Health Canada Warning, Scrotal Origami, and Great Directing

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. Health Canada has issued a warning—after several people fell into alcohol-induced comas last week binge-watching reruns—against participating in the “CBC Drinking Game,” where viewers have to take a drink every time Simu Liu or Allan Hawco take their shirt off or Yannick Bisson shows his dimples. The inventor of the game who wishes to remain anonymous (but whose name is Phil Riccio) held a news conference on Sunday to express his heartfelt apologies to the families who have suffered and said he had “only ever meant for the game to be played on a single-episode basis ONLY.”

2. Classic me.

3. Watching Narcos without Escobar in it is like eating lasagna without any meat or cheese in it. Sure, you can do it, but I have no idea why the fuck you would.

4.

5. Top 5 Mob Kid’s Movies, in honour of Bad Blood, which premieres this Thursday night on City TV at 8 pm.

5- The Bad News Bearers

4- Whack-Him Ralph

3- Honey, I Shot the Kids

2- Charlotte’s Webcam

1- Finding Nemo Is Not Very Likely

6. And yet, when I do this, they MAKE me leave the store.

7. In North Bay, there is a cab company called U-NEED-A-CAB. So, out of curiosity, I called U-NEED-A-DICK to see if I’d get a detective agency or a male prostitute but, somehow, it ended up just being Doug Ford’s home number.

8. This is a setup. I just know it. They’re gonna get me. But how??!!!!

9. I’m really enjoying the scrotal origami workshop I am taking at the Learning Annex but so far everything I try just kinda looks like chewing gum spit out on the floor of a subway platform.

10. It’s kind of hilarious that when Jim Carrey was literally talking out of his ass (bent over and flapping his butt cheeks as lips) early in his career, people fell all over the floor in love with him. Now he gives one interview where everything he says makes total sense and those same people are “afraid for his sanity.”

11. My favourite TIFF post.

12. I posted a photo on Facebook of director Gail Harvey and me, saying that what I loved about her direction for film was that she left me alone and let me do my thing while simultaneously letting me know exactly what she wanted. Someone asked me what I meant by that so I thought I’d expand a little more for those who haven’t had a lot of on-camera experience yet.

Essentially, I want to know what a director wants to see me do in a scene but not tell me how to do it. When there is trust between an actor and a director, that is usually what happens. A good actor will surprise their director with some interesting choices and moments and bring specifics to the table that the director would not have thought of. That is the actor’s job, partly because the director is busy also focusing on the other fifty components of the scene.

After a rehearsal or initial take, a director may let you run in the direction you’re headed or may tweak what you are doing by asking you to put more or less energy into a certain section, or sharpen a moment, or increase or slow down pace. And then you work with your scene partners and just pursue your objectives and listen to your partner. If you don’t hear anything from the director after the first couple takes, you know that they’re happy with the shape and thrust of the scene. I don’t generally want to hear what is working, while we are working, because it creates a self-consciousness around whatever those working elements may be. But I do want to know what isn’t working so I can figure out how to change it.

Another thing that happens as a scene develops is that, during a take, there are moments of discovery from the inside that an actor finds and may want to use in the next take. Those discoveries can either be discussed with a director or not. There is a brilliant director named Steve DiMarco who will often let you do three takes back to back without yelling cut, resetting as minimally as possible between takes, which I love because then you can implement those discovered moments immediately without fucking them up by intellectualizing them. He literally lets you go “on a roll” to see what you can mine after he is satisfied that the essence of the scene is in place.

If we are getting near the end of any particular shot or setup and I hear nothing and am pretty sure they have everything they need in the can, and I am happy with my own work, I’ll usually ask, “Is there anything else you want to see?” At which point, the director can throw anything at me and it may be brilliant or it may fail miserably, but who fucking cares because, by that point, you’re really already done and just having fun, hoping to capture a bit of accidental brilliance.

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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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