Caspar Schjelbred is a performer, director and teacher specialised in physical improvisation. He was born in Denmark, grew up in Sweden, and has lived in Paris, France, since 1999.
Caspar conceived Impro Supreme in 2010 based on The Seidenstein Method. He first met Ira in 2008; after a number of short workshops in Paris, he attended five Quantum Clown Residencies in Brisbane, Australia, from 2010 to 2014.
He also co-directs the improvisation theatre school, Impro Academy and is a member of the Story in Motion Project and the Improfessionals (artistic director 2008-2014). He holds an M.A. in History of science from the Sorbonne, where he specialised in the study of the emotions.
Caspar has acted in several independent music videos and short films as well as in two independent feature films. He has played Puck in a French production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. His first solo project was Wilde Tales of Love, based on Oscar Wilde's fairytales. He has performed his solo improvisation show PLAN C on three continents.
It's a privilege and an honour to learn from someone as experienced and knowledgeable in the field of performance as Ira Seidenstein. Since I met Ira and started practising his method regularly, a lot, if not everything, has changed for the better. I foresee that it will easily remain the single most important encounter in my life.
In Ira's work I have learned to honour my own creativity. It has also given me a discipline, a solid practice. In other words: it has been the end of dabbling and the beginning of being a professional artist. I finally know what I'm doing and it gives me a confidence that is very real. It has not only changed the way I perceive myself, as a performer, as a teacher, as a person, but also the way I think of the activity I'm involved in.
Ira knows the demands of the profession through first-hand experience - a significant detail that makes a priceless complement to his teaching of the art and the craft. He knows what it takes in the world of acting, clown and theatre, and he tells it like it is. Or rather: he makes you question the given circumstances - you begin opening up to the possibility that perhaps "it's not what you think it is". And once you open that door... you're well on your way to entering a different space. A different mind space. I have seen people's worlds being turned upside down, inside out, in Ira's classes. He describes his work as being "deceivingly simple" - it is. I'd almost call it infuriatingly simple. If you assign yourself to this simplicity - which is exactly that: logic and devoid of mystification - the illusions fall, one after the other. Illusions about yourself, illusions about what you're doing (or not!), illusions about the world.
While Ira's teaching certainly heeds Chaplin's dictum that one cannot be professional enough, it goes further than just being about "the work". One of Ira's exceptional qualities as a teacher is that he won't forget you - and in case you forget yourself, he will remind you. In his classes you are never just an actor or a student, you are first of all a person. Ira's method allows you to practise a direct encounter with yourself that is not self indulgent but honest and true. The results are always astonishing. I've never seen so much truly original work in an acting or clown class. In a way, you realise that you are more important than what it is that you are trying to achieve. And that makes all the difference in what you actually do achieve. There is no opposition between personal and professional. Ira acknowledges the world outside of the studio, the business side of it, the dirty stuff a lot of teachers won't (or can't) talk about. Learning with Ira is likely to be your best bet to become an exciting professional. Someone people want to work with. Ira's work is not about serving the industry, it's about serving you in the industry.
The Seidenstein Method has become an invaluable asset to me; hardly a day goes by when I do not benefit from it directly, whether it be professionally or personally.
I cannot recommend Ira Seidenstein's work enough. As far as I can see, an actor could make no better investment in his career than to sign up for a class with Ira.