Pushups, Twitter, and the CRTC

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. I met Jesus and told him I was a big fan of all of his teachings and good work. He told me he forgave me for The Dogfather.

jesus

2. I have total respect and admiration for all of you who are participating in the 22 pushups for 22 days challenge but I am telling you straight up that I will fake my own death before I will join you.

3. Is it just my digestive system or do all sushi farts smell like sour milk strained through rusty metal?

4. Nurse to David Fox- Do you feel anxious?

David Fox- Did you say ancient? Yes! Yes, as a matter of fact, I do!

5. I felt bad for the guy trying to “style” my hair on set the other day. It was like he was trying to build a house using seven bricks.

6. I did one scene with Sam Jackson in Jumper. It’s a nothing little scene where he knocks me out, but when we shot it, I reminded him that I was an extra in Sea of Love when I was nineteen or so and spent a week sitting beside him in his only scene in that film. (Which would later sneak me onto the screen during the American Film Institute Honours Al Pacino broadcast). He liked that and, during the conversation, told me the story about the famous line from Snakes on a Plane. “Enough is enough!!! I have had it with these…” They shot that about three months after the film was done just so they could stick it in the movie and trailers and shit. If you watch it, it’s just him in a close up against a white wall, it doesn’t even really match the rest of the film at all.

jackson

7. I totally get why people hate the CNE airshow. I’m Italian so noise doesn’t really bother me. What I don’t get is why people don’t hate America’s Got Talent.

8. I joined Twitter, tonynappo2 is my handle. There actually is no tonynappo1 but the name was taken. I have a pretty big Facebook friends list and asked people to follow me and got 448 followers over a couple of days and I figured, great, that was easy, I got this shit. But then I realized I don’t really know Twitter at all. So I posted a safe, not-really-funny, middle-of-the-road photo to kind of test the waters—not Toronto or theatre specific, and with a Stranger Things hashtag—and nobody liked it at all (or whatever that’s called on Twitter). I really laughed my ass off after all the extremely generous trumpets and fanfare of friends announcing my Twitter arrival. No likes at all. For hours. I figure that must have been what Letterman felt like when he hosted the Oscars. Or Jay Leno pretty much every fucking night.

9. By definition, the line between a zombie and a renaissance man is a fine one.

10. When I was younger, I thought couples who slept in separate beds or rooms must hate each other. Now I see that they love each other more than anyone else on earth.

11. My daughter has pretty much perfected the Nancy from Stranger Things look. I didn’t even know that was a thing.

ella

12. I say this as a Canadian actor, regarding our own accountability, in terms of the recent CRTC decision to lower, even further, the number of Canadians required on a film or television project made in Canada.

I started acting professionally about twenty-five years ago, and for twenty-five years we have had “no Canadian star system.” Why the fuck not? The theory I was given was that if producers created stars or a DEMAND for Canadian actors, then our rates would climb and we would have to be PAID accordingly. Think about it: outside of Tatiana Maslany, who is a fucking genius and an anomaly, when was the last time you heard a Canadian actor’s name (one who made their name without leaving the country) being used to market a show?

We have been more than happy to support American stars who are more famous but, generally speaking, no more talented than our own. We have been conditioned to believe that it was necessary to do so because very few projects could get funded if we didn’t. Because who the fuck would want to watch just us act? Even though our talent pool is just as deep and skilled as our American counter parts. We have never fought for any significant residual system and allowed ourselves to be “bought out” instead, and watched as American actors who are not even stars at all make thousands and thousands of dollars (sometimes hundreds of thousands in residuals on big budget blockbusters) more than us playing supporting or principal roles under SAG contracts for doing the exact same jobs as we do. American contracts on Canadian soil.

We have asked for NO EQUALITY in that regard. And, then, we have watched those buyouts digress from 135 percent to 105 percent to 75 percent to 50 percent to even 25 percent, and sometimes disappear altogether. We have watched as union-sanctioned agreements that circumvent paying us scale (SCALE!!!!! the minimum fucking rate of pay that had been hard fought for by our predecessors) have been signed so that producers can make union-sanctioned films and pay us non-union rates well below half of what used to be the minimum rate of pay.

We have sat idly by and allowed all of this to happen and watched the industry become a distinctively two-tiered one, whereby if you have no money, you hire us and if you have money you hire “real” actors and stars who, generally speaking, are not Canadian or are Canadians who have made careers elsewhere.

And now we act shocked and outraged at the thought of even more Americans being allowed by the CRTC to come in and take even more of our jobs when we have been happily living off their table scraps for years.

How can we expect and demand to be valued by any regulatory body or the general public when we have such a long history of exhibiting very little evidence that we see any actual value in ourselves?

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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