Professional mermaid performers have become a popular trend today. People are actually willing to spend money in order to see females dressed in mermaid tails performing in glass tanks. It may not be a world spread career but it is slowly gaining momentum with the US having about a thousand individuals working professionally as mermaids. The North California Merfest is one of the organisations that deal with mermaid perform, activities, providing mermaid gym classes and creating mermaid events like conferences and festivals.
Price of becoming a professional mermaid
Being a professional mermaid is not an easy task. A lot of planning and logistics have to be put into place. Thorough and intensive practice is done by the performers on tasks such as breath holding and choreography coordination while under water. While in the mermaid tails the performer is not in a position to move their legs and therefore require an assistant or what they refer to as “mer-tenders” to help them relocate from one place to the other.
In as much as this type of profession might sound interesting and stress free to water lovers it is not that simple. The mermaid tails do not come cheap one costs almost three thousand dollars and the training is about forty dollars at the LA Mermaid School. This is a hefty amount of money for a single mermaid tail so it is good to be absolutely sure that this is something you want to be part of in the long run.
Besides the monetary expenses there are the physical requirements. Physical labour is part and puzzle of this profession. Learning how to stay under water for an entire show which lasts thirty minutes and swimming with both legs held as one by the fabric mermaid tail is a tough grind.
This is one of the well-known professional mermaid performers. She has always had fantasies about the ocean. She felt extremely at ease while in the water than she ever did on dry land. She has finished her studies and attained a degree in Film and science from Emerson College in Boston. Graduating from a prominent college did not derail her ambitions of turning into a professional mermaid. She is thriving in this career. Currently she is the owner of the Mermaid Minute and an array of video series. She has also been profiled by major news channels like the Huffington Post.
“A mermaid pioneer “is the description they gave to her. She is among the few who have turned this into a worthwhile profession. She is very humble and refuses to take any acknowledgement for leading the way to the numerous individuals indulging in it today. She claims all she did was following her hearts desires. In the initial stages of her career as a mermaid she mainly taught about conserving the ocean and keeping the water safe to children dressed as a mermaid. It is from here that her career developed and today it is flourishing. She had a rough start in her career like most people but that did not get in the way of her still pursuing it.
In as much as this job takes care of all her financial needs it also leaves her physically drained. Sinus infections, unusual lashes and backaches are part and puzzle of her after the performance. She most recently partnered with Body Glove International and produced mermaid tails that can be put on by children at a reasonable price of about thirty dollars. She is helping the little girls who have fantasies or dream about the ocean to realize these dreams and fantasies. She is passionate about performing in birthday parties for children. Many celebrities such as Jessica Biel, Jessica Alba and Justin Timberlake invite her to their events to perform on regular basis.
She is a professional mermaid performer in Florida at the Weeki Waache Springs State park. The mermaid shows at the underwater theatre in the park can be dated back to 1947. Despite being gym instructor which is a full-time job in a middle school she still enjoys performing as a mermaid. She has been performing for about eleven years now which she says is an accomplishment of the dreams and fantasies she had about the ocean as a child. Though she only gets to perform for several hours in a week it still makes a huge impact on her. She grew up in the neighbourhood and talk about mermaids is common. After attending the shows in the underwater theatre she always talked of how she wanted to become a mermaid when she grew up.
She has had her share of ups and downs in life but that has not wavered her passion for performing as a mermaid. In order to settle her tuition in college she has worked in a clothing store for men as a stint as well as other jobs on land though her heart was always in the ocean. Performing as a mermaid though part-time still makes her feel alive. Mermaids are popular in the region and saying you are one of them is similar to being a celebrity. She does the performances out of love and passion and not because of the money since the pay is about thirteen dollars per hour. The physical turmoil that she also experiences after the performances is hectic.
She described the role as one that requires an athletic body. New trainees need to have trained for several months before they even perform for the first time. In order for them to perform the entire show at least a years training is required which shows how demanding the performances are physically. Despite all these challenges she is not ready to hand over her fabric mermaid tail to anyone in the near future. Her passion draws her back to the ocean every time despite the challenges she faces. The look on the little girl’s faces as they all aspire to become you in their fairy tale dreams is magical. Who wouldn’t want that?
She is so devoted to her routine that her official name is “Mermaid Melissa”. All the careers she has previously undertaken all involve water so becoming a mermaid performer was not a shocking turn of events. She previously worked as a life guard, a mammal trainer for the marines and a trainer for entertainers underwater.
She has impeccable skills when it comes to swimming that she has been termed as a mermaid for a big portion of her life. She also adores the ocean. Her career entails a great deal of travelling and transporting elements which is expensive. The elements such as mermaid tanks need to be delivered to the performance venue and set up which not an easy task putting into considerations that her shows are in different locations.
She also acknowledged the fact that the job is draining physically and the chances of falling ill are high due to the long sessions they spend in cold water. Despite all that she still remains optimistic about her career as a mermaid performer. The response given by the audience after a performance and interacting with the crowd afterwards keep her going. She is eager to satisfy their inquisitiveness.
She has been in the industry for thirteen years and her stage name is Hannah Mermaid. She has mastered the art of holding breath to the extent that she can last three minutes under water. The industry is not just composed of women only but also men who are recognized as mermen and children who are referred to as merchildren. Despite how easy and stress-free the merfolk may appear as they dive fifteen feet deep into water with a full smile and wide open eyes, it is not. This takes volumes of time, money, energy and practice to achieve.
The most challenging bit is learning how to hold your breath under water. Your mind plays tricks on you telling you that you require oxygen and you need to quiet those voices and remain calm. She is among the two hundred merfolks performing in North California at the Greensboro Aquatic Centre during the NC Mermania. She is mainly involved in what she refers to as “eco-art activism”. She is globally featured in videos where is swimming in fabric mermaid tails while on some occasions real fish, manta rays, tiger sharks or humpback whale tails.
She uses her expertise to make videos campaigning for preservation of the sea life such as the “Manta’s Last Dance”. The video effectively created awareness and was effective as in 2014 the endangered sea creatures were put on Manta ray. She would without hesitation put herself at risk if it helped save the lives of these creatures. She hopes that eventually many people can have the same enthusiasm and passion for the ocean like she does.
She joined the industry in her search for an alternative workout. She is recognized as Mermaid Shannon in the industry. It was not long before she got paid offers to perform at birthday parties as a mermaid. When the offers became numerous she eventually quit her career as a broadcast journalist. She started off by training in CPR then went ahead to become a swimming instructor for children. As of today she is paid a hefty sum of about $250 for performing for two hours.
Making every little girls fantasy come to life is the part she loves best about her job. The look of disbelief in their eyes when they see with their eyes something that is considered a fairy story is magical and priceless.
The professional mermaid performance was first discovered in the middle of the twentieth century. She has been a mermaid in Florida at the Weeki Wachee Spring since 1969 up to 1972. She was features in shows underwater such as “Mermaids on the Moon” and “Cinderella” which all lasted about forty five minutes. She is amazed at how much the industry has developed over the years as compared to those early years when she was starting off. She however expresses her concerns and worries on the safety of those individuals who join the profession hastily.
She says that it is important to first get the relevant skill set and become proficient prior to joining the profession. She insists on taking one step at a time before fully diving into the career. She was at the NC Mermania accompanied by her husband who likes to be acknowledged as Mertender Steve. He is responsible for assisting the mermaids relocate from one place to the other while they are in their fabric mermaid tails and on land.
She also acknowledges the fact that the mermaid tails do not come cheap. Those tails made of fabric that is light weight are as cheap as $300 while those made of heavier materials like silicone range from $3,500 and above. With time many mermaids learn the art of making their own tails and eventually sell some to other people.
The profession is not solely for the ladies as many people might assume. There are men too doing it professionally. Merman Christian is a good example of a professional merman performer. He recognizes the fact that performing as a mermaid is not a walk over. It is tough when starting out as many jobs in the industry to do not pay off well. He recalls the number of time he has had financial constraints while doing this job yet he still eventually found himself back at it.
It is tough landing gigs as a merman since most of the fairy tales only revolve around mermaids. He is however determined to make people believe that fairy tales can exist for mermen too. He wants to be a role model to all the young boys out there aspiring to be mermen. He wants them, to have fun entertaining people under water and making their fantasies a reality.
One thing that all these professional entertainers under water agree on is the respect and passion they have for the ocean. They are all dedicated in keeping it clean and preserving it as it is the natural habitat for many plants and creatures.