Tattoos

Tony Packham
Actor

Hello there.

I recently started to deeply regret getting tattoos in my life (I have 5 that are pretty prominently on me) and am terrified of them affecting my chances to getting anywhere in the acting world. Anyone have this same situation going on, have any stories to share about this kind of thing or have any words of advice for me?

Thank you,

Tony.


  • 2 weeks ago
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  • 15

Hiya,
I Am an actress as well and I have recently gotten heavily tattooed. I think the main thing to remember is you are living in your body 100% of the time. I think if tattoos make you feel authentically yourself, you shouldn’t worry about it too much. No matter what you do, you can’t please every single casting director in the world. If someone wants to cast you, but you have a tattoo that’s “out of character” they have make up and costume choices they can make to cover them. Actors often don’t have regency over their own body, and I think this is something deeply poisonous about our industry, it prevents us from being our most authentic selves- which is in essence- the heart of the human condition, something we are all striving to learn and portray.
I think try not to worry about it too much. I have quite a few prominent tattoos and from my perspective they have not hindered my cast-ability.
Hope this helps x


  • 2 weeks ago
  • 1
Tony Packham
Actor

Hey Kenzie, and thank you for your input.

I think part of the problem was that it was for a student film and obviously student films, unless they have some sort of backing behind them, they’re going to be pretty bare bones in terms of budgets.

But having this happen to me really took a toll on my confidence in performing. Now I’m weary about people hiring me cause I’m immediately thinking “They’re looking at the tattoos. They’re not going to like them. Do something about them.”

Honestly a lot of thoughts going on in my mind. I do think I’ve grown out of them but I really do appreciate your honesty and your input on this subject, cause it’s definitely I’d say a very 50/50 on whether people are for them and whether they’re against them. From what I’ve noticed at least.

Thank you,

Tony.


  • 2 weeks ago
  • 2

Hi Tony,

I have a tattoo on my shoulder which I now hate, and very much regret, but I was 18, and we all make daft choices. It has stopped me getting a couple of fit modelling jobs, but as far as acting goes, no! I also don't get acting jobs because I'm the wrong age or sex... it's the same, part of what we are. We cannot tick all the boxes all of the time.

Tattoos are so so common now, costume and MUA are used to having to cover them if needed, and as Kenzie said, if a production really wanted you, they would cover them.

I can't see any on your face, I guess tattooed hands would be restictive for some commercials, as the CDs always ask to see them in the self tapes, but I've also seen and worked with loads of other actors who have them.

I wouldn't worry, but I understand your regret!

Suzanna


  • 2 weeks ago
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Amanda Pitts
Actor

For some jobs, your tattoos might fit with the character - so you'd have an advantage over others potentially.


  • 2 weeks ago
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Tony Packham
Actor

Hello Amanda,

That is a very good point you bring up. But unfortunately I don’t believe it’s worth keeping these tattoos because of that possibility.

Not to spill my guts out too much, but at this point I’m honestly disgusted to look at myself in the mirror. Feel like I no longer recognise myself.

Went for a consultation yesterday afternoon and am in the process of having the one on my shoulder removed.


  • 1 week ago
  • 5

Hi fellow Tony,

Tom Hardy and Chris Evans are heavily tattooed and the make up departments help them. Granted we can’t always have big budget productions.

I don’t have any tattoos but that’s cos I couldn’t find any that means enough to me.

And remember we’re not acting 24/7 you’re allowed to be you and live your life. But I can see what you’re saying.

Keep on keeping on

T. :)


  • 1 week ago
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When I cast historical characters it cuts out so many people. Neck and upper chest even facial Tatts appear and Mediaeval / Tudor / Roman they ain't. Sorry!


  • 1 week ago
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Tony Packham
Actor

That’s exactly why I’ve decided on removal Richard. I want to be as versatile as possible and to essentially be a blank slate for any director to paint with so to speak.

Can’t exactly do this if you have tattoos which can be a restriction.


  • 1 week ago
  • 8

Hi Tony -

I have tattoos and I don't feel that I've lost jobs because of them - if I don't get jobs its because I'm not tall enough, not short enough, too old, too young etc etc. In my experience - tattoos are pretty low down the list on why I may, or may not, be suitable for a role.

I've appeared in "period" drama's as well as modern feature films - all of my tattoo's are covered by clothing so unless its a nude scene, or likely to be seen, I don't even bother to mention them.

As others have said... times are a-changing and it is not unusual for TV/Film 'characters' to be seen with their own tattoos. Similarly, there are loads of West End performers who have their tattoos on display during performances.

Obviously, you have to do what you feel is right for you and your career and I hope that your career is successful with or without your tattoos... All the best ... Wx


  • 1 week ago
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Demi Leigh
Actor

One of my closest friends is heavily tattooed and currently featured on so many mainstream ads - none of her tattoos are visible. She sometimes covers them for auditions, sometimes not, but they always have make up artists to cover them. tl;dr If they want you, tattoos won't really be an issue


  • 1 week ago
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Tony Packham
Actor

Hi Demi,

When you say covers them up, do you mean clothing or does she use a type of concealer makeup?


  • 1 week ago
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Demi Leigh
Actor

She uses concealer - but also long sleeves! Depending on the type of casting :)


  • 1 week ago
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Tony Packham
Actor

What brand of concealer? I have been using concealer in the past but it tends to rub off.


  • 1 week ago
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Please Google pictures of Kristian Nairn. He is heavily tattooed and all of his tattoos were covered for Game of Thrones, along with Lena Headey who has massive tattoos on her back. I am yet another example of a heavily tattooed actress that books a lot of work, and even commercial work. Makeup artists for film can create wonders. This is not a hindrance.


  • 5 days ago
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