As improv actors, we're frequently having to come up with fresh ideas based on the suggestions given to us by the audience. So how do we quickly think of stories and scenes using these suggestions? There are really 3 simple categories from which you get information:
1) Experience - you've been through something personally. It could be a situation with an annoying neighbor, or a probing from an alien. Either way, you know first hand what it feels like, tastes like, looks like, smells like, sounds like, etc.
2) Knowledge - you heard it, read it, saw it, and know it for some reason. It's book knowledge over real-life experience. Although it is possible to gain knowledge from an experience, the two don't always go hand-in-hand.
3) Creation - you have nothing to base it on and you're truly making it up on the spot
So, which do you think is the most powerful source to use when creating a story? And which is the quickest way to inspire a fresh idea?
Our answer: whenever you can tap into your emotions and personal experiences, you're going to access much richer and long-lasting content.