Acting Questions

Acting with scars?

by Natasha Locke



I’m a 20 year old female, looking to start acting. I have a sort of plan laid out, and am currently saving up to audition for several drama schools for 2013. If that doesn’t work out, I’m working on amateur dramatics and such, to get back into the swing of performing, and I’m sure I’ll find a way to get there.

There’s just one thing that continues to bother me. In the time between leaving school at 16, and now, I suffered from rather severe depression and… well I have quite a lot of scars on my lower arms as a result, along with a couple of partially-healed facial piercings (I know. It was a bad move and I removed them almost immediately. Not that it helped) which, again, while concealed fairly simply with makeup could possibly be difficult to hide entirely.

The majority of the scars have healed fairly well, all things considered, and can probably be covered with a fine layer of body foundation, but one or two protrude slightly, and I’m basically fretting over whether this could potentially stop me from getting parts, in the long run?

Largely, I’d prefer to do theatre work, which might help the situation, but I’m still not sure if all of this will be to the detriment of any career I could hope to build.

Any input or advice is much welcomed.

Thank you for your time.


Scars are definitely not a problem for theater, especially since it sounds like most are minor. For film, the camera acts like a magnifying glass, so it depends on your type and on the roles you will be auditioning for. It’s hard to say without seeing a headshot. If you’re not the perfect leading lady type, it’s unlikely the small scars on your face would stand in the way of your career. As long as your acting is good, it can actually give you character. Quite a few famous actors have facial scars. You can also do a lot with makeup.

For the scars on your lower arms, you may not want people you audition for to guess where they come from. When they audition actors they don’t know, casting directors are not just looking for talent and training, they also are looking for individuals who will be professional and easy to work with. You don’t want them to think you may still suffer from depression and you don’t want the scars to distract them from seeing your great performance. There’s nothing wrong with wearing long sleeves or bracelets so you know for sure you are being judged on your audition only.

That’s just my opinion. Other actors may encourage you to just be the way you are. In the end, the most important thing is to feel confident and good about yourself when you walk in the audition room. If it helps to hide your scars at first, go for it. I have a rather large scar on my elbow I used to hide at first and then I stopped bothering. I figured if people like my work, no one will not hire me just because of that. I’m sure it would be the same in your case, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Good luck!

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