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Rules for Teenagers, Famous House Painters, and Why You Should See Shows

/By / Nov 21, 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. My daughter, who turned thirteen on the weekend, would now occasionally rather stay home for a couple hours rather than tag along with me when I have somewhere to go. She has earned my trust in that regard. Recently, she has started asking if she could have friends over when I am not there, as well. We are testing these waters out in very short afterschool increments. There is always a very trusted friend upstairs in case of an emergency. I have only added one rule, at this point, in addition to all the obvious expected rules of conduct: girls and gays only!!!

2. Still regret not seeing this through.

3. AC/DC’s Malcolm Young, Charles Manson, and the Montreal Canadiens all died this week. I know there’s a “Highway to Hell” joke in there somewhere but I just couldn’t find it.


5. If all the animals we eat are so full of steroids, why don’t I look like the Incredible fucking Hulk? I haven’t eaten a vegetable by choice since the late 1990s.

6. Guest Post of the Week

7. Top 5 More-Famous House Painters Than Me

5- MaCaulay Caulking

4- Tarper Lee

3- David Lee Drop Cloth

2- Tray Charles

1- Brush Limbaugh

8. Triple Banger of the Week

9. Went to see a show last week that I had seen before: Disgraced at the Panasonic. Same cast as the last time with the exception of Alex Poch-Goldin replacing Michael Rubenfeld, both of who were fantastic in their respective productions, bringing much of their true selves (I know each of them fairly well) to the role.

The last time I saw it, though, it somehow didn’t grab me as it should have. The writing felt too easy and slightly manufactured: get a white woman, an African American woman, a Pakistani man, and a Jewish man in a room and let them debate each other with their respective points of view. I also felt like most of the dramatic action—the inciting events—took place off stage.

And to some degree, after seeing it again, there is truth in that. But it doesn’t actually matter. Not a bit. The play is actually so intelligently written and, this time around, had such a powerful emotional impact on me. It accomplishes what any great play aims to do: make the audience think and make them feel. The play isn’t black and white—no pun intended. There are no heroes or villains or preaching, just a very serious exploration of the grey areas of prejudice, which demanded each audience member examine their own character, either consciously or subconsciously, in terms of our moral canvases, and question how duplicitous we may or may not be in our own lives.

My only excuse for missing all this the first time around was that I remember being tired that night and kind of deciding what the play was going to be after the first five minutes or so, before giving it a real chance. I may even have nodded off (which I often do when I am working hard in the daytime), because the play contains two of the most powerful moments I can ever remember seeing on any stage anywhere, which I had no recollection of seeing before at all. The entire audience literally held their collective breath in dreadful anticipation of the first moment.

I was kind of surprised at how far off my assessment of a show could be. I mean, I somehow completely missed the show the first time I saw it. I didn’t badmouth it at the time, because, a) I don’t generally do that, and b) it was a very solid production and every cast member was a friend (Raoul Bhanega, Birgitte Solem, Karen Glave, Ali Momen) and someone whose work I respect. I just didn’t like the script that much. I also didn’t go out of my way to recommend it either, I am pretty sure. But what if I had badmouthed the show at the time? What if I had stopped people from seeing a phenomenal piece of theatre because I was tired and not in the right frame of mind to receive it? My point is a simple one: go see fucking shows. Go see them twice. Go see them despite what I say or what the reviewers say or despite what anyone fucking says. Go see shows because there will be some value that you’ll see that I missed and that I’ll see that you missed. And then we can discuss and debate or dismiss or whatever. But you can’t be taken seriously as a part of the conversation if you haven’t seen the work.

10. The time I had to stop hanging out with Jeff Clarke because his wife, Gina Sorell, thought I must be partly responsible for the “thug” phase he was going through.

11. My girlfriend Kate is a pastor. She has been working super hard lately. The other day she woke up and said, “God, I need a day off today.” I said, “Wow. When you ask the boss for a day off, you really ask THE BOSS for a day off.”

12. Classic Ella

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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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