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Foreheads, Ghostbusters, and A Night in Tunisia

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 20, 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. One day I am gonna open a restaurant and serve the food my mom made me growing up. To make the experience completely authentic, I’ll call it SHUT THE FUCK UP AND EAT!

2. The most practical advice I ever got from any actor came from Trailer Park Boys’ Robb Wells on the set of a film called Beat Down: “It doesn’t count as gay if it’s work related.”

Rob Wells

3. I loved Aaron Paul on Breaking Bad but it seems the only way he is going to become a movie star is if, DURING HIS MOVIES, they show Adam Sandler movies on his giant forehead.*

*I can say this cause I have one too.

4. Had an audition for a role this week that the breakdown called “not traditionally handsome.” The word “traditionally,” in that description, seemed superfluous to me.

5. Where the hell does Scott Baio get off walking around telling everybody who to vote for like he has that kind of power and influence? It’s like he thinks he’s Tina Yothers or something.

6. Here’s one that bugs me: If you need an actor you are working with to make an adjustment to help you smooth out a moment or a beat or whatever, just ask them. I know I will do almost anything to help my fellow actor out, as will most actors—delay something or speed something up or take a different route or turn left instead of right, stand or sit on a different line, whatever. We are all working towards the same goal, we’re building something together. I can’t fucking stand when an actor pretends to ask the director a question that is really a feeble attempt to give me a direction. It’s controlling and passive aggressive. Of course it’s a way around giving another actor a direction that you should never ever do, but it’s really gutless and cheap and obvious. Because it betrays the idea of trust.

7. This is a publicity still from a short-lived Hockey Night in Canada segment called Darryl Sittler Makes Fun of Fat Kids. It was an offshoot of the ParticipACTION program that was sweeping the nation and meant to inspire kids to not be fat and fall out of Darryl’s favor.

My episode aired between the second and third period of a particularly dull Toronto Maple Leafs–Atlanta Flames game in November of 1978. It featured such Darryl classics as, “Are you supposed to be a boy or a girl?” “Your forearms look like overstuffed bratwurst sausages.” “I can’t tell where your chins end and that dorky turtle neck starts”. And, of course, THE fan favorite, “Is your mom hot, at least?”


8. I honestly don’t understand why people are so resistant to somebody actually turning Ghostbusters into a good movie. I couldn’t stand that fucking film as a kid. I mean, it’s not like they’re remaking Slap Shot.

9. Am I the only one who has been waiting for someone to come up with the hashtag #fatwivesmatter?

10. There’s a new sex position going around called the Tenors. It’s where you completely fuck three of your friends with a cheap little homemade cardboard sign.

11. I have zero doubt that there is a direct correlation between how fast you can forget about an audition when you walk out of the room and how long of a life you will live.

12. One of the best parts of theatre is that we get to immerse ourselves in so many different worlds and learn about and experience them on a very real level. And one of the best scenes I have ever had the pleasure to play was with Oliver Dennis and Oliver Becker in a show called Side Man. It was a scene without any words, just the three of us listening to the entire recording of Clifford Brown’s A Night in Tunisia. It was recorded in the back of a record store a week before he died. You can find it online. It’s amazing.

Richard Underhill of The Shuffle Demons came in and walked us through the song, as a musician, essentially scoring our reactions and where they should be: which bits of the song were acrobatic fingering or difficult to play, pointing out certain more nuanced switches, where his breaths would be impossible to take, shit that was just fucking cool. And then the three of us each came up with our own individual physical language to communicate experiencing the song both to each other and the audience.

Of course, the other best thing about theatre is the people you visit these worlds with. I have seen both Olivers in the last couple month and there is always an immediate excitement and affection and interest in their lives. I’m not particularly close to either one although I respect and am quite fond of them both. We don’t stay in touch per se, but I will always feel close to them because we did this amazing thing together every night for six weeks, in front of a couple of hundred people, for six minutes or so, without any words.


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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