Blog: "No Day But Today": Musical Theater Tattoos
Considering a new tattoo? We have 15 designs from our followers that we hope spark your imagination! Scroll down to read about the inspiration behind these stunning musical theater inspired tattoos.
“I am working on a sleeve of images from shows I have directed and/or mean something to me. The theatre masks are my staple and the center of the artwork on my arm and what I do for a living.
My RENT tattoo is one of my favorite quotes in musical theatre history. So pertinent to today because for any “war” that is happening, creation is the answer.
Sondheim is the reason why musical theatre EXISTS! He is my ultimate inspiration. I got this tattoo after I directed Company and it was life changing. [This piece was originally drawn by Al Hirschfeld.]
I directed A Year with Frog and Toad and one of the props for the song “Seeds,” where Toad waters seeds and is waiting for bloom, were pop-up books that 3-D flowers came out of. I wanted to stick to the fact that this story began as a book, so the design was based on that and the color palette of the book.”
- Kirstin O.
“Peter and the Starcatcher was the first show I directed. The last scene of Act 1 is called ‘HURRICANO!’ and features a shipwreck, a sword fight, a giant pirate battle, and ends with a big musical number. We worked so hard to perfect this scene. The end result was magical.
On opening night, five hours before curtain, I went and got “HURRICANO!” tattooed on my arm. During my pre-show speech I told my cast that directing Starcatcher was the best theatrical experience I’d ever had, and I wanted a way to commemorate it. I showed them my new tattoo and told them that if I ever had a bad day, I could look at that tattoo and remember how amazing this experience was.”
- Keith S. (Twitter handle: @kingofkeith)
“I got this tattoo inspired by the musical The Tattooed Lady, premiering at Philadelphia Theatre Company this coming November. The musical is about the 100-year history of Tattooed women in the freak show and the fight for body autonomy and self-determination. This image connects me to the divine cosmic feminine and helps me tap into my creativity when I’m composing.”
- Max V.
“I have this for Hadestown for so many reasons but mostly for trying to see how the world could be in spite of the way that it is.”
- Hannah M.
“The treble clef surrounded by blossoms was inspired by Sigma Alpha Iota, an International Music Fraternity for women that I belonged to in college. Music and the arts have always given me purpose and the design signifies the beauty in life and a love for music.”
- Morgan T.
“I was in rehearsals as the Emcee in Cabaret and the director said he wanted a few fake tattoos on my arms. I said, ‘does it have to be fake?’ I chose the words ‘Leben Und Leben Lassen,’ which is German for ‘Live And Let Live,’ a line that the Emcee says. I added two portions of lines that to me resembled a portion of the equality symbol. When we received marriage equality around the country, I added faint colors of the rainbow to the lines for hope that we will continue to grow and accept all.
When I got my Rocky Horror lips tattoo on my hip, I actually wore the black panties to the tattoo parlor so that the tattoo would be sure to be seen any time I wore the costume and did the show.”
- Chad-Alan C.
“The ghost light has such a rich history and tradition surrounding it. My favorite interpretation of the ghost light is that we leave it on every night to honor those that have trod the boards before us and give them some light for their nightly ghostly theatrics. I am a musical theatre historian and so I had my tattoo ghost light “plug” into my wrist so that my love for theatre and its history fuels the light as I work to honor those who came before.”
- Marc B. (YouTube: Broadway By Ghostlight)
“I love Hadestown and this lyric specifically. Basically, ‘Wait For Me (reprise)’ says the only thing you can count on is your mind. Love will take you where you want to go and doubt will keep you from it, but love and doubt come from the same place – so when you have the choice, choose love, choose the path to paradise.”
- Jess R.
“I got this tattoo to commemorate my community theatre directorial debut, Catch Me If You Can. The splashes of colorful paint represent “Live in Living Color” and the plane is Pan Am Flight 1121, to which our stewardesses welcomed our audiences in our pre-show announcements. The show closed on 11/21/21, which also happened to be my birthday.”
- Shanna C.
“This quote from Into the Woods really resonated with me in terms of overcoming past trauma but not denying that pain and experience. When I ended up getting the tattoo, I was playing the Baker’s Wife. It’s now five years later and I did marry The Baker from that production!
The quote from Ordinary Days was also inspired when I was playing Deb in that show. It’s a line that Warren says to her when she’s struggling to find meaning and purpose in her own life, and I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. That production was closed early due to Covid, and I was struggling with my own identity and purpose if I wasn’t performing. Anytime I felt like everything was pointless and I would never get my career back, that line always popped back into my head. I love that I now have it with me always.”
- Anna PB