I work in television and one of those sayings that you hear time and time again is that there is no new ideas. If you look at any television show you can think of, I bet you can automatically compare essences of that show to other programmes that have been and gone. That is the problem, ideas get recycled, developed with a new spin yes, but all in all everything gets recycled.
I can’t remember where I came across this saying but I think it is a really important saying to look at, especially from an improv perspective. Improv compared to other forms of entertainment is still relatively new in a sense meaning that there is still a lot of momentum in regards to what can be done with it.
Sure there are many shows that follow very similar formats or styles that you are already familiar with but the power of improv is that it puts a whole new ideology on the concept.
All you need to do is look at Edinburgh Fringe – I last went up in 2016 and when I was up this year the saturation of improvisation on offer was very surprising (well, not so much as it is very in style at the moment). If you look through all the improv shows that were on offer at the Fringe a lot of them are based on concepts or show styles that already work but haven’t been brought into an improv world as of yet.
When coming up with a show idea for your improv team it can be really hard to think about what you can do is different but it is possible and when you do nurture it. Sometimes these ideas can be original and that is a wonderful state that you need to make sure that you admire its fragility and make sure that it works well.