Witch Hunts, Snowball Fights, and What Men Can Do

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. If you are one of the people who likes throwing around the term “witch hunt” these days, you’re just fucking lame. Mostly because witches are predominantly thought of as women. So far, only male sexual predators and abusers and one crooked president have been targeted. ALL MEN. Maybe try “prick hunt.”

2. Holy shit! It was so cold this weekend that I hugged Frank D’Angelo just to get warm.

3. I wrote this joke this week: When I was a kid we used to have so much fun having snowball fights in January. Lucky for kids, these days, there is an app for that.

And then I checked the App Store online and there’s fucking ten of them.

4. About a month or two ago, I stood in for Nigel Shawn Williams (one of the finest actors in this city and country, hands down) for a week-long workshop of Hamlet, presently playing at Tarragon, because he was busy. We are doing Mustard in the same building. I have been getting a lot of mileage going over there and asking everyone if they are sure they want to “go with Nigel” because I could “probably do both shows at the same time.” Yes, I AM hilarious. I was hanging out on their side of the building on opening night at dinner and, as he was leaving the building, he said, “Okay, see you guys,” implying he wasn’t coming back.

Me (very loudly for the whole cast to hear)- Don’t worry about it, Nigel. I got this. You gave it your best shot. I want you to walk out of the building with your head held high.

Nigel- Oh, I’m coming back. I was just gonna go home to grab all my Dora Awards and bring them back to help inspire you… If I can fit them all in the car.

5. Drinking Game of the Week

6. I always get mad at Kate, my girlfriend, because she is obsessed with Google Maps. She insists on checking the route it suggests no matter where we are going. Sometimes I just pretend to check it and tell her the way I want to go. I like to call that particular little manoeuvre checking Google Napps.

7.

8. The other night I had some kind of stomach bug or something happening and I threw up violently in the dressing room bathroom from the half hour call right through to the places call. Travis Seetoo, who plays Jay in Mustard, says to me, “I feel like this is probably what it would have been like to hang out with Tony Nappo about fifteen years ago.”

9. Classic Me

10. I have been really impressed with my daughter, Ella, lately as she drinks water with every meal and almost anytime she is thirsty. No pop. No juice. Some milk, occasionally.

Me- You know, your body is made up of, like, 80 percent water or something?

Ella- 70 percent actually. Except for you, Dad, it’s way closer to 50 percent cigarettes, 20 percent fat. And 30 percent water.

And I swear to God, I was just sooooo fucking happy that it actually added up to a hundred.

11. You think anyone there Googled the word “artisan”? I mean, I picked up two of these at a fucking gas station the other day.

12. My friend Jackie Torrens challenged me last week to come up with a concrete list of specific things that MEN working on a film set or in theatre can do when they witness any form of misogyny, bullying, harassment, or abuse towards their female peers.

    1. Intervene at your first opportunity. Ask to speak to the offender in private, so as not to create a scene that may embarrass your peer or cause her any added stress or shame. Tell the offender “that’s not cool” in a manner that is not aggressive or disrespectful so as not to give him the opportunity to get defensive or aggressive back to you. Then, offer support to the victim in whatever way THEY ASK YOU TO. This doesn’t go for just the obvious shit, either. Any demeaning, demoralizing, sexist bullshit joke or comment should be met with objection. For fuck’s sake, you’re at work. If we all do this every time it occurs, it will actually become the unacceptable, unprofessional behaviour THAT IT ALREADY IS in the eyes of all without exception. We will be empowering ourselves as well as our female peers.
    2. Speak to the producer on set discreetly or the company manager in a theatre and let them know what you saw; you can very likely do this anonymously if you need to. This route will put a cushion between you and the abuser if you fear immediate retaliation or violence or abuse yourself. You are also putting your female colleague in a position of power IF SHE CHOOSES to report the incident, as it will no longer be a he said/she said situation. There is always a chance that you may not be hired by this individual or company again. Then again, there is the chance that you will be respected for the actions you take and hired even more by the theatre or production company. That is the risk we take when we do the right thing and the risk that exists for our female colleagues EVERY SINGLE TIME THEY GO TO WORK. Besides, would you rather work in that unsafe environment again or be an agent of change to make that environment a better one for both you and everyone else to work at in the future? In time, if we all stay committed to this change, the perpetrators won’t be around anymore. I am seeing powerful men fall all over the place, men who thought they were untouchable. Everyone is fucking touchable. They only have power because we let them have it. There is strength in numbers and there are way more of us than of them.
    3. Call ACTRA or Equity and make a formal complaint. Posting support on Facebook or Twitter or wherever else is pointless if you aren’t going to give that same support in the real world. Man the fuck up and make the call. After years of being relatively useless, I guarantee you ACTRA and Equity are right on the ball these days because they have to be. And they WANT to be. Not because of the media pressure but because of the pressure from their memberships in reaction to the sickening stories the media has done a great job at reporting. So far, most of the reporting to the unions has come from female members. Male members need to stand with and support our female peers. We are union brothers and sisters. Solidarity is our power. Make calls, send emails, and make whatever noise you have to with the unions. It is THEIR FUCKING JOB to make sure that we all have a safe environment to work in. They WANT to do their job. Help them do their job.
    4. If you are afraid because you are younger or new to the game and don’t want to make enemies, call me and tell me exactly what went down and I will act on your behalf and keep your name out of it. If you are on the west coast, contact John Cassini. If you’re in another city, one of us will find someone there to help you out.
    5. Finally, you can turn your head and pretend it isn’t happening but then you’ll never be anything but an enabling piece of shit and a coward. Make better choices. Be a better person.

    Above all of this and the single most important thing you can do is NEVER BE THAT FUCKING GUY. My girlfriend, Kate, pointed this out to me after reading this. There is no excuse for it.

    One additional addendum came from Anand Rajaram: if you aren’t certain that a line has been crossed but you’ve seen or heard something in the grey zone that you aren’t comfortable with, check in with your female colleague and see how she feels about it before doing anything. It isn’t our call to make if it’s borderline. It’s theirs.

    Yes. This is a call to action to ALL MEN in this industry. Be on the right side of this historical moment in time. It was bad men who made this industry and the world the way it is, to serve their selfish agendas. It is going to take the actions of good men to change it and make it right and fair for everyone. The women won’t be able to do this without our help and support.

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.