Ladies and Gentlemen, Covid Number 19

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. Ladies and Gentlemen, Covid Number 19

A little bit of quarantine, stay inside
A little bit of Cottenelle, for to hide.
A little bit of Canada, you can’t leave,
A little bit of hand washing’s all you need.
A little bit of shows must NOT go on,
A little weed and Netflix all night long.
A little bit of March Break, kids are home,
A little bit of Covid — fuck, we’re boned.

2. My daughter has figured out a way to override my texts to her and rewrite them with whatever she wants me to say. I know this is the kind of behaviour I shouldn’t encourage but if I am honest, I’m kind of in awe and proud of her.

3. The cancelled Canadian Screen Awards broadcast this year has already beaten the last five years’ ratings combined.

4. Teaching my audition class these past two weekends and it’s a great reminder to me that knowing the text inside out and backwards gives you such a giant fucking leg up in the process. People tend to do a lot of “uh, uhm, like, you know” acting when they don’t. And you can get away with a certain amount of that but only so much. It reads naturally if it only occurs once or twice in a read. And you can always look down at a page but that breaks the scene up. Every time the camera loses your eyes, we lose you. If you have to search, search up and not down. Keep your eyes on camera as much as humanly possible.

Other things to remember to do are your active verbs (first person singular: I dismiss, I embrace, I challenge, etc.) Acting is ALWAYS doing. You have to do something with the lines, not just say them. Your action verbs should be connected to your intention, what you want in a given scene. If you know your intentions and your action verbs, the words should be that much easier to learn. Also, it never hurts during trickier parts to build in how one thought connects to the next and to create a map of the thought process of the character that you’re reading to get you from speech to speech. Find where the origins of the thoughts are buried in the scene, and that will help you remember them and how to get to them. Often, this will be in the other characters’ dialogue.

If you do all of this, you should have a much better handle on the words than if you don’t, and be able to relax more and listen to the reader and respond rather than just waiting for them to stop talking so that you can start.

In the day and age of self-tapes, a smoother tape is going to go a lot farther than it used to because the tape is all they have to go on. The folks hiring you generally don’t get to meet you and have a sense of you in the room the way they once would. A clean and clear read in your audition tape is necessary. Especially if they have a hundred of them to look at. You’ve got thirty seconds to a minute to grab ‘em or lose ‘em—being clean and clear is and always was the best strategy there is to grab ‘em.

5. Guest Post of the Week:

6. Because this is fucking beautiful and we could all use some fucking beautiful these days.

7. Actual Conversations with my Father #3794:

Dad: I watched your Zombie movie. Did they pay you for that?

Me: Why wouldn’t they pay me for it?

Dad: Because you weren’t even in the damned thing.

Me: I’m all over the dammed thing. Did you not notice that my character made the biggest decision in the movie that saved the werewolves and brought everyone together at the end?

Dad: I didn’t watch the whole thing.

Me: Why not?

Dad: Too much fucking singing and dancing in it.

Me: IT’S A FUCKING MUSICAL!!!

8. Memorial of the Week:

9. Love Letter of the Week (to musicians):

10. I told my daughter one difference between Liberal voters and Conservative voters is that in times like these, Liberals are generally trying to find out what they can do to help people in need while Conservatives are generally trying to figure out a way to make money off of them.

11. Meme of the Century (so far):

12. In these hard times, I try to remember two things:

  1. This isn’t just happening to you. It’s happening to everyone.
  2. Money is an important commodity. But so is time. You’ve just been given some time to do whatever that thing is you haven’t done because you didn’t have the time to do it. So, do that thing. You will be able to make money again when this all settles but you probably won’t ever ever be given time like this again. The situation is what it is. Make the best you can of it.

 


2 Responses to “Ladies and Gentlemen, Covid Number 19”

  1. Thanks for this Tony: a free acting class, a lot of laughs and, as always, excellent advice.

    I can tell you for free I’d way rather be quarantined than conscripted.

    Take care of yourself and enjoy the extra time with Ella.

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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.