There is always room to grow.
The Remorse Report
This is intended to be a safe space for us all to look back, cringe, laugh, and learn. It’s a curated, collective compendium of contrition, if you will. Please submit your own contributions via the form below or via email to projectamiright (at) gmail (dot) com–bonus points if you’ve got pictures. All Remorse Report stories are always published anonymously.
Without further ado, we’ll begin with the story of:
No one is perfect. Definitely not this humble author.
Yep. That’s me. The founder of Project Am I Right — a first generation Colombian-American — in full kabuki makeup. Confusing, complicated, and inappropriate for so many reasons. This was a high school production of The Mikado. Not a moment I’m too proud of. But also proof that I’m not here to shame anyone’s past. I’m only here to find ways for us all to do better moving forward.
accent and all
In 9th grade I played a Chinese Boy named Yee Bow in Spoon River Anthology. Accent and all. Thank god I didn’t do yellow face. But the costume was the epitome of stereotype. I cringe when I think about it. I went to an all white high school and no one thought it was a bad idea. Oof.
didn’t think anything of it
I’ve played Spanish in Bernarda Alba and Jewish in Fiddler on the Roof. I’ve also been called back for Eva twice and I didn’t think anything of it at all. My views have definitely evolved.
I played Gabriella Montez in a semi professional production of High School Musical. I was wigged and tanned to look more ethnic. Yikes.
never went on
In undergrad, sophomore year, we did SubUrbia by Eric Bogosian. I understudied the role of Norman, the Pakistani shop owner. I was a white kid (culturally Jewish) from Pittsburgh. So was the guy I was understudying. I never went on, so no photos exist, thank goodness.
I wanted to copy her
In my middle school summer day camp, I played both Anita in West Side Story and Ronette in Little Shop…Not my proudest moments. The costumes were not offensive, but I deeeeeeefinitely tried to deliver every line EXACTLY as Rita Moreno did…I did so because she is flawless and I wanted to copy her, but still…
wanted to show everyone how well I could belt
I played a blonde haired blue eyed Ronnette in Little Shop. Mostly I was mad I wasn't cast as Audrey so I wanted to show everyone how well I could belt...it was embarrassing and super inappropriate.
anyone who was even partly not-white
I've done the King and I... twice (I'm Latinx). In those days (and those markets) they just rounded up anyone who was even partly not-white and stuck them all together as various ethnicities! The first time I was one of the kids and the second time --literally 20 years later-- I was a wife... that's how much things hadn't changed in all that time. At least the second time there were only four non-Asians playing Thai characters. We joked among ourselves that we'd been gifts to the King from other rulers elsewhere in the world, sent as tributes.