Ella’s Return, Self-Tapes, and the Sears Ontario Drama Festival

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. Ella, my daughter, is finally back from her time away. The night she arrived, I waited for her outside my place for half an hour and when she got there, this was our first exchange-

Me- What took you so long?

Ella- I walked over.

Me- Really? I don’t believe you. Come here and give me a hug. I missed you so much!!!!! Did you miss me too???

Ella- Yes, really.

Me- Really!!!?? You really missed me so much, too!!???

Ella- Oh, no. I meant really I walked over.

And so it begins again.

2. If we’ve learned anything from the McGregor/Mayweather fight, it’s that fight fans don’t give much of a shit about how fighters conduct themselves outside the ring. Not even a little bit.

3. Inspiring Words of the Week:

4. Any time you see an asshole like the one in Manitoba identify himself as a Nazi and tell someone to go back to their own country, tell him to go back to 1940s Germany because there are NO fucking Nazis welcome in this country or this century.

5. When I was younger and painting a house and took my shirt off, I would kind of fake apologize to draw attention to it. Now I just sincerely apologize because it’s the right thing to do.

6.

7. I posted a self-tape audition this week on Facebook to make the point that you don’t need to rent a studio or have a reader to give a good audition. I was painting a house that day and was up on a roof holding a ladder for another painter, who was way up higher on the same roof. Of course, I wasn’t thinking and was asked to take it down (because of confidentiality and whatnot) and subsequently had a good conversation with the casting director. She was very gracious about the whole incident and gave me the feedback that she thought the reader was an important element to self-tapes because whoever is watching gets to see you interact with someone: listen and respond and so on. But the truth, I responded to her, is that you never know who you are going to get as a reader, professionally, and who you CAN get, personally, to make your deadline.

I learned years ago—and this applies to on-set work, as well—you had better be prepared to do that fucking audition or job and be able to get to wherever it is you need to get, as an actor, ALL BY YOURSELF. Of course, a great reader or a great scene partner can only make you better but you need to get to a point as an actor where a shitty one can not and will not make you worse. Ultimately, it’s the editors who will determine how good you seem to be listening during your single coverage, which is what an audition most closely resembles. All that to say, in my mind, I’m showing the producers and directors that I can do this audition on a roof while holding a ladder—or in an alley or my driveway or wherever—and a camera and do the audition effortlessly. Most of the time, you can see me hit record at the top of the audition and stop it at the end. I don’t edit it at all. As I mentioned already, they have people to do that stuff. Whether or not I can do it well is irrelevant.

Please note, I AM NOT saying I’d recommend this. I’ve had some success with it but who knows how much of that success I’d have had anyway or how much success I haven’t had on other projects because of it. It just takes the whole “preciousness” of the presentation out of the mix, as far as I am concerned, and puts the focus on the work in a realistic way that can be applied completely and directly to what a producer will be considering hiring me for.

8. Went to the Coldplay show with Kate and bought two tall boys of Stella—26 bucks. For 26 bucks, I can go to a dispensary and buy enough weed to last me a month… Or… um… rather… so I have been told?

9.

10. Guilty Pleasure of the Week:

White-people finger sandwiches. They’re so small I can eat about forty of them, and the ingredients in every single style of them is roughly fifty percent mayonnaise.

11. I can’t say that I was ever a part of the Sears Ontario Drama Festival or that I ever even shopped at Sears, but I totally respect the seventy-one years they gave to this community and just want to express thanks to them on behalf of all the folks who did take part.

12. Congratulations, Jeremy, for takin the first step. Keep coming back!!!! (This has been a paid commercial by Intermission magazine, which still has more of these damned shirts to sell.)

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Written By

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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