Yes. Actors can have tattoos. You may also land a role for having a tattoo; however in general your casting potential will be reduced.
My body is my journal, and my tattoos are my story.Johnny Depp
Do you want to know whether getting a tattoo will harm your career as an actor? Are you worried that you have to remove your tattoos as you join the acting field? Worry not. We will look at how tattoos can affect your acting career. For now, it would help if you refrain from getting that tattoo first. You’ll maybe make up your mind after reading this article. Let’s get started on our subject of discussion.
Acting is a diverse field where you have the liberty to express yourself freely. As of now, there is no ban on tattoos. I am also pretty sure that you have seen actors whose bodies are ridden with tattoos. People have different perspectives on tattoos, which may not sit well with you. However, in the acting field, having tattoos may help you land unique characters. All you have to ensure is that the symbols resonate with the role you are playing.
For example, it would be unreasonable to have a serpent tattoo when you have taken the role of a priest. The tattoos should make you more suited for your position. A good example that illustrates this is Wentworth Miller’s character in Prison break. The ink on his body contributed to what his role demanded. He hid the outlay and design of the Fox River Penitentiary and later used them to break his brother out.
Before you get tattoos, stop and consider the following:
- Limited roles
The society is normally bias, a fact that we can only live with. Tattooing your body may limit the number of characters you will qualify for. A teardrop tattoo under your eyes may lock you out from roles such as a school teacher or a responsible father. Most directors will find you suitable for less caring and violent characters. You can get a tattoo if you are willing to limit your roles. An excellent hack is having it in the less conspicuous parts of your body if you don’t want to remove your ink for a position. For example, a butterfly tattoo on your back can be easily hidden from the cameras.
- It’s a decision that you will always live with
Tattoos are mostly permanent unless you decide to get rid of them, which is usually really costly. Always remember that your tatt will stay in your body for decades to come. You must, therefore, stop and think about your life after the tattoo. Are you willing to give up a number of roles because of your tattoo? Are you ready to remove them so that you qualify for a specific role?
- Will your tattoo help you land the role you love the most
Actors have their niches. You must have noticed that some of the famous Tv stars love featuring as villains and others as heroes. Some, such as Morgan Freeman, feature as professors or people in power. Therefore, before getting a tattoo, first establish whether it will supplement your character development or lock you out of your niche. You have no business covering your face with tattoos if you love acting as a priest unless you want to cast as a ritualist leader. However, if the tattoo supplements and aligns with your brand, then go ahead and get it. You can choose to have a serpent tattoo if you love roles depicting you as the tough guy or the badass drug dealer.
- Are you going to blow up / Have you blown up yet?
Most directors and studios will not discriminate once you have left a mark or bagged several awards. They will gladly spend money and time covering your tattoos if you will feature on your shows. You should, therefore, gauge yourself and determine where you are probably going to be in the next five years before getting yourself some fantastic ink. You can get the tattoo of your choice if your brand is going rapidly, and studios are always beckoning with amazing job offers.
- The part of your body that you want to tattoo
This is a critical decision that you have to make. The truth is, getting a tattoo on your face can harm your career unless you’d like to qualify for select roles only.
A tattoo on your shoulder can be easily masked or hidden throughout the show. Therefore, remember that conspicuous tattoos might harm your career and disqualify you from your niche. You must also have realized that some actors have tattoos on their backs or thighs, which are shown once or twice in a movie or show. Can you now imagine if the tattoo was in a conspicuous part, such as the forehead?
Advantages of tattoos to actors
Inking your body also has its fair share of advantages. Have a look:
- Tattoos make you unique
A significant majority of actors don’t have tattoos out of fear of missing roles. However, having a tattoo in a conspicuous place makes you different, which has its fair share of advantages. You will easily qualify for specific roles, and if you are lucky enough, you might find only your name on the audition list for a particular position. Not many people have their whole body or face covered with tattoos, so you will be the first one producers will turn to if such a role ever comes.
- Tattoos tell a story
Being an actor comes with several challenges. Tattoos are a proven way of therapy. You are likely going to heal from something faster if you write it down. Actors such as Johnny Depp value their tattoos because they tell a story about their lives.
You will easily be identified by different directors and fellow actors from your tattoos. Having an identity in the acting field markets you far and wide, helping you to land roles in a number of studios and directors.
Inking your body also comes with some disadvantages
Which is why you have to weigh first before getting some. First, studios and directors shy away from tattooed actors since it takes time and money to conceal the ink. You will need several hours of makeup during shoots to conceal the tattoos. Please have in mind that they will not even stay hidden for long. Tattoos will also limit your casting, which may define your career as an actor.
Unless you are getting fake tattoos, always have in mind that it won’t be all rosy. Another hard truth is that you won’t land many roles as a beginner actor if you are tattooed everywhere. Unless you have something that several movie directors are dying to have on their productions, most studios will avoid working with you.
Being a beginner comes with a lot of pressure, and the last thing you want is to fumble a chance of appearing in a movie or film. While I wouldn’t say that you shouldn’t get a tattoo, having one would be quite disastrous as you begin your career. Having a tattoo is conspicuous places such as your neck, hands, chest, and neck is not a good idea. Such areas are harder to conceal. Imagine losing a chance to stardom for having a neck tattoo that you got when beginning your career or, at a point, you felt quite confident in your career.
If you must get a tattoo in those vital places, settle on a small one that can be hidden easily. You will also have to give up something while on set. Tattoos are your way of life. However, once you are on set, you have to forego that. Depending on the film, you will either be forced to conceal your tattoos or remove them, which goes against everything you believe in.
Imagine having to adopt another life just to fit a role. This is why it is advisable to get tattoos that align with your brand. If you prefer acting as a ritualist, getting the devil’s face on your arm wouldn’t be disastrous. Lastly, you have to accept that you’ll forego many roles. Tattoos narrow your options, something that an actor should not go through. You’ll, therefore, have quite a hard time landing roles.
The acting scene is also highly competitive, and there is always a ready replacement. Choosing between your career and your way of life is a tough decision. You are probably going to choose your way of life, which comes with several repercussions. An excellent hack would be getting tattoos once you have built a brand and pretty confident that brands would sacrifice everything to have you on their casts. You can also get tattoos in less conspicuous places that can be easily covered and hidden from the cameras.
can actors have tattoos
Getting a tattoo is a personal decision that has its benefits and disadvantages. For an actor, there are a lot of things that you must consider before getting one. You are probably going to forego several chances. However, if you can live with that, then go ahead. On the bright side, you will be perfect for specific roles.
RELATED ACTORS RESOURCES
CAN ACTORS HAVE PIERCINGS?
CLASSICAL ACTING TECHNIQUE
PRACTICAL AESTHETICS ACTING TECHNIQUE
HOW TO BECOME A FAMOUS ACTOR
THE CHEKHOV ACTING TECHNIQUE
LEE STRASBERG’S METHOD ACTING
UTA HAGEN QUESTIONS FOR UNDERSTANDING YOUR CHARACTERS GIVEN CIRCUMSTANCES
WHAT DO ACTORS DO ON A DAILY BASIS – TYPICAL DAY AT WORK FOR AN ACTOR
ACTING METHODS STANISLAVSKI – WHAT IS THE STANISLAVSKI TECHNIQUE?
ACTING WITH METHOD – WHAT IS METHOD ACTING?