I regret not saying anything to the woman who treated the baristas like crap in front of me at the Australian/New Zealander meat pie and coffee shop that I frequent in Brooklyn. She was upset that they didn't have the pie she wanted and berated them for it before sitting down like a grump with her partner and child. When her 4-year-old asked why she wasn't eating a pie like Daddy was, she repeated in a loud voice: "They didn't have the pie I asked for. You should ask the pie guys why I don't have my pie. Maybe the pie guys know." I regret keeping my mouth shut. Her partner probably regrets having a kid with her.
I also regret asking anyone for a retweet this year. This was a regret the last year and the year before that, too.
—Hari Kondabolu, writer and comedian
I regret that it took spending an ungodly amount of money to fix my sewer to make me realize just how rich I am, and that my twin values of freedom and stability have everything to do with artistic community and much less to do with actual money. I regret all the plays I read, dreamed, and didn't produce. I deeply regret all the wonderful actors I did not cast. I do not regret any of the awkward "no" calls—they are just penance for an embarrassment of artistic riches. The rats in the Bathhouse Theater were regrettable, as they distracted a really terrific staff from doing terrific things in their (the rats') insistence on being eliminated. I do not regret their elimination (again, the rats, not the staff). I looked down at the path rather than looking up ahead a lot. I regret that, as it probably limited my imagination, but sometimes there are tree branches on the path and I do not regret not falling off my bike.
—Shana Bestock, artistic director of Seattle Public Theater
I always have a million regrets. I regret not winning the lotto yet. I regret not telling more people I love them more often. I regret not having more people over to our house for dinner. I regret that I still haven't found anyone to "sponsor" me so that I can join that private gym just up the street from our house. I totally DO NOT regret getting both of my hips replaced this summer, but I do regret that medical insurance is still such a hassle... and that the Republicans have been expending so much energy on repealing Obamacare. I regret reading the comments posted by haters who troll news sites and YouTube. I regret not spending more time in the butterfly house at the Pacific Science Center: On a cold, dark Seattle day, it is one of the best escapes ever.
—Gary Tucker, public relations manager at Pacific Northwest Ballet
I regret that a drunk lady aggressively peed at me in the "wee" hours on Pine Street while I was setting up for my day job. I regret knowing how to clean up pee effectively. I regret that my biggest talents are napping and picking at emotional scabs, as neither talent is lucrative or sexually attractive. I regret wasting my youth being so stupidly serious. Mostly, I regret not saving my pennies for plastic surgery. Seeing is believing, and I have a smirk wrinkle that makes me look like a Disney villain. Employers prefer their employees to be less ominous. I have not prepared for old age, or middle age, or any age. I am unprepared. And for that I am deeply regretful.
—Kelleen Conway Blanchard, playwright
I regret failing to produce that performance idea of fucking a dude onstage slowly while an endless loop of the Chariots of Fire score is performed by a live orchestra. Actually, wait. I can probably still make that performance. Lane Czaplinski, are you reading this?
—Erin Pike, actor and performance artist
I regret saying yes to that shot of whiskey after drinking three different wines at the opening of Horse Girls at Annex Theatre. I regret the vodka soda that followed. I regret not calling my mother. I regret scheduling a phone call with my mother and then not calling again. I regret saying, "This time, I promise" over e-mail to my mother and then forgetting. I regret not making a scene at my little sister's wedding after her mother-in-law insulted my boots and attempted to seat my girlfriend and me at a separate table from the rest of my family with an evangelical minister. I regret saying: "The comments aren't that bad on that one article." It was a lie. It's always a lie. I regret not buying that Buffy figurine at the mall next to the surgery place in Tukwila for my friend because I thought he'd be too out of it after the procedure to realize what it was. I had it in my hand. It was $10. I should have gone for it. I regret being a CenturyLink customer every time I have to call them to fix something that is their responsibility to fix. I regret that there are people in the theater community who still don't understand how and why Mikado was racist. I regret that they won't talk about why they think that. I regret that for all the liberalness of the Seattle theater community, there are still so many ways that we're fucking conservative, and one of them is silence. I regret that the other way is unfortunate show choice. Which is why, most of all, I regret that Netflix took Toddlers & Tiaras off of its streaming service and that I noticed when they did.
—Courtney Meaker, playwright
Personal regret: that I have not been able to master compassion. That sometimes I can't hold back my disappointment/frustration at our collective inability to do better by each other. I regret that I have not always succeeded in staying open enough to listen and brave enough to speak.
Professional regrets: that I haven't made an effective enough case for putting Alice Childress's Wedding Band onstage in Seattle. I regret procrastinating in my own writing. I regret not asking for what I need to make my work. I regret that it has taken me so long to be brave enough to accept support.
For the world: I regret that we are all still so afraid of hearing the worst that we don't stay present to the possibility of hearing the best.
—Valerie Curtis-Newton, director and 2014 Stranger Genius Award winner
I have some major regrets about how drunk I got in the VIP section at Bumbershoot this year and that I said some weird/borderline creepy things to Janeane Garofalo. Specifically, whispering "I love you" when she walked past me, then running away when I realized she heard me. I also regret later cornering her near a bathroom and telling her, "I modeled my entire life after you," which I followed up with a completely unnecessary breakdown of the impact Reality Bites had on the shaping of my worldview. She was extremely nice about it. She was like, "You know, that's a character I played. I'm actually a fairly optimistic person." Then I made THE WORLD'S WORST JOKE when I responded, "Oh, I know. I just want you to know I have always been a Vickie and never a Lelaina!" Then I laughed really loud like an idiot. I still have no idea what I meant. I took a picture with her in the VIP section the next day and she was very sweet. She even covered for me in front of my friends and said that we had a "very nice conversation."
—Elicia Sanchez, comedian and cocreator of the monthly comedy show Wine Shots
I regret being in the lobby of the Moore Theatre when Rachel Atkins won the outstanding new play award for Black Like Us—coproduced by Brownbox Theatre and Annex Theatre—at this year's Gregory Awards. One of the actresses from the show, Kia Pierce, and I stepped out to get something to drink/snack on. There was no program that evening. (I think some issue with printing on time?) We had no idea of the order of the evening and assumed it would be a while before her category came up. Someone was coming out of the theater, suddenly we saw her onstage, and we shouted, "OMG, Rachel is onstage!" and came running in as she thanked everyone and then ended with: "I'm black and I'm proud."
—Tyrone Brown, director
I went out to Walla Walla for a week this past spring with Victor Pappas's very successful Seattle Shakespeare Company production of The Importance of Being Earnest. The fact that a community theater there had a production of Steven Dietz's comedy Becky's New Car running at the same time—in the 2008 ACT Theatre world premiere of which Kimberly King (our Lady Bracknell) and I had both appeared—was an arguably tall coincidence, but one that I don't regret in the least and is only (arguably) relevant to the degree one finds coincidences, even pleasant ones, spooky. Because what was frigging spooky as all get-out was the fact that from a roof fixture of the 120-year-old building in which we performed—the Gesa Power House Theatre, originally a gas plant, then an electrical plant, and recently converted into a performing arts space—hung a noose! I regret not having found out why. We asked, but no one we talked to at the building knew. Nor did anyone seem anxious to remove it.
—Charles Leggett, actor
I regret telling everyone I was moving to Los Angeles, only to go broke and move back here two months later. I should've kept my big mouth shut. I regret not keeping my big mouth shut more often, about a LOT of things. I regret that not everyone else has discovered the band City and Horses this year. I love them! They're a terrific band from NYC whose songs make me feel happy. Marc Cantone, the band's main songwriter, produces children's television and he's hilarious.
—Derek Sheen, comedian
I regret missing Scott Shoemaker's Ms. Pak-Man!
I regret not knowing of Ahamefule Oluo before this year. His show Now I'm Fine is one of the best shows I've seen. That show was powerful, beautiful, exciting, moving, and so inspiring. I cannot get this piece out of my head. I keep thinking about it. I am now a mega-fan of Ahamefule and his entire cast. And lastly, I regret not kicking that frat boy in the balls for hooting at me in the most obnoxious way when I was walking home as Cherdonna from a gig. RIP, Cap Hill.
—Jody Kuehner, aka Cherdonna Shinatra, dancer and performance artist
I regret missing Pina Bausch and Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker performances in NYC, worrying too much about stupid things, ignoring a scrape on my knee that turned into a nasty infection at the worst time (in the final weeks before opening BeginAgain at On the Boards), wasting time, and missing Angels in America at Intiman this summer.
—Zoe Scofield, dancer and choreographer
I don't know what I regret more—how many Jäger bombs I drank on my last night performing at the Can Can, or the fact that my love of the frat-boy drink was engraved on a trophy the owner had made for me.
—Rainbow Fletcher, dancer and choreographer
My biggest regret from this year is having to say no to being a backup dancer for Thunderpussy! I am working on my biggest project ever, TO|GET|HER, which is a two-part performance project, and it needs most of my attention. Also, I am working on the next Yellow Fish Epic Durational Performance Festival. Of course.
—Alice Gosti, dancer, choreographer, and cofounder of the Yellow Fish Epic Durational Performance Festival