[Tattoo 7 – Interview with Jean Carroll]

Raw footage of an interview with Jean Carroll, "The Tattoo Queen," conducted for the documentary Tattoo, by Susan Milano.

00:01Copy video clip URL Camera set-up. Videomaker Susan Milano explains the microphone to Jean Carroll.

00:34Copy video clip URL Carroll describes her decision to get get tattooed. 

01:05Copy video clip URL Carroll’s early career as “a bearded lady” for the circus. Joining the circus when she was 13 or 14. She jokes about her parents being “happy to get rid of me” but asserts that they were actually just happy that she found something she wanted to do. 

02:45Copy video clip URL Possible medical treatments to get rid of her beard, eventually getting electrolysis after more than twenty years in the circus. “And believe me hon it took every cent I had to get rid of the beard.”

04:33Copy video clip URL Deciding with her husband to become a tattooed lady so she could stay in show business. Getting tattoos at the same time she was getting electrolysis treatments. 

04:55Copy video clip URL Other tattooed ladies in show business. The nature of her tattoos making her unique. 

05:43Copy video clip URL The permanence of tattoos never affecting her. “I think I found more happiness as a tattooed lady than I did as a bearded lady.” Being a little frightened about the pain of getting a tattoo. Noted tattoo artist Charlie Wagner doing the first tattoos, with Carroll’s husband eventually taking over. Milano stops the answer when a kitten starts climbing on Carroll. 

06:58Copy video clip URL Finding Charlie Wagner. Wagner’s working methods. Taking more than three years of tattooing to cover her body, and performing during that time. Being nervous to perform as a tattooed lady even though she’d been a bearded lady for many years. 

08:28Copy video clip URL Carroll’s routine for the circus, in which she’d talk about each tattoo’s design. 

09:05Copy video clip URL Carroll’s sister being very happy that she was able to stay in show business when she got her tattoos. 

09:28Copy video clip URL The life of a woman working sideshows and circuses. Attention from male admirers. 

10:20Copy video clip URL Advice given to other women who might want to become sideshow performers. Carroll having no regrets about her life, and having many happy memories. 

10:56Copy video clip URL The stigma attached to being tattooed. 

11:47Copy video clip URL Carroll, wearing a slip, is shot in long shot and medium shot, many of her tattoos being visible. She delivers her sideshow routine, talking about specific tattoos.

13:58Copy video clip URL She tries to deliver her old “routine,” a jokey rhyme about her tattoos, but can’t remember all of it. 

15:20Copy video clip URL A close-up of the tattoo on her back, a portrait of the Holy family done by Charlie Wagner. Discussion of how age and weight fluctuations affect the look of tattoos. Close-ups of other tattoos, including a crown of thorns that her husband did. 

16:36Copy video clip URL Carroll reads her “routine” about her tattoos. 

18:47Copy video clip URL Discussion of the routine, which was written for her by a well-known songwriter.

19:29Copy video clip URL Carroll’s husbands, three of whom her in the circus. “I don’t know so much about the first one because it happened so quick…. He died within the week after we were married.” 

20:17Copy video clip URL Carroll performs her routine twice. 

24:12Copy video clip URL Projected 16mm footage of Carroll displaying her tattoos.  



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