January 10th-11th, the This is Us writers went to Vegas where I ate all of the tequila and the hotel moaned all night like it was crying, preventing any sort of sleep.

January 12th, I (with consistent help from Morrison, who managed to turn it into a weird game) started shooting myself up with hormones twice a day, in hopes of harvesting some eggs / making us some embryos at the end of the month.

January 15th my episode started filming. I gave myself shots each morning and night, worked 12 hour days, grew increasingly tired and perhaps emotional, but perhaps maybe it’s normal to sob when you pass teachers protesting in the rain? I stole naps when I could. I tried to focus. I humbly ate from whatever trough of mashed potatoes was provided between scenes.

January 21st my episode wrapped.

January 22-27 I spent each day at the doctor, getting bloodwork and ‘wandwork,’ if you will, increasing hormone dosages, crying at fingernails, drinking whole grain goldfish crackers like vitamin water.

January 28th I went under, eggs came out (TO GREAT SUCCESS / MORE ON THAT LATER.)

Jan 29th I flew to NYC with IV tape gum still pulling at my arm hairs to check in with The Cake, watched three days of run-throughs, gave notes,  continued to try and understand and communicate my play, saw some shows, saw some favorite people, ate meatloaf alone, had some meetings about some potentially very exciting new things. Last night, I got to the airport, found an empty outlet, dropped my things, collapsed onto a weird stool and just sat there, and realized, that I was exhausted.

And just for a moment I wondered, Why?

REALLY BEKAH? REALLY? WHY?

And then I realized that I was so tired because my dreams are coming true, sort of slowly and immediately at the same time.  And then I realized that when dreams come true, it’s exhausting. And then I decided: if you’re not careful, you’ll actually  miss your own dreams coming true. You’ll confuse them with fatigue. Then I decided to forever try and associate Tired with dreams coming true. Except of course when I am actually, really just tired, in which case, I will just GO TO SLEEP. GNIGHT, SEE YOU IN MARCH

Posted in a lot, babies, hmmmmm, how interesting, i am a grown up, i am lucky, lies, life, love, MAWWAGE., the future, the making of babies, the writing of drama plays, theater, things | No Comments »

Let’s all listen to Geri

January 2nd, 2019 by Bekah Brunstetter

One of the highlights of my 2018 was randomly connected with a retired therapist, Geri, who grew up with my Grandma Roberta, during an Ashkenazi immigrant cultural heyday in Brooklyn. Please let it never be forgotten that when I first moved to Brooklyn, I got an old bike, named her Roberta, and rode my Grandma all around her previous stomping grounds.  Roberta died sort of suddenly, before I got to know her that well, which is entirely my fault, as I had plenty of time, but we were so similar that I think we reflected ourselves back to each other, were too much like the south poles  of magnets. Geri saw my name in an article about the Cake, reached out via my agent, and we began chatting intermittently over email and phone. I received the below from her, yesterday — (she’s referring to an article I did in which I speak to feeling religiously, politically ‘split in two.’)

I just read the LA Times article from June/2017 and now the shrink speaks.  Nothing,  absolutely nothing can split you apart – that will always be  your choice, so never go there. You have every right to feel confused, conflicted, stupid, and so on, and that’s called growing, and grappling with who you are always becoming, enriched, smarter more humane where all that grappling takes us, so go with it, and always be exactly who you are, at that moment, because that is the reality of how we live, and eventually you’ll have it all worked out, and by then you won’t give a shit. Just be the who you recognize and if some of that is in confusion so be it, confusion and nuance are wonderful, they deepen us.  I am awed by the degree/depth of your productivity and probably are the object of enormous envy so relax and be Bekah, whoever the hell she is, she’s terrific.

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it Has to be Hard

December 4th, 2018 by Bekah Brunstetter

At some point, early on in our relationship, Morrison and I were discussing something that I of course can’t recall. It went something like:

Morrison: I’m loving how easy this element of our combined life and / or relationship is.

Me: Yeah but sometimes, it has to be Hard. 

And ever since, he likes to repeat my own words back to me, when it in fact gets Hard, because of course, sometimes it does. I think what I was trying to say is that I didn’t want to feel like we were just in a relationship because it was easy. I wanted us to choose to be together, despite the Hard stuff. And for the last year,  there has been some Hard stuff. I mean, also the good stuff, like there is House and Family and Most Perfect Cat, there are blessings of Intellect, Careers, Curiosity, and Christmas Lights, and good lord, don’t get me started on microwavable breakfast sausage. But also: we want to be parents, and we are not. (YET.) And that has been Hard. Not knowing why not has been Hard, waiting has been Hard, watching it happen for other people has been Hard.  Yesterday, I underwent a (very routine) procedure (that I will try very hard not to be overdramatic about)  to correct some issues that turns out have been, well, making it Hard for us to conceive (THANK YOU, SCIENCE. MEDICINE? SCIENCE. I DON’T KNOW. I WRITE PLAYS.) And now, on the other side of it, we’re hopeful that 2019 will make us parents, rob us of sleep, turn our home into a teething ring, and other beautifully Hard things that I will surely complain about, PERHAPS EVEN HERE.  And I really can’t wait for that Hard stuff. Because, I mean, a wise Bekah once said, not really realizing what she was saying, or that it would echo through her heart for years to come: IT HAS TO BE HARD. I know for a fact that whenever a small person takes over my body and subsequently, our home, I will appreciate it harder, because it was Hard. So I’m just going to focus, Hard, on that fact.

 

Posted in a dream is a wish your heart makes, a lot, babies, life, love, MAWWAGE., the future, whining, women, worrying, YAY | No Comments »

why je vote

November 6th, 2018 by Bekah Brunstetter

Digging through a drawer for stickers the other day (YES I AM A 36 YO WOMAN WITH A MODEST STICKER COLLECTION MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS) I found this old  mailer, from my Dad’s first Senate campaign:

When I was in high school and college I had this mindset about politics that I’m now ashamed of. I had my literal Father in government. I felt like, my Dad is worrying about all of that. (Which, believe you me, he was.)   I was fortunate enough to not feel directly affected by who was elected, what laws were passed, as I was healthy and fed. (Still am.) I instead chose to focus on and worry about the work and people and problems that were right in front of me, which, btw, I still feel is a good way to live. But it can’t stop there. That sort of selfishness feels inexcusable, these days.  Not caring about things that don’t affect you directly is not only undemocratic, it’s not very Christian, if not inhumane. I care about the health and dignity and rights of everyone, because empathy. My parents taught me empathy. Church taught me empathy. The world, every day, solidifies what’s been there, since I was kid.  DO YOU EVEN EMPATHIZE, BRO? GO GET YOUR STICKER.

 

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why to never drink water at a wedding

October 28th, 2018 by Bekah Brunstetter

Note: Though the below might suggest otherwise, I AM staying hopeful and positive that I will someday ‘become a pregnant person,’ as my doctor calls it. I basically just can no longer keep the worry and hilarity of this life phase off of my blog. I’ve tried to keep it off of here, in fear of being over-dramatic or worse, pessimistic, and also just out of respect for the women who have truly been in the thick of this for nine times the amount of days that I have, with greater heartbreak, BUT I MEAN WHY EVEN ELSE HAVE A BLOG / THIS IS LITERALLY WHAT BLOGS ARE FOR / NOW YOU GET TO WORRY ABOUT MY FERTILITY TOO / YOU’RE WELCOME! 

At a friend’s wedding, I decide to switch to water, like just for a minute, because Hydration and Headache. Very nice well-intentioned other friend spots me with said glass of water, and I don’t know, maybe a poorly positioned wrap dress? Perhaps a face swollen from baking my feelings and eating them?  I don’t know. Her eyes light up like Christmas but with a secret, and she rushes to my side.

Friend (furtively:) Are you pregnant?

Me: What? NO. No no no no no no no no (then, approximately 100 more No’s) 

Friend: Oh — God, sorry — I’m so sorry, I just thought —

Me: It’s fine. It’s totally fine. Are you pregnant?

Friend: Um — I don’t think so?

Me: I only ask because recently, it has come to attention that I am the only female person in the entire world and on the entire internet that is not pregnant.  Everyone I went to high school and college with, and their bosses and neighbors and friends, and the people who sell them their groceries and their cars, everyone I’ve ever emailed or envied is pregnant.  Even the moments I’m not pregnant are pregnant with all of the pregnancies I’m not pregnant with.

(A moment.)

Friend: Oh my God. You’re right. I think I’m pregnant. That’s so weird, I wasn’t even trying!

Me: SEE? YOU SEE?!

Friend: Oh God, can I get you some wine?

Me: YES PLZ TEN BUCKETS, AND WITH GREAT HASTE

 

Posted in a lot, babies, generally, ha, hmmmmm, how interesting, i am a grown up, i am lucky, i am scared, life, love, MAWWAGE., oh nooo, the future, tout, trying too hard, whining, women, words, worrying, YAY | No Comments »

Parenting

October 20th, 2018 by Bekah Brunstetter

Morrison and I hope to become parents soon, and so basically everything I see and do and experience feels like a preview of that future life. And so after spending  the morning carefully clipping browned leaves off of my ‘traumatized Dracaena’ (?) and reading about how I probably poisoned it with saline, like how did I even do that, has the Plant been sneaking out to  snort table salt with his friends while we sleep, and do we need to set boundaries for the Plant?, and deciding to only give it BOTTLED water going forward, but like the expensive kind? and Lord does it add up, what with the constant wanting of new Clothes and the saving for College — I can predict that I will be a nervous, loving parent who gives terrible haircuts, then apologizes.

Posted in a lot, ha, hmmmmm, the future, things, things that I Have | No Comments »

Hey life: you’re cool

October 18th, 2018 by Bekah Brunstetter

SO: In 2012, Colorado newlyweds Charlie Craig and David Mullins were denied a wedding cake, which inspired me to write a play, which ultimately led to me spending five years of my life talking about Cake, which 30 years in the future, I will fondly reflect back on as ‘Cake Years,’ and please let there still be real cake then and not just ‘cake icon’ that I scan into my nose through my facewatch. In September 2018, Charlie and Craig  went to see a production of the Cake in Denver, Colorado.

After the performance, they and the lawyer who first defended them participated in a talk-back with the audience. I’m sure it must have been surreal for them, especially since I’m sure they’re sick of hearing and talking about this thing that became much larger than they ever intended it to be, but — my hope is that it gave them some hope, or at least some permission to laugh about the absurdity of a Cake being so brutally divisive.  Isn’t playmaking the weirdest, and the most best? Thank you, Charlie and David, for your pain, thank you for letting me twist it and shape it into something that hopefully hurts less.

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when life pulls you inside

September 23rd, 2018 by Bekah Brunstetter

We were filming in a residential neighborhood Friday, and on our lunch break, I decided to power walk around it, to make up for all of the 27 tiny snickers bars I stress-ate between shots. As I stress-walked, I stress-thought about all of the things I needed to do, all of the undone things, both immediate and future, we need a lamp for the living room and I need to rewrite that movie and when will I become a pregnant person, and DID I fracture a rib when I face planted while stress-jogging last weekend, or what is that pain near my heart, is it just heart-pain? Or is it a slowly breaking heart? Then suddenly, a voice from a door, an old, sweet voice. It was a tiny old woman, pleading with me from her front step:  please come over, please come inside, I need your help. I went right over, and she kept pleading with me, lost and close to tears,  I need something, I don’t know what it is, but I need you to tell the neighbor, I already told her son, but I can’t remember why, I — her nurse stood behind her, with an over it look that infuriated me — it’s good that you’re here, she’s not authorized to — and I need someone to know, so it’s good that you know. I just need to get to my chair. Please help me get to my chair. And she took my hand, and I helped her inside, into an untouched living room, that she once lived in but now did not recognize, and we got her onto the couch. She took a few breaths. It’s good you’re here. It’s okay, now. You can go. But you come back, any time. Leave your address. I got her name, told her mine, and left. My walk back to work was thoughtful and present and slow. All stress, gone. All I could think of was how incredible it is it be trusted, and that there are people, and that they trust each other, and that they get old and no one sees them anymore, that the young people whir around them worrying about things they can’t control, that they stand lost in their own doorways, waiting for a young person to pass by.

Posted in a lot, hmmmmm, how interesting, i am lucky, life, the future, the whole world, tout | No Comments »

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