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. Isn’t it odd that Pablo Escobar’s mother was Tootsie?
2. The best parenting advice I ever heard was from a great actor and great guy named Jernard Burks on Four Brothers. He said his young son Jason had fallen in the playground and, as kids do, wasn’t sure how to react, so he looked up at his dad for guidance. Jernard looked right at him, not reacting in any way, and said, simply, “Yeah. You fell down. That’s a part of it. What you gonna do now?”
3. I enjoy September’s International Book Week as much as the next guy but what I really am looking forward to is International Horse and Buggy Week in October and then in November International People Giving a Shit About Nicolas Cage Movies Week.
4. I bumped into a pregnant Christine Horne on the street and asked how she was feeling. She said she was doing fine but felt a little tight. I said, what do you expect, you’re skin is getting all stretched out. Now you know how I feel everyday.
5. After watching the dashboard cam video footage of the murder of Terence Crutcher by Tulsa police this week, I say fuck you if you DON’T take a knee during the anthem.
6. People have been so encouraging about this column that I signed up for a workshop called How to Be a Great Canadian Novelist. But so far we’ve just spent three weeks talking about which is the best whiskey to drink and how to keep track of whose wives and girlfriends you’re sleeping with.
7. This is the only way I can spend time with Paul Lee now that he’s such a fucking big shot. It’s actually pretty cool after about the 8th King Can. If anyone wants in and has a sleeping bag, a Coleman stove, and some hotdogs, we’re probably gonna hang out again this Saturday.
8. Why is it that almost all radio and television commercials that feature a family require a fucking idiot father/husband who is only barely humoured/tolerated by his wife and kids? Just once I’d like to hear one of these assholes be allowed to stand up for them self.
9. The first rule of Luddite Club is you CAN NOT POST about Luddite Club!!
10. I had the honour and sincere pleasure of sharing the stage with Gavin Crawford for the third-anniversary show of Mixed Company. The concept of the show is simple: An actor has a script and reads from it and an improviser has no idea what the script is and plays the scene with the actor. The actor must completely stick to the script. The level of improvisers at this show is always top notch so the results are usually pretty fantastic.
The reason I am writing about this is because I think it is a pretty brilliant acting exercise for the actor in the scenario. You HAVE to listen. You can’t CAN’T ANTICIPATE. You have to listen to what your partner is saying and watch what your partner is doing and figure out—DURING the scene—what they want or need from you and how to make the scripted lines work into something playable and active. It is exactly like any other scene except you don’t have the other person’s lines written down to tell you when to respond or indicate possibly how you respond. You have the words you say and the actions of your partner, that’s it. It completely erases the possibility of manipulating the scene in any way or working it out in front of the mirror BY YOURSELF. You just fucking go and hang on to your partner for dear life. Because—and I am stating the obvious here—an ACTOR in a play always knows the other actor’s lines, they know their cues, but the CHARACTER the actor is playing has no idea what the other character is going to say.
So much of the bad acting that you see can be attributed to just that. An actor not actually listening to what the other actor is saying but just waiting for their cue to speak. It’s fucking painful to watch for me. LISTENING to your scene partner is one of the bare minimum requirements to be considered an actor at all. Otherwise you’re an amateur at best or a hack at worst.
11. If you haven’t been watching Narcos on Netflix, you’re missing a great show. And, in season one, they teach you how to make your own cocaine. It’s WIN WIN!!!!
12. Most Insightful Quote of the Week:
I was having lunch on the set of Conviction with Merrin Dungey, Shawn Ashmore and Eddie Cahill and Shawn says to Eddie, in reference to the Canadian juniors hockey team beating the Americans, “I’m sorry, man.” To which Eddie replies, “No. You’re not. You’re not sorry. You people SAY that all the time but you don’t fucking MEAN it.”