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Trash, Murvish, and Edward Albee

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 / Sep 21, 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 man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

This can’t possibly be true often enough for it to be a fucking saying.

2. A couple weeks back that Jared Leto story reminded me of this: I once was in a film called Revelation where I played a wheelchair-bound computer genius (right?). Supermodel Carol Alt played my blind girlfriend (again, right?). We ended up selling our souls to the devil in exchange for my legs and her sight. It’s even worse than it sounds and I am fucking terrible in it. But the funny thing was that Carol (who was an extremely nice person and a pleasure to be around) being a model was really wanting to be taken seriously as an actor. So she was trying to be all method acty between takes and walking around in her sunglasses with her eyes closed waving her arms before her to “feel” her way around like she was really blind. I’m pretty sure the last place you should ever want to be walking around with your eyes closed is a low-budget film set with all kinds of expensive lighting and camera equipment all over the place. And she was constantly banging into shit and knocking over flags and lighting poles and whatnot. The crew was about ready to fucking strangle her by the end of the first week but I thought it was an odd kind of cool that she was really going for it, even as completely pointless as it all was.


3. My mother: “I can’t stand little kids. I BARELY liked YOU GUYS when you were young.”

Some weeks this column just writes its fucking self.

4. I showed up to my Conviction wardrobe call for some measurements and Victoria, the designer, asked me what size suit I wear, what size shirt, and so on—the usual drill—until she got to my pants. “What’s your waist size?” she asked. And I said what I have been reflexively saying for about the last ten years: “36”. Her face registered what I now realize was first confusion and then a kind of sadness. Then, her tone cautiously shifted to that perfect combination of pity and politeness, usually reserved for old people who have accidentally shown up at the front door of a home that they used to live at many years ago. She took out the tape measure and started to wrap it around my midsection, indicating to it, as if she were pointing to a map and gently directing me back to where I lived presently. “Okay, now,” she began, the very slightest bit too loudly, “FIRST, I’m going to show you WHERE 36 is….”

5. The only calendar I have ever been in and my name (and Linda’s) was spelled wrong. Thanks a lot, Team Murvish.


6. When I was a little boy and I was having a hard day, my grandmother used to say to me, “Remember, tomorrow is another day………. Probably another shit day like today but, who knows, maybe it’ll be less shit. I doubt it, though. That’s all life is, really. One shit day after another. You might as well get used to that idea now.”

My grandmother was a kind of a dick.

7. I once told my cousin Tom that my daughter’s piano lessons cost fifty bucks an hour. He said, “Who the fuck’s giving them, Elton John?”

8. My daughter Ella said to me, “If mom asks if I ate any vegetables just don’t say anything about it and start talking about something else.”

*Note to self: always use follow-up questions when talking to Ella.

9. From the Learn from My Mistakes file: This shot is from the set of The L.A. Complex. If you are going to try to hide your cigarette in a shot that is bound for social media, make sure it doesn’t look like you’re picking your underwear out of your ass crack. You’re welcome.


10. I was on a streetcar next to a group of late teen/early twentysomethings the other day and I realized just how old I really am. And also just how really really really NOT fucking stupid I am.

11. My girlfriend Kate: “Look, sometimes you need a little help. You need a life coach. Don’t pee in the parking lot. That’s all I’m saying.”

12. For years, whenever I had to do a monologue for anything I would do The Story of Jerry and The Dog from The Zoo Story. It was a play I discovered in high school and one I had always hoped to do. At the age of almost fifty now, I doubt I ever will. I’m just too old.

I still do hope to one day do Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. For my money, it is the greatest play ever written. Whenever I see it, it calls me out on all of my bullshit and kicks the shit right out of me. There is nowhere to hide from it. The last time I saw it (I took my lifelong friend, Kevin Treur, to see it at Soulpepper) after not seeing it or reading it for maybe a decade, it fucking destroyed me. Almost literally. I remember it was a rainy night and I was driving home on the highway and I was still in tears almost an hour after the curtain had come down and it took every ounce of willpower in me not to just jump the barrier and put an end to the fucking pointlessness of it all by driving straight into an oncoming tractor trailer. I remember the moment and I remember the impulse and thought quite clearly, “Such is the power of Albee’s words over me. I am still and always will be afraid of Virginia Woolf. But I also know I’m not alone in that fear.” So, thanks for that small comfort, Mr. Albee. And may you rest in the closest thing you can find to peace.

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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