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As the comedy community grows and evolves, maybe it’s time our lexicon did too.

Toronto actor/improviser Alex Tindal recently posted on facebook:

“Hot thought for improviser friends, maybe let’s stop using the term ‘pimping’ forever and never look back?”

The response was swift and spirited. Some people suggested the word “endowing,” while others pointed out that endowing is seen as a positive move.

“I think ‘pimping,’ as we know it, has both positive and negative connotations,” said Rapid Fire Theatre’s Amy Shostak. “The mischief of setting someone up to do something difficult can be charming and fun, if that person is up for the challenge. However, in a beginner setting, it seems like a cruel offer that forces the less-confident scene partner to become uncomfortable. I always think of it as a ‘Don’t dish it, unless you can take it’ kind of a thing.”

So…what’s a new, better word for it that doesn’t connote “forced sex work”? Other suggestions were:

• setting up

• middle manager / managing

• squimping

• fratting

• fruitcake (i.e. a “gift” that nobody wants)

• The Force (like, forcing someone to do something they don’t want to)

But the favourite by far, from Bad Dog’s Julie Dumais Osborne, was “ugly sweater.”

As in “Don’t make your scene partner put on the ugly sweater you just gave them in front of everyone.”

What do you think? Would you say “Don’t ‘ug’ me,” or “Don’t make me wear that!”? Is there another word for it in your community? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

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More and more people are discovering the power of improv to help them overcome anxiety, that it’s OK to make mistakes, and in fact, life’s way more fun when you laugh and embrace them instead of striving for unattainable perfection.

If you’ve ever wanted a peek inside the Improv For Anxiety classes Cameron teaches at Second City, here’s a look courtesy of CTV. Click here or below to view:

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Jason Chin was a beloved improviser, teacher, director, and Associate Artistic Director of iO, whose sudden passing a year ago stunned the Chicago improv community.

Fortunately, Chin’s influence can still be seen and felt in the teams he coached, the long-running shows he created, and his book, Long-form Improvisation and the Art of Zen

You can also find his thoughts and ideas on An Improvised Blog, and JasonChinFTW, which covers improv, popular culture, and his own entertaining fiction. (We especially love the post he wrote about the long format, The Dream.)

Click below to hear him talk about why some people are innately good at improv, from the documentary Whether The Weather.

Image © Whether The Weather