Upon image, theatrical formations change. Character comes in contact with those changeable forms. The character’s chief responsibility is the image it creates in movement. So high is that responsibility that the image will come to supersede and subvert traditional theatrical devices like character objectives and arcs and story actions and plot. Of course, these devices will still be in play, a character plays with so much, but they will often be surmounted and upturned.

The character inhabits itself and its image. At once, distinct entities. At once, one. Therefore, the character plays in image and the image contours the playing. Their conflicting movements shape the space. The visceral paradox habiting the soul, envisioning the skin; emotional expression inheriting the heart, echoing the skin. The soul conflicts its emotions and passions into a singular impulse that drives the character into image, away from itself into itself. Impulse is not some wicked fling of instinct, surface driven in particular objective. It is an unsounded struggle pinpointed in the soul: conflicting desires upheld and strained, formed in the depths of paradox breaking upon the skin like a silent scream. Want is diverse, conflicted in paradox. The paradox of image is the key to its expression. Two opposing ideas unified: image of conflict; and the image resolves itself.

The vitality of theatre is the paradox of character and image. The image leaves mute what is deep within the words, what words cannot express. The character howls the expression, even in silence. Both seek the meaning that has to be experienced, that has to be envisioned and, empathetically engulfed. But, before their unity, the image and character must view each other from afar, conflict their paradox, realize their distinct entities and unite in their diversity.

The character of image moves in stillness. It percolates the body as suffusion of skin and soul. The contours of the soul discover the image. The play of skin explores the character. Its paradox of want. Its desperation of need. How do we touch the soul? How are we borne aloft in its movement? How do we capture that hope? How do we speak the skin? How do we voice the freedom of its shackles? How do we capture that hope? Within the soulful skin, its depth of imagination must produce movement toward the oncoming edge of paradox revealed in space.

How does the image contort at the core of being? How does it crawl on the skin? How does it shape the body? How does character contain the flesh? How does it enrapture the core of being? How does character form the image within the image?

The actor moves towards the apex of image and character: contorted emotion expunged in the flesh.

Some questions for Character: What is your paradox? How does it cause you to move, to be still? What is your initial instinct? Underneath, what impulse undermines that instinct, comes in conflict with it? If you could speak the conflict, how would you scream it? Then, follow the scream.

Some questions for Image: How does the Character form you? How do you shape its paradox? At which point do you shatter in the shaping? How are you made whole again, breaking the limits of that wholeness? What does it feel like to subvert the skin? Then, follow the subversion.

Some questions for the Character of Image: What is deeply personal to you, the secret you cannot say, must say? What is undermined to bring you forth? How do your confines express your freedom? With whom do you play? What is the word that follows you, the silence that follows you? Then, lead.