To Ink or Not to Ink?

  • Lizzie Rajchel

Many people get tattoos as an expression of something important to them, to cover up parts of their bodies they love less, or to have art on them. But as a performer there is always an anxiety when considering ink. “Will this tattoo make me less likely to be cast?” is a question I’ve pondered many times while considering tattoo placements. And so I decided to take the question to my Facebook wall and see what others knew and thought about tattoos on performers.

Most casting directors don’t care. If you note that you have a tattoo either in the audition or the audition sheet, it will be taken into consideration in costume and wardrobe. Your performing abilities are more important in casting than ink on your skin. However, with that in mind, don’t hide or lie about your tattoos. If you have ink, the worst thing you can do is lie or not disclose the information and end up causing your director, costume designer and makeup artist problems down the road.

In film, it is important to confirm if the tattoo will be seen or not, as you will need permission from the tattoo artist. The tattoo is a work of art under copyright so you will need their permission to show it on screen. If they do not give that permission make sure you let the crew know so that yet again, makeup and wardrobe can work around it.

You can always cover up a tattoo. There are professional grade foundations and concealers to make it look like you’ve never seen the inside of a tattoo studio. Countless movie stars have tattoos that are regularly covered up, and even if you need to provide your own makeup for a community show or small indie film, it’s better to get that ink you’ve been wanting than to not based on potential future jobs.

The most important thing to remember is that your skill is the most important going in to the audition. A tattoo should not be a hindrance to being cast if you are what the performance needs, so go ahead and get that ink and sleep easy.