Italy, Thanksgiving, and Prince’s Acting Class

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. My feelings about Thanksgiving—and most holidays—are best summed up in this two line exchange from Rocky:

Adrian- But it’s Thanksgiving.

Rocky- Yeah, to you it’s Thanksgiving. To me, it’s Thursday.

2. Groundbreaker of the Week- Congratulations, Kelly Thornton.

3. As many of you know, I’m currently shooting a film in Italy. So far, one of the most fascinating things I have observed in the beautiful mountain town of Acerenza is that a lot of the buildings have clay shingles on the roof. The interesting part is that to ensure the shingles don’t fall off, many of the homes have giant rocks holding them down. I have to imagine that from time to time, the rocks fall off the roofs, and occasionally, they land on people’s heads. I can only assume that this is where Italians get the reputation for being hard-headed and that it actually has nothing to do with our stubbornness or personalities.  

4. I think enough time has passed that I can tell this story now. Years ago I took an acting class lead by Prince. There was this one actor in the class having a lot of trouble with a scene, so Prince told her she needed to bring more attitude to it. She challenged the direction, saying that she didn’t know what he meant by “Bring more ‘attitude’ to it.” She did the air quotes and everything. Prince was annoyed, as he often was when challenged, and said, “Girl, ain’t you ever watched Dynasty?” At this point I was getting kind of sick and tired of Prince and said, a little too loudly, “Oh, come on, man.” Prince didn’t like that one bit and snapped back, “Is there a problem, Italian Boy?” I said, “Yeah. Kind of, Prince. You don’t have to watch Dynasty to have an attitude.” He paused and stared me down for a long long while, saying nothing. And then he wrote something down in his notebook.

Suffice to say, I never went back to the class after that. Nor did I ever get a thank you note. Fuckin’ Prince, man.

5. Top 5 Diana Ross Pro-Manscaping Songs

5. Crop in the Name of Love

4. You Can’t Furry Love

3. Come See About Neat

2. Theme from Mahogany Wax

1. Love is Here and Now You’re Shorn

6. Guest Post of the Week

7. I kind of admire some of those younger, enthusiastic, more fit fathers who I see come barreling into the schoolyard all on their child’s scooter with big smiles on their faces for the 3:30 pick up. But then I remind myself that they’re grown ups and I realize how fucking stupid they look, and I feel way better about sitting in a car with the ignition running while chain smoking, looking “lost a bet” miserable.

8. I have taken this route so many times: take the off ramp to Angri, and drive full speed down Self Indulgens Lane. Then, you can take Kurse Loudly, Puntch Things, or Threaten Overtly which will all lead you to the town of Cald Out. Slow down for about ten minutes, then get out and park your vehicle anywhere once you’ve reached your destination: Resentful Apolojy. 

9. My cousin Tomasso said to me, while I was visiting his beautiful home in Italy, “mi casa et su casa,” so I sold it. These foreigners got to learn somewhere. 

10. Classic Ella

11. My daughter downloads music from time to time from my iTunes account. So when I put my phone on shuffle, some of it is bound to play. Last week, of all weeks, Beyonce’s “If I Were A Boy” came on shuffle. I was about to skip it but I thought, nah, let me listen and see. I mean, I’d heard it before but I’d never actually listened to it. Holy shit—that is one of the most powerful songs I have ever heard in my life. Simple lyrics and melody, and a heartfelt truth that comes through in her performance. I’m not embarrassed at all to say that I wept. I wept out of guilt and shame for my complete cluelessness as a younger man, certainly. But more immediately, I felt a sense of empathy and a powerlessness to help (in any meaningful way) as I live in a world that seems not to value women at all.

It’s a fucking great song in a spirit-crushing time.

12. “The conference was saved when we discovered that, after all, we really didn’t need the box of name tags that I had forgotten back at the office”

Written By

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.