Birthday Fundraisers, Trigger Warnings, and Boring Scandals

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 have created a new app that autocorrects any word that I start typing that begins with the letters F, D, G, T, R, or C followed by the letter U into the word “fuck.” It may not help most people but it’s going to save me about 30 to 40 hours a week.

2. “Even his scandals are boring.” How fucking jealous am I that I didn’t come up with that line?

3.

Theatre Ontario being forced to shut its doors after 48 years of service as a result of Ford’s budget cuts is a tragic loss to the arts world. It feels a bit like the way it felt when my grandmother died. Except people will actually miss Theatre Ontario.

4. Did I miss the meeting where everyone decided to start raising funds for a good cause on their birthdays? I mean, I sincerely respect the intention behind it but I have 4,500 Facebook friends. If I donated even a dollar to each person’s cause (which would be fucking pointless), that would cost me almost $5000 a year. I can understand when people say, in lieu of gifts (because they selflessly would rather you spend money on someone else who is in need than on them), please make a donation. But I wasn’t going to buy any of you motherfuckers a gift anyway!!! Of course, I am being facetious but I always do feel kind of bad because, again, of course, I’d love to be able to help every one of those causes out in a significant way but I just can’t. Very few people can. I just want to wish my friends and acquaintances a happy birthday. Why does Facebook have to find a way to complicate even THAT??!!

5.

This would be tantamount to retiring altogether for me.

6. Guest Post of the Week:

7. 

The phenomenal actor Tim Campbell is sporting a new look these days. Part Fabio. Part Lanny MacDonald. World. May I present to you…………..Labio.

8.

I love this piece called Stinky Jake by Kat Inksetter. I love the sense of a Commedia-inspired presentation with the jack in the box, and all of its exaggerated angles, as well as the contrast between the kind of baffled expression on the neutral mask and the physicality of the player reacting to the psychotic glee on the face of the jack-in-the-box. The style of the painting feels historical, in the sense that is appears faded with age – but the content and story it tells also feels fairly modern, to whatever degree. Maybe out of the 1970s. Something about the hairstyle and clothing feels more contemporary to me. More of a costume than a wardrobe. As if an actor is trying on some history that they have just discovered and are trying to work out jack-in-the-box lazzi. It strikes me as a sort of visual love letter to some of the greatest elements of theatre from the inside: the search for something outside of our own individual experience and the freedom to play and have fun within that exploration. You can find more of Kat’s work at katinksetter.com

9. By seeing one single commercial for it, I already know that a better name for that new show A Million Little Things would be This Is Us Trying To Out This Is Us, This Is Us.

10. Tweet of the Week

11. I was reading a post somewhere about the responsibility of a company producing a play that may include something triggering to an audience member. This particular post felt that the company had a responsibility to safely get the audience member to the other side of whatever feelings may have gotten triggered during the show. I don’t remember where I read that but I have to say I disagree with that thought entirely. I don’t like the idea of safety in theatre, at all. I think safe theatre is fucking pointless. The same way I think a great play asks questions and doesn’t give answers. That’s what lectures and after school specials do. The best theatre explores an issue from all angles and leaves you in the grey area. “The best plays live in the greys.” I stole that line from Weyni Mengesha.

It is most certainly the responsibility of a company to warn an audience member about potentially sensitive material and the possibility of being triggered. We don’t need to ambush people. But, after that, it is on the audience member to decide whether or not to see said production. But when we talk about safely getting them to the other side, I immediately think ‘that’s a show I’m not going to like at all’. Theatre SHOULD trigger us (in a healthy way). It should kick our asses and shake the shit out of us and challenge us and leave us with all the big questions. What it should not do is hold our fucking hand and spoon-feed us and then tuck us into bed with a reassuring kiss. That’s not life. Not real life. Not this one, anyway. We all need to adult the fuck up when we walk into a theatre or stay home and watch cooking shows or Game of Thrones or The Bachelor, instead.

I’m not against political correctness, per se, or any of the socially progressive movements behind most of our understandings of this correctness. In fact, I support them all, and all that they are trying to accomplish. But I do think the world is having some transitional pains amidst all the change that is happening – again, change that has been long overdue. I just find there is a lot of extreme sensitivity out there and a lot of people devoting an awful lot of time to telling other people what they should and should not be putting on a stage or dictating to people what they can or can not handle or how they should or should not feel and what they can and can’t find funny. It’s all gets to be too fucking much at times, really. I have been guilty of doing it myself, as you probably know. I’m going to try to keep that in check going forward, but also continue to remain as passionate and enthusiastic about my own tastes and feelings as possible while remembering that they are only that: my own tastes and feelings.

Ironically, I would say that the only instance where I would support safe theatre is children’s theatre. But children seem to be the only people thinking and behaving like adults anymore so I honestly don’t feel like I have to.

12. Whenever someone says “That’s the OLD me,” they – generally speaking – really mean “That’s the YOUNG me,” because, of course, the OLDest version of themselves is the one most present in time. So, if you ever want to lie about something you are hiding in the present, you can always say, “that’s something that the OLD me would do, for sure,” and technically you would still be telling the truth.

You’re welcome again.

 


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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.