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Posts from the Miscellaneous Category

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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We’ve written about how we think in pictures. Here’s an example from the worlds of art and science.

What's on your mind?

Ima just put this here and wait 500 years…

In 1990, Dr Frank Meshberger went home after a long day’s work and decided to flip through some art books to help him unwind. When he got to an image of the Sistine Chapel, he stopped in his tracks. There in front of him was what he’d been looking at all day: a dissection of a human brain.

Now, I’d always wondered why the billowing fabric behind God looked so bizarre. Not to mention the contorted bodies of the angels around Him. (The one with his butt turned toward us? What’s that about?)

But when you compare them with a cross-section of a human brain, it all makes sense.

Incredibly, The Creation of Adam has been viewed by millions of people for half a millennium. Yet it took a doctor who’d been looking at brain scans all day to connect the image with the artist’s hidden message.

The painting has always been interpreted as God bestowing life on man. But Dr Meshberger points out that Adam’s eyes are already open, suggesting he’s already alive. Perhaps what Michelangelo was suggesting is that God was bestowing intellect – the thing that separates mankind from all other creatures.

So what does all this have to do with improv? Well, when you’re in a relaxed state, you make connections that you wouldn’t otherwise. You literally see things differently. Something to think about – or not, rather – the next time you’re on stage.