Cues, Math, and Canadian Actor Daydreams

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 "Nappoholics Anonymous"

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. I can’t possibly have been the first to think this but I haven’t heard or read it said before- is it possible that the urgency in building this wall along the southern border is one of the first stages of a bigger, long-term plan to keep Americans from being able to leave the country once it has turned into a complete dictatorship?

2. Classic Me/Stupid Me

3. Our internet went down on the weekend and it was amazing the effect it had on Ella and I. It took out the cable and the Wifi, that’s it. We still had working lights and heat, two warm beds to sleep in, a fridge full of food, working stove, books upon books to read, music to listen to. And still we ended up huddling around an iPad together at night, watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine like we were on a fucking camping trip and desperate for entertainment.

4. Why the fuck is the CBC News division fuelling the fire against our Muslim communities, which has more than their share of enemies and haters, including the Ontario government? I call offside and completely unnecessary piling on.

5. The wonderful actor/teacher and friend/house painter, Jeff Clarke, recently told me he had a daydream where he was sitting in a laundromat watching all of his painting tarps going around in the dryer. #AttainableCanadianActorDaydreams

6. Classic Me/Scarborough Me

7. I spent most of Sunday at Ella’s mother’s place listening to her mother help Ella study for her math exams this week. My job was essentially to make sure she didn’t bolt. As we were leaving-

Me- Thanks a lot for making me listen to math all fucking day.

Ella- Now you know how it feels.

Me- Yeah. Well I already passed grade nine. Let’s hope you get to know how THAT feels.

Yes, I’m a dick like that.

8. I often tell my daughter that she’ll be lucky if there are ANY jobs available for her in the future. That she may even live in a world where the availability of food and water are not a given. A degree won’t protect her from any of life’s harsh realities. I try to encourage her to look at school as a resource that is there for her to learn all that she can and wants to take from it. It will serve her way better, in the long run, than looking at it as a place that is trying to force her to learn things she isn’t really interested in learning and then testing her on these things which makes her feel judged for not being that interested in. If she can just do her best and learn as much as she can about what she is interested in, I think that she will be just fine, hold her head high and feel pretty good about herself.

9. Fuck Yeah!!! of the Week

10. Abstinence makes the hard grow fonder.

11. This shit is getting serious. Just the other day, I was bitching about how crazily unpredictable the weather had been lately to my Uber driver, and a cop on a nearby rooftop shot me with a tranquilizer gun through the open car window. I didn’t notice the tranquilizer dart sticking out of my neck until til I got home, but still…

12. I did a second interview last week with Chelsea Johnson for her amazing “Cue to Cue” podcast. I find her to be an excellent interviewer to talk with and have enjoyed listening to her interviewing many of my peers, as well. One of the questions she asked me was what I thought it meant for an actor to to be vulnerable. I answered something like: naked, completely naked in every way. No guards up at all.

We did a photo shoot after the interview and I suggested using this answer as a thing that we could depict in the photo. A portrait of vulnerability. I had been having a hard week that I don’t need to go into at all and was feeling quite raw and vulnerable, at the time so I just needed to open up and let it out.

After the shoot, it occurred to me how cathartic and therapeutic it had been for me to do that. And, as I walked home, it occurred to me how lucky actors are to have a safe place to house all of the feelings we are constantly experiencing—our angers, frustrations, heartaches, fears, worries. All of the shit that other people walk around with every day or seek therapy to work through or attend twelve step groups for (we can still do those things, too) or process in whatever way they need to to work through them (drinking, drugging, running, fucking, meditation, punching heavy bags, whatever the fuck it takes).

Actors are in a very unique position to get to process a lot of our shit through our work: film, theatre, workshops, webisodes, interviews, auditions, writing. I use this column to work through shit because trying to explain something to a reading audience forces me to be articulate and specific about what I am going through which, in turn, helps me understand it better. And then, if we are really lucky, people applaud for us and look upon our processing through our work as an accomplishment to be celebrated. For just doing what other people do every single fucking day privately rather than publicly.

I mean, fuck me. That’s not a bad deal at all if you have the stomach for it.

In Collaboration with Sarah Stewart Photography

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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.