Back in early summer I had applied via internet for a tattoo competition reality show, Ink Master, on the Spike network. When I was down in Tennessee for the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, I received a call from the show’s producer to tell me that I had been chosen as a human canvas. I had to take a few trips to New York City for meetings and a physical, and was soon clear to start filming.
I was totally stoked because I always wanted to be on television- not acting- just as a reality star. We all have our silly “dreams.” Anyway, I was a semi-finalist for the Real World Hollywood and while my interest in becoming a reality personality died down wildly as I got older, I was still happy about getting a chance to test out the waters. I went down to Newark [New Jersey] at the end of July to film for two days by my lonesome and had a wonderful time. The first day of shooting was wild. I got to meet producers, crew, and experience how elimination reality shows are put together. Oliver Peck and Chris Nuñez are people I have heard of for years, stemming back to the beginning of my interest in the art of tattooing; ,meeting them was too damn cool. The best part of the experience hands down, was meeting Dave Navarro. As a big Jane’s Addiction fan, I was in total awe of his entire presence. He was a really nice guy, we talked briefly about some of the recent shows I have seen him at, and he even complimented my other tattoos. Oh yeah, Mr. Navarro also said I was “one smokin’ girl.” And not that I’m vain in any sense of the word, because I am really not, but Clint- the artist who passed out the artist to their canvases said he couldn’t tattoo me because I was “too hot.” Woo! Score.
Myself and the other human canvases walked out on cue and did what the director’s told us, we had to be loud when we spoke and at times had to redo it for options. I was more nervous than I originally thought I would be- and since filming started at around 7 a.m., I was assuming cocktails were out of the question. My artist was MMA fighter, Mark Matthews, a seriously good-looking dude from outside of San Fransisco. We had a genuine conversation when the cameras weren’t in the room. I appreciated his openness and good nature.
The second day of filming was the actually tattoo process.The tattoo was overall approved by me, and took 6 complete hours to finish- without minor detailing due to time constraints. I did not take a break once. After the fourth hour, my calf began to burn and throb. I never sat for that long in a straight period of time- it was all so overwhelming, but I bit my tongue and let him finish.
In the end, Mark was in the bottom three for his lack of “texture,” an aspect of tattooing that just so happened to be what the challenge was for the group of artists that week. He did not go home, but still received a great deal of criticism for the zombie-lady, however, I like it! After venturing through social media outlets, my tattoo did receive a great deal of love and respect, as did Mark.
I had so much fun that the quality, praise (or lack thereof), and texture of my tattoo really don’t make a difference to me. It is a permanent souvenir of my first time on television, and one that I honestly do love. Hey, I am a zombie fan after all. I mean, look at that skull… it really is a good one. The itch I was scratching’ back in 2005 when I applied for the Real World is making its way to the surface again. Who knows what 2013 has in store after my 25 seconds on Ink Master ;)