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Homework Tales, Allan Hawco, and Drinking Games

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 / Oct 19, 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. Following up on last week’s audition advice: The second best advice I ever got was from Stephanie Gorin. She told me that whenever I came in and had to read from the script with my glasses on, it just didn’t work for most of the characters I read for. I hate learning lines for long auditions—the ten, twelve pagers, even four or five dialogue-heavy ones—even ALMOST learning them. It becomes too much of a memory exercise rather than an acting one. So I would just get pretty familiar with the words and refer to them as much as I needed to or not, but I needed my glasses on in order to do that. I did listen to Stephanie because A) she was trying to help me, and B) she knows her shit. Sure enough I booked the very next audition I read for and it wasn’t even for her.

The moral of that lesson is I don’t really KNOW half the shit I think I do so don’t necessarily go by me.

2. A homework tale:

Me- The question here asks what did you learn about the last homework assignment.

Ella- I dunno.

Me- How about I’m lazy and I like to complain a lot?

Ella- How about it’s boring and graphs are stupid?

If you gently nudge your child in the right direction, the answers will always emerge.

3. I recently filmed my seventh onscreen death by gunshot wound to the head, in case you’re ever playing the Dead Canadian Day-Player edition of Jeopardy.

4. The year Paolo Mancini and I went out as each other for Halloween.


5. Some great advice from Richard Rose: Find the impulse to speak during the other actor’s dialogue. Too often actors pause after their scene partner ends a speech and before they begin to speak themselves. You see it in a lot of Canadian cinema as well as theatre, a pause between every other speech (I guess that’s an editing thing too, a pacing choice), as if they’re taking in the other actor’s line and processing it before responding. That impulse isn’t wrong, per se. It’s just that in real life, most people do that WHILE the other person is speaking. Food for thought.

6. Never say “shut out” out loud in the third period.

7. Allan Hawco is out to prove he is the greatest actor of all time by starring in a brand new reboot of the Highway to Heaven series playing both the Michael Landon role and the Victor French role at the SAME TIME.


8. One time, when she was young, I took my daughter to see Toopy and Binoo at the mall. It was a lot of fun until they started bugging me to go out and party with them. I finally said, “Come on, guys, drop it. You aren’t even the REAL Toopy and Binoo. You’re just two guys in suits making money off of innocent kids who don’t know any better.” As I walked away, Binoo shouted after me, “Why don’t you go get killed in ANOTHER shitty movie, asshole!” When I turned back to respond, Toopy was giving him a high five.

They really are a great team, those two.

9. Boyd Banks once invented a drinking game where you watch ET Canada and take a shot whenever they mention a Canadian actor’s name. It’s kind of a drinking game for non-drinkers.

10. I posted this four years ago, on Oct 15, 2012. An observation and maybe some advice for the young actor:

At the screening of Ben Roberts’ feature debut Sockeye (which was excellent, the kid is fucking seventeen and he made a FEATURE), I saw a lot of familiar faces in the crowd and it got me thinking on how often I see the same faces, and how a lot of them are people who are “established” to whatever degree in the industry. And it occurred to me why those two things may be connected. Personally, I don’t go to the theatre solely to be supportive or entertained, I go because it is a part of my job to see what people are doing, to know what is happening, to see THE WORK. Same with watching Canadian film and TV. Sure, we make a lot of derivative and mediocre cinema and television, but I actually know which projects are and are not mediocre because I watch them. I am INFORMED.

When people complain about not getting work and blame it on agents or casting people or bad luck or favouritism, they are, almost always, without fail, people who don’t actually watch Canadian films or television or go see ANY live theatre. They just don’t know what work is being done here or who is doing it and expect to be hired based on… I haven’t got a fucking clue. How can anyone expect to be hired by anyone when they have no idea what that person actually does? Why would anyone put themself at such an immediate disadvantage? It makes no sense.

My advice to the young is to fold this into your psyche sooner than later. Get out and see WHAT is happening and WHO is making it happen. Get informed. This is part of your fucking job if you want to work. Trust me, you won’t be doing anyone any favours but yourself.

11. The time Adam Cawley coached Rob Baker and me to a bronze medal on CBC Sports’s failed series Skinny Dipping with the Stars.


12. They say the last mile is the longest mile. No, it’s not. It’s a fucking mile. Just like all the other ones.


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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