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Olympics, Remounts, and Trudeau

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 / Aug 24, 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. And now Canada can do nothing but sit and wait and pray…

for Nickelback’s final concert.

2. When I was accepted into the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, about twenty-seven years ago, my prof Cathy Smith gave me the name and number of one of her former students to call to investigate the experience. Enrico Colantoni was that student and he took the time to talk to me—a long time—and was pretty much the final deciding factor in terms of dropping out of university, moving to New York, and pursuing acting full on. I wouldn’t meet him for another twenty-five years or so. When we did finally meet on Flashpoint, maybe three or four years ago, he hugged me and held me like a long-lost relative. We worked together again and got to know each other more on Remedy and Sergio Navarretta’s film The Colossal Failure of the Modern Relationship. I never forgot that initial act of kindness and cautious encouragement he extended to me before I had even started this journey and have always tried to extend it to anyone younger who asks it of me. In the end, it’s the shit that isn’t on your resume, I think, that people will remember and are the most interested in.

nappo enrico

3. When I read an audition breakdown and it says ANY ETHNICITY, I read it as “You better either really nail this shit or stay home, whitey.”

4. I have always hated the Olympics. And it has nothing to do with the nationalism or corruption or hours of filler or the athletes or sports themselves at all. It’s because I love TV and I have always loved TV. When I was a kid, we were pretty poor and my dad was quite sick and there was only network television to watch, so when it was interrupted, there were no options—no cable, no DVD, no VCR, no internet, nothin. TV was where I would find my escape from how hard life could be at times. I was an athlete, as well—a boxer and a competitive hockey player—but I had one of those dads who took most of the fun out of it and yelled at me all the time during games and all the way home. It was a lot of pressure for a kid and I just didn’t get why it mattered so much. So when the Olympics came along and all these athletes were facing the highest stakes of their lives, I really couldn’t get far enough away from it… I wanted the Fonz back. And J. J. Evans. And B. J. and the Bear. And the Sweathogs. And Rog and Rerun. And the Dukes of Hazzard. Even the Monkees and Gilligan’s Island after-school reruns were gone. Every four years, those were the longest two weeks of my life. And I have never had any interest at all in the Olympics ever since. It’s not a political thing. It’s just personal.

5. Saw this on Facebook and just laughed. And then thought about it seriously and cried. And then drank a few Caesars. Considered signing up. And then went to sleep.


6. Remounts are weird, although they are becoming more and more common in my life. Or threatening to, anyway. Two potentially next year, which is what takes me on this reflection.

Why they are weird is because they are counter to how we are wired as actors. When a show goes down and you strike the set for the last time, it’s usually gone. For good. And it exists only in the collective hearts and memories of those who were touched by it from either within or without. You mourn it, and by doing so, let it go. You say goodbye to it and never expect to see it again. So there is something unnatural about a remount because, for whatever reason, it has been resuscitated from the beyond- brought back to life from the dead. A remount is a Lazarus.

It’s different from a tour because you are opening and closing constantly but, psychologically, you know you are going to do it again. It’s different from just doing a show every day in a run even though every show is really it’s own thing and won’t ever really be repeated exactly because you know you’ll be back tomorrow night to take another go at it. It’s the accepting that you’ll never be able to do it again and having to un-accept that that makes it unnatural. It’s a disturbance of the natural continuum. And then there is fear—the chance that you may now fuck a show up that had a perfect life—with a cast change or a venue change or any change that must be made or just the wrong timing.

Remounts are considered less risky to those producing because they expect the same show and same response. As does the audience who did, or more importantly who didn’t, see the original. But from the inside, you aren’t the same person you were when you originally did the show. You aren’t the same company. It isn’t the same moment. And that is all theatre and life are ever about, in the end. THE MOMENT. Remounts are riskier than they appear to be is all I am saying, I guess, and have to be fully considered, especially if they went so well the first time. I’d rather be in a new show that tries and fails than a mediocre remount of a show that was great once.

7. Every time I hear that Bobcaygeon song, I wonder, when the guy goes back to bed this morning, if Willie Nelson is code for weed. And then I wonder if this is a thing everyone knows and just isn’t telling me?

8. I am not very good at following the intricacies of politics and keeping my eye on what is happening in terms of who is selling guns to who and what is happening with treaties being signed or which legislation is being passed or which promises have or have not been kept (I am working on that) but I fucking love Justin Trudeau because he strikes me as a hell of an example of a human being—in the face of so much racism and sexism and homophobia, in terms of intelligence compassion, decency, and generosity. He seems to lead just by living.

9. Just booked the lead in a miniseries about Heinrich Kotex. I’m a little nervous about it. I’ve never done a period piece before.

10. I finally got the chance to work for the Coal Mine Theatre painting the face of it. While I am there, Ted Dykstra says to me, “Yeah, but if you’d listened to me the first time, you could have won a Dora.” I say, “Sure, I might have, but the guy who did the show actually did win one so it all worked out in the end for you guys. From now on I’ll just do whatever you tell me to.” And secretly, I think, Sergio is an amazing actor and a hell of a beautiful guy and if I had done the show, I probably WOULDN’T have won the Dora, but could he have made the front of your theatre look like this?????

nappo coal mine

11. From the files of Ella, my eleven-year-old:

Ella- You’re in a good mood today.

Me- I haven’t seen you in a while. I’m so happy to see you.

Ella- Yeah?… Well, I’m gonna start bugging you to watch TV in about… oh, twenty minutes or so. So… you enjoy that good mood while you can.

12. Boyd Banks wrote this a few weeks ago and I posted it at the time but it’s important enough to repeat here for anyone who didn’t see it. When it seems there is nothing but hate dominating the news and the internet and you want to give up faith in humanity. “Don’t count the people who draw the swastika, count the number of people who show up the next day to clean it up.”

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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