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Bingo Halls, Beatles Documentaries, and Land Acknowledgments

A graphic of Tony Nappo edited to appear as multiple people sitting in a circle as a spoof of Alcoholics Anonymous. At the top and bottom of the image is text that reads
/By / Dec 7, 2021

Nappoholics Anonymous is a weekly column featuring twelve random thoughts by actor Tony Nappo. Some are funny, some are poignant, some bother him, and some make him weep from sadness while others make him weep for joy. Here are his thoughts: unfiltered, uncensored, and only occasionally unsafe for work.

1. So glad to hear that poor-ass, backwoods, racist motherfuckers — who are dumb enough to actually film themselves in the act — still aren’t allowed to murder innocent people of colour in the United States. So there’s that, at least.

2. Tribute of the Week

3. Parent of the Week

4. Maybe this is a new thing I feel since the bodily remains of residential school children began being discovered in mass unmarked graves around the country, but I now find the end of every pre-show land acknowledgment slightly surreal and ridiculous.

When they happen, here is what I’m hearing in my mind:

“This theatre wants you to be aware that the exact place we are doing this show and that you are about to see the show was actually stolen from its rightful owners by way of mass genocide and forced assimilation, including the practice of taking away their children, for years on end, where they were systematically abused, sexually assaulted and in many cases murdered,” none of which is even remotely funny to me or any thinking, feeling human being, of course, until I hear what inevitably follows — which, in my mind, can only intelligently be interpreted as an encouragement to forget everything that has just been said/unsaid without really letting it sink in. Something almost always pretty exactly like:

“Now, please turn off your cellphones and unwrap your candy and enjoy the show.”

Just feels like maybe there’s a part missing in the middle somewhere.

5. Page Discovery of the Week

6. Meme of the Week

7. For the last few years, I’ve been on a film and TV roll that isn’t threatening to abruptly end, as it has most times, so far in my career. If you happen to be a younger actor who identifies with me in terms of type or look or essence, I’m going to share an exchange I had with Hugh Whitfield, who was the president of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Manhattan, where I was a student, at the end of my second year.

Hugh: Nobody is going to know what to do with you for a while but, trust me, twenty years from now, you are going to be working non-stop.

Me: (not happy to hear that news at the time) What am I supposed to do between now and then?

Hugh: Just get ready for it.

And that might be the best advice that I was ever given by anyone, about anything, in my entire life.

8. Comeback of the Week

9. I’ve seen a bunch of negative reviews about Peter Jackson’s Beatles documentary, mostly saying that it’s long and slow. It is long and it is slow but it’s also fucking fascinating if you are a Beatles fan. And I don’t mean that you just like The Beatles, but that you’re a fan. When I was young I knew every lyric to every song, read every article or book, and watched every movie I could get my hands on. To me this is like eight hours of footage of dead family members being unexpectedly discovered. I’m not watching it so much as studying it — watching it in short, digestible segments. 

And while I’m watching it, John Lennon and George Harrison are alive again. And The Beatles are together again. And I am getting to have a peek at the creative process of arguably the greatest and most influential pop band of all time. I am watching songs that I have known and loved my entire life being created from scratch. It’s a musical wet dream come true for any actual Beatle fan.

Now, I’m not saying that anyone who doesn’t love the documentary is wrong in terms of judging it as a “movie proper,” but I am saying that they are judging it wrongly as an archeological find, and that those who are harshly criticizing the film can not possibly be true Beatles fans.

10. Share of the Week

11. Last week, I was shooting a scene in a bingo hall, where I was playing kind of a lowlife creepy guy. In the scene, I sat down next to an elderly woman and did a bit of an improvisation where I started flirting with her quite heavily and kind of pawed at her playfully but persistently (to assess the value of her jewelry). The woman playing the grandma character, Angela — a very classy and beautiful woman for a woman of any age — was game, and gave me more than enough in terms of responses and things to respond to.

When it was time for the camera to be moved to a different position to cover some of the other characters at the table, I said to her, “thank you so much for giving me all of that. I won’t be touching or kissing or crawling all over for you this take because we aren’t actually on camera and they won’t see us at all.”

I won’t ever forget her, looking me dead in the eyes, and flatly saying: “that doesn’t mean we still can’t have some fun.”

12. Variant of the Week

Tony Nappo

Tony Nappo

Tony is Italian, he’s from Scarborough, he’s an actor, he’s a father, he’s a really good house painter, and he doesn’t believe that most things matter, ultimately, at all.



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