Learning Lines, Dental Care, and an Italian Contest

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. During a theatre workshop last week, I realized there is a direct correlation between how loud I speak and how little I know my lines. It was like I was trying to scream them into my own head.

2. Guest Post of the Week

3. Philip Riccio and I have had an ongoing I Am Way More Italian Than You Contest, basically since we met, which we take quite seriously. I just want to publicly thank Michael Healey for casting Phil as Canadian Prime Minister, Joe Clark, in his highly entertaining play 1979, and giving me an almost unreachable lead.

4. I have my suspicions about these figures. I’m not sure who conducted the study but same report said that half of Canadians were one Botox injection and a decent haircut away from being fuckable.

That can’t be right.

5. In a related story, Pence compared Nancy Sinatra to Nina Simone because: “Women mostly all sound the same to me and my record collection is both integrated and organized alphabetically. I mean, they’re just records. You don’t NEED to keep them separated like you do with people.”

6. For those who don’t know, most theatre rehearsals start around a table with some easy readings and script analysis to get everyone on the same page and working towards the same vision. After table work is done, the next stage is to “put in on its feet” which means exactly what it sounds like. You put the table and chairs away and start working through blocking: mapping out where you enter and exit from, when you move, stand, and so on. Usually, the actors are also trying to get “off book” during this time, which means getting to the point where they have the lines in their head, but most usually start this stage with scripts in their hands.

And it occurred to me that a play getting on its feet for the first time and a toddler getting on its feet for the first time are quite similar in nature because my first thought is always pretty much along the lines of, “I don’t think this fucker’s gonna make it.”

7. Classic Me

8. If they had told me when I was younger that it is impossible to do a Jamaican teeth suck when you are wearing a partial plate, I would have taken much better care of my teeth.

9. I have zero patience.

Having said that, I can mostly live In the world without losing it. But when there is a lineup ten deep at the gas station and someone is playing a stack of twenty lottery tickets at the front of the line . . . let’s just say that if you ever read a headline that reads anything like Murder At Toronto Gas Station, I recommend you immediately bet the person beside you a great deal of money that you know who did it before reading the article.

10. I find it may take a little longer to swear when you’re texting but it’s fucking worth it.

11. Reminder of the Week (courtesy of Joanne Boland)

12. Tanisha Taitt made a post this week, which I am not going to repost, but contained in it was a shout out Alan Dilworth for successfully negotiating a Herculean task. And it occurred to me that he hasn’t received very much written praise that I have read for said task, so I am pulling bits of Tanisha’s words (with her permission) out of her post to share them here.

Tanisha acknowledged and celebrated Alan for: “. . .bringing hope and morale to a company devastated by scandal and betrayal, conducting himself and helming a wounded team with fortitude and grace, bringing faith back to artists and staff through simple kindness and active listening, and programming the most racially integrated, culturally conscious and non-tokenistic season in Soulpepper’s history. . .”

I don’t know a single person in Toronto theatre who would argue with a word of what Tanisha wrote regarding Alan and I’m somewhat embarrassed, as the writer of this column, that I have not written words that reflect the respect and sentiment of her words long before this.

I’d like to offer both my sincere gratitude to Tanisha for the reminder and my sincere apologies to Alan for the oversight.


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.