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Mood Rings, Superhero Movies, and Sam Shepard

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 8, 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. From the archives, because Ella is away for the summer and not around to give me any new material.

2. Director Ed Gass-Donnelly went to see a movie every day for the month of July. This reminded me of the best advice to a young actor I ever received from Jim Demonic, one of my old teachers, over twenty-five years ago now: DO SOMETHING EVERY DAY TO BECOME A BETTER ACTOR. See a play, read a play, watch a movie, watch TV shows (especially ones you may be auditioning for), read biographies of your favorite actors, work on a monologue, do vocal exercises if that’s your thing, listen to soundtracks, learn and sing the songs, work on your body if that’s a part of your thing. I followed this advice every day for years as a young actor and have mostly continued to do so as I have grown older.

You don’t have to spend money on a class or wait for a job in order to work on your craft.

3. All these fucking superhero movies and still no Garlicman? No Workman’sCompMan? No StillLivingWithMyParentsMan? Italians need heroes, too, Hollywood.

4. Just taking a moment to celebrate and acknowledge a true Toronto theatre artist and warrior, Maja Ardal, and her new purple hair. I wanna be half as fucking tough and cool as her when I grow up.

5. I once met Aurora Brown and Kris Siddiqi’s son, Sebastian. I tried to dazzle and amaze the kid when he asked me my name and told him my name was “also Sebastian.” He didn’t miss a beat and replied, “Hello Also.” Crushed at my own game by a fucking four-year-old… Stupid improv parents.

6. Top 5 White-Privileged Versions of N.W.A. songs:

5- Love tha Police

4- Straight Outta Compassion

3- Appetite for Desegregation

2- Express Your Wealth

1- Right Wingaz with Attitude


8. Uber has a new feature where you can now tip the driver on top of rating them. I only ever tip ANYONE out of a deep-seated need to have strangers like me. Why the fuck would I tip anybody after they’ve already driven away? How are my pathetic needs supposed to be met in this exchange?

9. Layne Coleman as Jimmy Olsen and Charlotte Corbeil-Coleman as Lois in a still from the failed CBC pilot Lois Lane: The Early Years.

10. Once, at my cousin Gianni’s wedding, my uncle Savino said that my daughter, Ella, was “a masterpiece.” I nodded in thanks and in agreement, and said, “What can I say, Uncle? da Vinci had his paintbrushes, I have my penis.”

11. I won’t ever forget the first legitimate performance I gave as an actor. It was during my final exam play at New York’s American Academy of Dramatic Arts. After two years of voice and movement training, Meisner listening exercises, scene study, Shakespeare, Comedia, theatre history, stage combat, mask work, and the whole shebang, it was the first time I was in a show the entire time instead of in my head. The first time I wasn’t watching myself or listening to myself. The first time I ever let the work go and just existed in each moment, listening to and reacting to my scene partner. I clearly recall, afterwards, not really remembering what had happened entirely but knowing somehow that I had done my job. Somehow the penny had just dropped and I learned what the meaning of letting go and trusting the work was, without intentionally setting out to do so. The show was called A Lie of the Mind and the playwright was Sam Shepard.

I will always be grateful for that night and that role and that script and that experience. Rest in peace, Sir, and thank you for all of the evenings you gave to so many of us, both on the stage and in the audience.

12. Unsolicited feedback for whoever it is who sees to the upkeep of Toronto Porta Potties: 70 pounds of human shit with a sprinkle of diluted dish soap on top of it still more or less smells like 70 pounds of human shit.

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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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