Ben Woolf

Ben Woolf died today from injuries he received when he was struck by a car three days ago. Ben was part of the workshop for many years, until he left to pursue an acting career in Hollywood. He was just starting to find success, having appeared for two years in the cast of the network television show American Horror Story. Online you’ll find better descriptions of his career than I’d be able to write here.  Instead I want to take a moment to remember him during his time here at SBIW.

Ben started coming to the workshop sometime in 2005, and the earliest pictures I have posted in the blog show him working with the group in 2006. Ben was great fun, an enthusiastic improviser, and everyone liked working with him. I know I did.

Ben worked with us for many years, as a student in the workshop and as a performer in our shows. Even after he moved south to pursue an acting career, Ben would come by the workshop from time to time. We all had a great time when he did.

I’ve got far too many photos of Ben to post them all. I’ve just picked out a few from throughout the years. They aren’t in any particular order or theme, just photos that I think captured Ben’s whimsical humor, but also his range of performance.

I saved these last photos because they are from a workshop when Ben’s father Nick also attended. It was great fun seeing the two of them perform together.

We’ll miss you Ben. You touched me and everyone who knew you with your wit and charm. I’m glad you were able to reach as many people as you did with your success on screen, but you were taken way too early.

Improv Workshop February 11, 2015

Class was back up to 28 people this week with 5 new to the workshop. We didn’t get to as many scenes as I would have liked, so the next time we get such a large class I’ll switch to games which use more players.

We started with Character Intro and moved on to Whoosh, Bang, Pow. One Word Story ended the warm ups, and we moved on to short form work. I only got us through a complete round of 5 Letter Word scenes before it was time for the Irish Drinking Song. After that we did a few rounds of Four Square.

I did write down one line. I think it was delivered by John in his 5 Letter Word Scene – “this kettle ain’t going to fill itself!”

It was probably funnier in context.

Improv Show Review: February 7, 2015

This was a fantastic show, fun for the audience as well as the players. There were 30 people in the audience and that kind of energy always makes for a great show.

The players were (back row standing, left to right): Alan, Amy, Ryan, Brian, Jasmin, (front row bending, left to right) Ali, and Eric.

There were a lot of great scenes, but my favorite lines were about Etsy:

“Etsy is a wonderful place where watermelon cars run free”

“Someday, everyone must go to Etsy”


Improv Workshop February 4, 2015

This week we were down to 19 people, so we did some 2 person scenes. And although I brought the camera, there are only a few pictures from the end of the night. This first picture perfectly captured the sadness class feels when we have to stop.

Our warm ups consisted of Character Intro, Zulu (sometimes called Categories), and One Word Story. All were done in one big group.

For our stage work we started with a full round of Hitchhiker. Then we moved on to No P, followed by Pillars. That was done as a rotation, with word givers becoming performers in the following scene.

This week the musical piece was Beasty Rap, and then we finished with 185. We divided the class into only 2 groups for that piece and it went particularly well. Somewhere on Facebook is a video of a group doing “185 bras walk into a bar…”.