Megan Massacre loves a challenge.
But the seasoned New York tattoo artist — who has fronted popular pay-TV shows New York Ink and America’s Worst Tattoos — took on a lot more than she bargained for when she was invited back Down Under to lend a helping hand at Sydney’s Bondi Ink Tattoo parlour.
With rent going up and revenue slowing, the shop was facing financial difficulties and the owners turned to Massacre for help.
“I’ll be honest, I was a little overwhelmed and almost annoyed,” Massacre recalls by phone from New York, where she runs her busy studio/fashion boutique Grit N Glory.
“I thought I was going there to relax and do some tattoos and focus on what I’m doing. I have a lot to do back in New York, I already own a shop, but at the same time they’re my friends, I’m close to everyone there and I love helping and I want to help as much as I can.
“So at first I was like ‘What the hell’ and thought ‘What did I get myself into?’ but once I calmed down and the initial shock went away I was actually stoked for the challenge and in a way it’s a huge compliment for them to entrust me with that much responsibility and it must mean that they believe in me, which makes me feel pretty good.”
Appearing on season two of Bondi Ink Tattoo Crew, currently airing on Eleven, Massacre was keen to share her expertise and help her Aussie friends get the parlour, which has attracted celebrity clients such as Ronan Keating and Zayn Malik, back on track.
Needless to say, working at Bondi the second time around wasn’t as cruisy as she’d hoped.
Instead of lapping up the Aussie sunshine and waves, Massacre threw herself into a hectic schedule that saw her co-manage the Bondi parlour by day and spend her nights overseeing her New York shop.
“I didn’t sleep a lot,” she admits. “The time change was the real killer. I’ve got two business partners who are f…… awesome and I’m really lucky to have that, otherwise there was no way I would manage that.
“But they were super-supportive, they knew it was a great opportunity and basically I had a lot of help from the people I work with … But I made it work. When you really want to do something you just do it.”
While she admits it was a juggling act, Massacre enjoyed the change of scenery.
“I enjoyed it a lot, it was a great work environment for me,” she says.
“Bondi reminded me a lot of Los Angeles because it’s a lot more laid- back, it’s a beachy area, it’s sort of chill.
“Whereas in New York it’s sort of the opposite, everybody is super-busy and crazy. I work well under pressure … but it was almost a little vacation, even though I didn’t get any time on the beach at all or any time to relax because they worked me like crazy.”
Bondi Ink Tattoo Crew airs today at 8.30pm on Eleven.