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Turning 49, New Planets, and Self-Tapes

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 / Feb 28, 2017

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. I turned 49 this week. I celebrated by having some brunch with Kate and then I watched Netflix alone all day. And then I went to bed. I really can still party like a rock star. A really really really old fucking rock star.

2. Santa Clarita Diet is such an insult to basic human intelligence, it makes that Kardashian show look like Downton fucking Abbey.

3. Least Popular Firkin Names of All Time:

5- The Flakey Foreskin and the Firkin

4- The Fuzzy Fellatio and the Firkin

3- The Flaming Farmer and the Firkin

2- The Flexible Fatwa and the Firkin

1- Phylicia Rashad and the Firkin

4. In a world where basic human rights are being denied and taken away from people every day, how fortunate are we to live in a city where we have the luxury to debate who is more wrong: the inconsiderate asshole who put his feet on the seat or the self-righteous asshole who sat on them.


6. One thing I can say that’s positive about all the theatre-school nightmare articles that have been going around lately: at least these programs have accidentally prepared their students for what a shitty life full of judgment, disappointment, unfairness, and outright rejection they are headed for.

7. The response to having a birthday on Facebook compared to having a birthday on Twitter is like the response to winning an Academy Award compared to what you get when you ask any normal person to name one acting award that is given out in Canada.

8. I heard that astrologists are thinking of naming those seven new planets “Trudeau’s Promises” because they will take about thirty-nine light years to actually get to them.

9. I got my haircut at Vito’s at Brock and Bloor. I said, “Vito, make me beautiful.” He said,” Why? Then my girlfriend is gonna leave me for you.” That is either one very insecure old man or one extremely cocky barber.

10. Self-tapes seem to have really become a trending thing in the audition game and, I have to admit, though I know a lot of actors who like doing them, I hate them. A self-tape, if you don’t know, is exactly what it sounds like. You put yourself on tape rather than go to an audition room for an audition. It’s not like they’re hard to do. I do them on my phone now on the Casting Workbook app. I can work it around my schedule and do it as many times as I need until I’m happy with it. No paying for gas and parking.

BUT, the thing is, self-tapes don’t work in the actors’ favour at all, in my mind. You don’t get to walk in and make any kind of impression on the people behind the table. You don’t get the opportunity to show your ability to take and implement direction. And, most importantly, there is absolutely no way to guarantee that anyone ever even looks at it. When you go see a casting director, they have to book a space and choose a limited number of actors, be it five, ten, or thirty. But with self-tapes, there is literally no limit to how many actors that can submit. And if you’re an actor who usually can’t get “in the door” and think this will work in your favour, there is zero fucking chance that that will happen. Nobody is going to sit through a thousand auditions and they are most likely going to start with whoever they wanted to cast before they ever put the role on the breakdown in the first place. And then work their way down the pecking order. But here is the main reason I don’t like it.

I took part in an experiment Christine Brubaker conducted a few years back where a bunch of us were asked to learn and perform one monologue for 1) a full house of our peers, 2) an empty theatre with one audience member at the back, 3) a full camera crew, and, finally, 4) alone, in a completely empty room, in front of a camera. Four was far and away my worst rendition of the monologue. What I learned was that, for me, it was way easier to get where I had to go with people watching, with that performance pressure of having to deliver the goods. Because it is only the audience that makes up the difference between a rehearsal and a performance. Without an audience in the room, in whatever form, the stakes are eliminated. I can’t just do it for me. That’s not how acting works. That’s how masturbation works.

11. Just as these seven new planets are discovered, the ageless Chris Earle claims to have “misplaced” his birth certificate. NASA issued this brief and simple statement on Friday, “Nice try, brother. We are on to you.”

12. I forgot to wear a pink shirt on Wednesday so I kicked five bullies in the balls. It takes a village.

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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