Tuesday, August 31, 2021

On Regret

David and Mariah
(Kenston High School, 2001)
Twenty years ago this week, I began my tenure at Great Lakes Theater in the role which would define my life, that of an actor-teacher in the school residency program. I learned a great deal from my partner that first year. I once used the word “regret” and she said helpfully but absolutely that regret is useless.

And I’d never heard it stated so flatly like that. Regret is useless. It has no use. There is nothing to be gained from regret. You can learn from past mistakes, but regret is an emotion attached to these mistakes which serve no practical purpose. You are just feeling sorry for yourself.

When I departed Dobama Theatre, after only three years, I announced that I would attend grad school! Instead, I started Bad Epitaph Theater Company. I have regretted not attending grad school then. Why did I not attend grad school then?

I’ll tell you why. In order to attend grad school, and to be successful, I had to stop doing other things. And at the age of thirty I was not yet prepared to stop doing other things. I would have kept on doing other things, I would not have been focused. This was also true at the age of forty. 

There have always been other things I wanted to be doing. But I thought I should have been pursuing a Masters Degree. Even my own children know that there is no should.

I was not previously prepared to attend grad school. But when I turned fifty, I was. Why then? Who knows? Who cares? Let be.

Great Lakes Theater
Actor-Teachers 2021-2022

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