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Evan Hansen, Audition Show Tunes, and Being Cool

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 / May 14, 2019

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.  Is there any better argument FOR abortion than Sam Oosterhoff?

2. My seventy-six-year-old father, who has never learned to write in English, has been spending a lot of time on Facebook these days. He just joined it recently and loves it. But he really can’t spell for shit. Last week he commented on a photo of one of my oldest friends in the world, Scott Oakman. He told Scott that his wife, Michelle, was a “party wife.” I had half a mind to just sit back and see where it would go, but decided to step in on his behalf to avoid any confusion and let Scott and Michelle know that he meant to write “pretty wife.” Michelle didn’t miss a beat and chimed in that BOTH were, in fact, technically true.

3. They’ve just opened a Beer Store at 400 Eastern Ave., which is awesome. Now the lag time between blowing an audition and getting drunk can, in theory, be like fifteen minutes. Twenty, tops.

4. I rarely go to openings of films I’m in. It’s Canada. I’ve been around long enough to know that nobody outside of the cast and crew really cares about them that much or pays them much attention. A lot of other actors love getting dressed up, having their picture taken, and feeling like the event is a big deal, all that shit. More power to them. Just not my thing. There is very little glamour to any of it. We are Hollywood North in name only.

This is all to say, Joel Keller had a great line years ago that’s stuck with me: That actor? S/he wouldn’t miss the opening of an envelope.”

5. Guest Post of the Week.

6. If I were Evan Hansen’s family friend I would tell him: “Dude, I know this is gonna sound kind of weird, but whenever you speak you sound like a fucking idiot, and whenever you sing you’re so interesting and articulate. Maybe you should pretend you have a disease where you can’t talk anymore and you just sing ALL THE TIME. I mean, it’s not like you’re not a fucking liar already anyway.”

7. So very cool that Drake wore that Breaker High hoodie to the Raptors game. This could finally be the big break that Ryan Gosling’s career needs to rescue him from relative obscurity and put him on the map again.

8. This painting was done by the mother of my child, Mary Lewis. The piece is called HOLYROOD, NL. I really like the brush techniques and the use of colour she’s employed, especially with the trees in the foreground, the highlights on the rocks, and the reflections in the water. I like the trees framing the piece and how the jutting bit of rock seems almost like a living thing. The whole picture, in fact, depicts all of its natural elements, water and sky included, as very much living and breathing. There is a movement both in it and to it. I’d encourage you to zoom in on any area and admire the details in the work. You can see more of Mary’s work at

9. Years ago, Lili Francks told me this joke and I have never forgotten it. If you can imagine it in Lili’s voice, it’s way funnier.

Patient: “Kiss me, Doctor!!! Kiss me!!!!”

Doctor: “Kiss you??!! I shouldn’t even be fucking you!!!!”

10. So, by this logic, gay actors shouldn’t play straight roles on stage now either? That’s just stupid.  Personally, I just want to see GOOD actors acting on stage. I couldn’t care less who they fuck when they’re done.

11. Martin Roach is a fantastic actor and a great guy. We share the same agent and we audition against each other often. I’ve lost a bunch of jobs to him and he’s lost the odd one to me. Despite that, we always enjoy bumping into each other at auditions and shooting the shit. We both can do almost anything the other guy can do as an actor except for one thing.  We recently adapted a song that we’ll now sing every time we see each other at auditions.

His verse: Anything you can do, I can do blacker. I can do anything blacker than you.

You can probably just guess my verse.

12. I was lucky enough to see Craig Northey of Odds play with Steven Page at the Danforth Music Hall a couple of weeks back. He is one of the most genuinely nice people I have ever met, not to mention an über-talented singer and songwriter. He only sang one song that night, one I have always loved but never knew all that well, called “Someone Who’s Cool.” In fact, I didn’t even know the title of it. Just the tune and a few lyrics that it turns out I had heard wrong. It’s a song about a rock star, I imagine, who feels like a bit of a fraud. I went home after the show and starting listening to it and really connected to it. I mean, it’s a great fucking pop song, period. But it has started to become a bit of an anthem for me. 

I don’t consider myself cool in the least, but I’m often told by people how loved I am, or how I’m fairly universally held in high regard. That’s something I’m aware of and try to roll with to fulfill people’s expectations. But, like many addicts, I don’t generally see anything but the negative side of myself, and I find it kind of baffling when other people don’t see the negative side of me. I mean, when I was younger, it was different. I was always seeking validation and my personality was quite liquid. I would become anyone the person in front of me wanted me to be, and then shape-shift altogether when I was in front of someone else. But that was a long while ago. Now, I consider myself kind of a tired, grumpy, filterless old man, resentfully waiting to die. I’m only slightly exaggerating, honestly. The only thing l really kind of like about myself is that I’m not afraid of anyone or anything.

Anyway, I won’t write all the lyrics of the song out, but here’s the first verse and the chorus. It will give you a pretty good idea of the picture the song paints. The song is a confession of sorts. Maybe it will even mean something deeper to you. Maybe it won’t. But like I said, it’s a fucking cool song.

In natural selection

I’ve avoided all detection

And the tender bits underneath

All with window dressing and calculated guessing

And a bark bigger than my teeth.

It was the suit that got me the gig

It was the tear that got me the girl

I’m a sheep in this wolf clothing

I’m a picture that I’m holding,

Of someone who is cool.


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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