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True Blue, Listening, and Black Lives Matter

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 / Jul 13, 2016

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 was asked to be a guest improviser (I’m now 2 for 3 for anyone keeping score) during this year’s Fringe in a show called True Blue. It is the ONLY Fringe show I have ever appeared in. The cast was amazing: Amy Matysio, Anand Rajaram, Shanda Bezic, Paloma Nunez, Kevin Vidal, and Danny Pagett. Before they went on stage, they had a tradition where each member hugged each other member and said “I got your back.” I had never heard of this tradition and thought those are THE MOST confidence-inspiring words you could ever hope to give or receive from your acting partners before hitting a stage. I am definitely going to try to steal this and take it into the non-improvised theatre world and pass it off as my idea.

True Blue

2. Little known fact: When Italy won the world’s first Car-Horn Honking Championship of the World in 1957, they celebrated by kicking soccer balls up and down College Street.

3. I firmly believe that most cops are good cops. But when good cops stand behind the actions of bad ones, in the end, they are not actually any better than the bad ones. Not one bit.

4. I spent an entire evening watching regular television with commercials, and I didn’t realize until about halfway through that I actually never watch commercial television anymore, only Netflix or On Demand or that type of fare, and my head was literally aching by the end of the night from the noise and the vapidity of it all. Of course, it probably didn’t help that we were watching Turner & Hooch.

5. Met a young actor today who had never seen Goodfellas, so I shot him in the foot. These kids have to learn someplace.

6. One of the most important things an actor can do is listen. Always be listening actively to what is happening in a scene, listening for your objective to be accomplished. It’s exciting when you are listening to your partner and you hear something in a new way, make a discovery in that moment, and react in a way that is new and actually surprises yourself. It’s called LIVE theatre for a reason—it’s happening in the present—and it’s frustrating when your partner ignores the new colour or nuance you give them and robotically stick to the same performance that they have worked out on their own at home in front of the mirror.

I worked with a few people when I was younger who, I am pretty sure, if I lit myself on fire and they’d just keep on doing what they were going to do because they weren’t actually listening or paying attention to me. They were just waiting for their turn to say their lines. These actors can appear to be very good at what they are doing from the outside, I just personally find it uninspiring and find that the longer a run goes on for, the staler the show.

7. I recently started a list of all the stuff I had wanted to do before I died but just can’t be bothered with anymore. I call it my Fuck It List.

8. Mark O’Brien is a great actor and a great guy, best known for his role on Republic of Doyle and, most recently, How to Plan an Orgy in a Small Town. We worked on a film called Beat Down where he played my nephew. I find with some actors who are super confident in what they’re doing and are there to enjoy the process, there sometimes develops a way of complimenting another actor by completely shitting on their work. I know I nailed it when one of these actors tells me I was awful. Who actually tells an actor when they are awful?

It’s a stupid game to keep things loose and fun, and Mark is great at it. He’s a master of the deadpan delivery and would get me all the time, and I almost never saw it coming. So, on one particular take, I waited until just before the cameras rolled and sent him a text (actors on set are constantly checking texts), which said: “You add absolutely nothing to this scene.”

Mark Obrien

9. That P.K. Subban trade was the worst move anyone has made in the history of anything since that time KISS decided to take off their makeup.

10. Guys over forty with their shirts off don’t bother me. Guys over forty who ride bicycles don’t bother me. But guys over forty riding bicycles with their shirts off are just creepy. They always seem like they’re looking to rob something.

11. Top 5 Celebrity Drug Names

5- Johnny Hash
4- Billy Crystal Meth
3- Taylor Spliffed
2- John Bong Jovi
1- Billy Bob Snortin

12. At this point in the dialogue, it is really fucking simple. If you don’t FULLY support Black Lives Matter, it’s because you don’t think they do.

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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