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How to be a Mermaid

I want to be a Mermaid; 13 Professional Mermaids reveal their Sea-crets

I’ve always dreamed of being a mermaid. Since I was a little girl splashing around in the paddling pool to a nerd in college singing “Under the Sea” at karaoke; Mermaiding has always been a dream of mine. Last year I stumbled upon a whole new underwater world of merfolk that swim around in tails, some for pure joy, some for fitness, and others that are actually real life, professional mermaids.

I interviewed 13 Professional Mermaids from around the globe to reveal their Sea-crets and share how you too, can be a Mermaid!

1. Mermaid Kat

Photo by @iangrayphotography

When did you start Mermaiding and why?

Since I watched Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” for the first time, I was obsessed with mermaids. I thought mermaids were the most beautiful creatures I would ever imagine. However, it took me about 20 years to actually become a mermaid myself. During my training of becoming a scuba diving instructor, I remembered this childhood dream and this time I wanted to make it come true. Then I started to take freediving classes in order to learn how to hold my breath for a longer time. I practised my underwater performance and modelling skills and then created my first mermaid tail. Mermaid Kat was officially born in May 2012.

How did you become a Professional Mermaid?

When I started mermaiding I lived in Phuket, Thailand. It didn’t take long for the people on the island to start talking about that girl who swims in a mermaid tail and so it didn’t take long until I got my first bookings. Phuket is full of resorts and they liked the idea of having a mermaid perform during luxury events.

During these events I realised that there were so many other girls out there who also dreamed about being mermaids. So, I decided to help them to fulfil their dreams and opened the Mermaid Kat Academy in August 2012. At that time, it was the first public mermaid school in the world. At the beginning, I started to only teach adults during my full day professional mermaid workshops. Over time I developed different course structures for different levels and age groups.

In order to be able to teach professional classes in mermaiding, I needed professional mermaid tails. Back then, the quality of most mermaid fins was shockingly bad and that’s how I decided to develop my own range of professional mermaid tails. In March 2013 I then opened the Mermaid Kat Shop where we sell different types of mermaid tails, including silicone tails.

Are you making enough money as a Professional Mermaid to fund your Mermaid lifestyle?

I’m one of the lucky mermaids who does. Mermaiding is my passion and I was able to build a whole business around it. My business is basically split into 3 different categories – Entertainment, Training and Equipment.

“Mermaid Kat” entails me to perform at events and work as an underwater stunt woman. I have a contract with a cruise company and perform onboard their ships in Asia several weeks per year. I also perform at other events and underwater shows and for TV and advertising campaigns I travel around the world to swim with dolphins, whales, rays, sharks and even saltwater crocodiles. In Germany, where I’m from, and Australia, where I currently live, I have pods of mermaids working for me. They also entertain during all sort of events.

The main base of “Mermaid Kat Academy” is in Germany, where I currently employ 15 mermaid instructors who teach mermaid courses almost every weekend. In Australia I operate a smaller branch with currently 6 other mermaids. We have trained over 7,000 students in mermaiding already and in 2019 I published my first book about mermaiding in Germany.

About twice a year I organise our “Mermaid Weeks” which are international mermaid retreats. In the past years we have been to beautiful locations such as the Maldives, Bali, Tahiti, Thailand and Mexico. Mermaids and mermen of all levels can join me and my team during these events. The week is filled with training, photo shoots above and under water, fun, companionship and unforgettable memories.

At “Mermaid Kat Shop” we manufacture mermaid tails for children and adults. We create everything from spandex tails to unique and handmade silicone tails. Our silicone tails are all created in Germany and from there shipped into the world.

As you can see, being a mermaid is my full-time job and for me it brings many different aspects with it. People often think that I’m in the water 8 hours every day but in reality, I spend a lot of time in front of the computer coordinating things. I feel very blessed to have a very motivated and just amazing team around me. All my mermaids are like family members and I appreciate their support so much.

What’s your plans for the next 3 years?

I just invested in my own facilities in Germany. Apart from private living quarters, we are currently transforming the 6,000 square meter big property into “Mermaid Kat World”.

Very soon we will have our first physical shop here, additionally to our online shops. In our own indoor pool, we will offer mermaid birthday parties and mermaid workshops. I will also be hosting underwater modelling and other advanced workshops here. We won’t be limited to “mermaids” and are also introducing other characters like fairies, princesses, pirates etc. I want to create a place where children and adults can come to and recharge from their daily stresses. I’m really excited to open this magical place soon and bring more fantasy and magic to many people’s lifes.

These are the short time plans that I’m working on currently. Within the next 3 years it is also my goal to have my very own underwater performance tank in Germany so our mermaids can travel across Europe and bring smiles into people’s faces.

Do you ever think you will stop Mermaiding?

I love my “job” so much that I don’t think I would ever stop, even if I didn’t get paid anymore 🙂

Any tips for people on how they can become a Mermaid?

Personally, I would recommend visiting a professional mermaid class to learn all the basics. A freediving course is a nice addition. The internet is full of videos and blogs where people share their knowledge and experience, so a look on google could also be very helpful. On my website (www.mermaidkat.com) I also give tips in my FAQs and when time allows, I’m happy to answer questions via email too.

What’s next for you?

Unfortunately, due to Corona, so many plans have changed in the last year, but I hope that my upcoming projects don’t have to be postponed. In January 2021 I have planned to teach two underwater modelling workshops in Germany as well as a professional mermaid workshops for adults. In April, my team and I will be at the dive show “die Boot” in Germany to perform in underwater tanks and showcase our mermaid equipment.

In April there is also an underwater shoot planned for and advertising campaign for watches.

From May to July I’m scheduled to perform on cruise ships in Asia and in September we have planned mermaid retreats in Italy and the Maldives.

It looks like another busy year after a quieter 2020 and I hope that we can go ahead with all these projects as planned. I’m looking forward to opening Mermaid Kat World in Germany and to meet many new amazing people during my workshops, performances and retreats.

Want to find out more Mermaid Kat? Make sure to follow her on Instagram and Facebook!

2. Mermaid Zelda

Photo by @alpinewestcreative

When did you start Mermaiding and why?

I spent the majority of my childhood swimming in pools, the ocean, walking on beaches and collecting sea shells. I always loved movies like Aquamarine and The Little Mermaid and I had a fascination and love for the ocean at a very young age.

I started mermaiding in 2011 when I was 12 years old after watching my father battle cancer during the worst year of my life. I spent a lot of time alone watching YouTube videos and one day I came across a channel called “the 3 tails”.  It was a little web series featuring girls who were the same age as me pretending to be mermaids. I knew that I needed to be a part of this magical world from the moment I first saw them swim in their tails.

Dreaming about mermaids and owning my own tail gave me my childhood back after such a dark time in my life. (My Father has been cancer free for many years now!)

How did you become a Professional Mermaid?

After building a solid mermaid tail collection over the years, I started to connect with my local mermaids. My first paid mermaid gig was in 2016 with two other mermaids from my pod. It was a two day festival and we were hired to sit by the creek and pose for photos – this was my first experience in the world of professional mermaids.

From there I was able to monetize my own content on YouTube, including mermaid tail unboxings, mermaid tail reviews and lots and lots of swimming videos! I also worked for a princess party company from 2019-2020 doing both mermaid and princess birthday parties + events.

Are you making enough money as a Professional Mermaid to fund your Mermaid lifestyle?

I just turned 22 years old and I still live with my lovely parents. Because I don’t have to pay for rent or other such bills at this time, I do make enough money to fund my mermaid life style. Due to the pandemic, I have had to cancel almost all of my mermaid performances for this year so if it wasn’t for my parents support, I would be in a very different position.

What’s your plans for the next 3 years?

I plan to start up my own mermaid / princess performance company, rather than finding gigs through existing companies as soon as the world gets back to normal! I also plan to continue posting weekly mermaidy content on my YouTube channel – it’s definitely my goal to hit 100k subscribers within the next 3 years!

Do you ever think you will stop Mermaiding?

I will never ever stop mermaiding no matter how old I get. I will keep swimming in mermaid tails for as long as I am physically able to. It’s already been a part of my life for 10 years and mermaiding continues to bring me joy every single day!

Any tips for people on how they can become a Mermaid?

I would recommend starting out with a more inexpensive, beginner tail to see how you like the motion of mermaid swimming. If you fall in love with mermaiding, start up a mermaid tail fund and save up your extra sand dollars so you can eventually buy the tail of your dreams! Don’t compare yourself to others, everyone is at a different place in their mermaid journey and every step of the way is valid and beautiful.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU?

No one can know for sure what the future will hold but my three mermaid goals for the future are:

Start up my own professional mermaid performance company.

Continue to grow my mermaid social media accounts on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and tiktok. (Hopefully hitting the 100k mark some day!)

Perform in a mermaid movie or television show. I am even thinking about writing, producing and acting in my own mermaid film one day!

Want to find out more Mermaid Zelda? Make sure to follow her on Instagram and Facebook!

3. vero beach mermaid

Photo by @brandyanthonymedia

When did you start Mermaiding and why?

It all started 5 years ago when I was livestreaming on a platform called Periscope. I was known for taking livestreaming to new levels as one of the first people to ever go live in 360 in collaboration with Insta360 and Twitter, live from drones, planes..you name it! So the next obvious thing for me was to go live underwater..however I wanted to make it beautiful and interesting. Right away the idea of doing it as a mermaid popped  into my mind, so I did some research and found a super simple fabric mermaid tail. My livestream was a success and I instantly fell in love with swimming in a mermaid tail. 

How did you become a Professional Mermaid?

After trying out my first tail, I knew I had to do more. I created my brand name Vero Beach Mermaid, built up some skills and a portfolio and I started promoting it locally. It was a big hit and I booked my first job within a month of starting. I slowly learned all the different things I could do as a mermaid and that there was a whole community already out there! I worked my way up to a silicone tail and it took off from there!

Are you making enough money as a Professional Mermaid to fund your Mermaid lifestyle?

Yes I make a full income off of being a professional mermaid. Everyone who does this job does it differently so how you make an income is unique to each individual. I own a full service media company so this fit perfectly into what I already do. I do this to fund my real lifestyle, not just my mermaid one!

What’s your plans for the next 3 years?

I have a lot of plans for VBM in the next three years! I will be rolling out a whole new apparel collection with my very own signature scales. I am working on a children’s book, conservation projects, hoping to create a non profit of my own and much more!

Do you ever think you will stop Mermaiding?

No, as long as I am swimming..it will be mermaid style. Being a mermaid is personal for me. It’s about the connection to the water before anything else, and that will never go away for me.

Any tips for people on how they can become a Mermaid?

There is no secret to becoming a mermaid. Buy a tail, get in the water and enjoy yourself. The key is to enjoy yourself. It should be fun and therapeutic before it is anything else. I always say you shouldn’t try to make a business out of something unless you are educated and passionate.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU?

There is a lot in store, you will just have to follow along and wait to see! But, the very next thing is two very exciting new silicone tails from the amazing Finfolk productions.

Want to find out more Vero Beach Mermaid? Make sure to follow her on Instagram and Facebook!

4. Mermaid Athiraa

Photo by @robertjohannesson

When did you start Mermaiding and why?

I started mermaiding in 2012. It all goes back to my childhood, I was born in 1989, the same year Disney’s The Little Mermaid came out and it made a huge impact on my life. I went to Disneyland in Paris with my family when I was 4, which only deepened the love. After I came home I started collecting them and drew plenty of mermaids, even dogs and cats with tails! Along with my love for water, whether it was the bath, pool, the ocean close to home or the lakes I visited with my grandmother, this was truly a start of a life-lasting love.

How did you become a Professional Mermaid?

Once I had started mermaiding I got to visit my friends’ children’s parties to spread some magic! I am not sure who was the happiest, me or the kids! I decided that this was definitely for me, but my journey had only begun. For the events I had in mind for my future I would have to grow as a mermaid and become the best version I could be, a professional must be safe, experienced and educated. I took mermaiding classes in England to improve my technique, a Mermaid instructor class in Denmark so I could start teaching kids how to swim in tails and I also got my freediving certificates which allowed me to hold my breath for a long time and act safely underwater – Which I need to be able to perform in aquariums with sharks, rays and turtles in England. I’ve gotten so far and gained so much experience on this mermaid journey, and my background story for my mersona has grown so much since the kiddos ask me so many questions!

Are you making enough money as a Professional Mermaid to fund your Mermaid lifestyle?

While I’m a professional mermaid I am also a language teacher, this means that I have the weekends and holidays off for my mermaid adventures which is a perfect combo! The money I make from mermaiding often does fund my mermaid life. This kind of work balance allows me to perform my mermaiding in a relaxed and passionate manner, without feeling the pressure of earning enough money – which I am especially grateful for during this pandemic!

What’s your plans for the next 3 years?

I want to take my mermaid to new depths, such as the movie screen, bigger events and possibly more full time. I am currently working on a children’s book that I write and illustrate myself. It is about my mermaid facing different environmental issues in the Baltic sea and making friends along the way. It will help to teach the kids to take care of the ocean properly and it will also instantly help organisations that care for the ocean because they will get a part of the profit. It will be so amazing to sign books as a mermaid and have the kids meet the character from the book! This is one of many ways that I try to help the ocean through my mermaid, others being fundraisers and events.

Do you ever think you will stop Mermaiding?

NOOO! Mermaiding is for everyone, no matter your size, looks, age, colour or gender. I know I will do a mermaid shoot when I have a big pregnant belly, when I have kids who wear their own miniature-tails and swim with me and most certainly when I am an old, wise mermaid lady who can share her wisdom with new guppies!

Any tips for people on how they can become a Mermaid?

  1. Try a mermaid class to see if it something for you
  2. Create your mersona, what kind of personality do you want your mermaid to have… The kind that rescues sailors from drowning or more of a siren? What colours and accessories?
  3. Find a buddy, never swim alone – Safety first!

WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU?

My children’s book, taking my Mermaiding online during the pandemic and introduce my new mermaid cosplay: Madison from Splash!

Want to find out more Mermaid Athiraa? Make sure to follow her on Instagram and Facebook!

5. The Mermaid Seamstress

Photo by Unknown

When did you start Mermaiding and why?

I started mermaiding 11 years ago after being a competitive swimmer for 12 years. I saw mermaid linden in her tail, and decided to make my own tail skin for my freediving fin. I made my own tails until a couple years ago when performance fabric tails became easily available.

HOW DID YOU BECOME A PROFESSIONAL MERMAID?

I started my online presence about 3 years ago to promote body positivity, and to share my love of the art. I began professional mermaid modeling really by accident. A friend of mine send my name and my YouTube channel to Finfolk Productions, and they asked me to be an ambassador for their brand.

Are you making enough money as a Professional Mermaid to fund your Mermaid lifestyle?

I don’t make anything as a mermaid creator. My proceeds from Patreon and YouTube are enough to pay for my production value, and I get paid for my ambassadorship in merchandise. Any profit I make, which is a few dollars here and there goes to ocean and wildlife conservation. I do it for the love of the art, and for the love of the community I have built through it.

What’s your plans for the next 3 years?

I hope that in 3 years I will be able to make more time for modeling, and performing. I really enjoy the creative process and the people I have met in the business.

Do you ever think you will stop Mermaiding?

I hope I can mermaid for the rest of my life. I wouldn’t stop for anything.

Any tips for people on how they can become a Mermaid?

Start small, buy a safe monofin, from a reputable seller who knows What it takes to be mermaid. Have confidence in yourself. Practice practice practice

WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU?

I am going to continue making art and spreading awareness and positivity.

Want to find out more about The Mermaid Seamstress? Make sure to follow her on Instagram!

6. Mermaid Vlogs

Mermaid Vlogs Sydney Mermaids
Photo by @createwellunderwater

When did you start Mermaiding and why?

I started out as a party princess and my first mermaid tail was for the mermaid parties. After I tried it on, I was hooked! I sold my party company and became a full on mermaid. I’ve been mermaiding o-fish-ally since 2012/2013

How did you become a Professional Mermaid?

See previous answer 🙂

Are you making enough money as a Professional Mermaid to fund your Mermaid lifestyle?

At the moment, Covid has cancelled a lot of live event gigs. I hope to get back to those. Until then, I’m surviving off Mertailor commissions and social media sponsorships! 

What’s your plans for the next 3 years?

I hope to spend as much time underwater as possible creating and growing my skills. My husband and I started an underwater photography business and hope to grow that as well.

Any tips for people on how they can become a Mermaid?

Mermaiding is life! It will always be a part of me.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU?

I have several film and photo projects I’m looking forward to and even some things I’m not allowed to talk about just yet! Lots of exciting things to come.

Want to find out more about Mermaid Vlogs? Make sure to follow her on Instagram!

7. MERMAID Syphira

Photo by @simplysavannahart

When did you start Mermaiding and why?

I started mermaiding back in 2012! There wasn’t much of a mermaid community back then, but it was definitely exciting to see the people that were into the same thing that I was! Also, I got into mermaiding because I have had a life-long passion for mermaids! Ever since I was little, I have always wanted to be a mermaid. When I was about 15 years old, I found out about Mertailor! Finding this tail maker meant that I could make my mermaid dreams into a reality! I knew it was something I’ve wanted to be a part of from the very beginning!

How did you become a Professional Mermaid?

This is kind of a tough question to answer! I don’t think I would consider myself a professional mermaid. I am not entirely sure what determines a professional mermaid from a non-professional mermaid. I think a professional mermaid is someone who probably performs, who uses their mermaid lifestyle for the good of the community or environment, and/or makes somewhat of a living being a mermaid. In all honesty, I am neither of those things. (I know my job is to design tails, but I believe that is separate from the actual act of mermaiding and performing.) I would consider myself more of an “experienced” mermaid! I am recreational mermaid, and I do my mermaiding activities just for my own enjoyment!

Are you making enough money as a Professional Mermaid to fund your Mermaid lifestyle?

In general, yes! I have only been a self-employed artist/designer since the beginning of 2020. The pandemic definitely affected the way that I worked, as well as the amount of business I could have gotten as a designer. Also, I think I can speak for most of us mers when I say that we never have enough funds for all the mermaid stuff that we want! 🙂

What’s your plans for the next 3 years?

I still plan on doing the same thing I am doing now! I’m hoping to up my game as a mermaid tail designer, as well as getting more time in with mermaiding. I’d love to work more on my breath hold, and I am hoping to attend more mermaid gatherings and conventions once it is safe to do so!

Do you ever think you will stop Mermaiding?

Since I turned 30 last year, I have definitely been thinking about how mermaiding is going to fit into my life as I get older. I personally never want to stop mermaiding, and there are plenty of mers in their 40s and 50s that are totally killing it out there! But, my short answer is, I will not stop mermaiding until my body gives out!

Any tips for people on how they can become a Mermaid?

I think becoming a merperson is something that starts with the heart. You don’t have to have the best tail or the coolest accessories or know the right people in order to be a mermaid. I don’t have a lot of advice on this bit! I just think people there are many stages of becoming a mermaid, and it’s up to each individual how they would like to pursue it!

WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU?

As I continue to work on custom tail designs through Mertailor, I plan on focusing on my drawing skills some more and opening up mersona commissions like I used to have in the past! As well, I am trying new mermaid related projects that I am super excited to announce and show everyone throughout the year!

Want to find out more about Mermaid Syphira? Make sure to follow her on Instagram!

8. Merliah MERMAID

Photo by Unknown

When did you start Mermaiding and why?

I started mermaiding when I was around 13-15 years old. I was always going on beach vacations and I was just drawn to the sea. One day I found the Mahina fin online and I decided to get it. I brought that fin to swim in the ocean ever since!

How did you become a Professional Mermaid?

After seeing what the mermaid community was like when I first started out, i wasn’t very confident. Everyone seemed to fit a certain standard of beauty. I noticed there was a lack of diversity, not only colour wise but also size wise. So I started out photographing other mermaids, because I felt like I wasn’t cut out for that mermaid life. One fine day, I posted a picture of me in my very first silicone tail that I had gotten for my birthday, and I blew up. Instagram loved me, I was putting out the representation for people of colour and of course my plus sized folks. So I started pursuing this mermaid dream, I traveled the world to perform in tanks as Asia’s first plus sized mermaid, got an ambassadorship with Finfolk Productions too! I was their first plus sized ambassador.

Are you making enough money as a Professional Mermaid to fund your Mermaid lifestyle?

Honestly, no. I wished I was making enough money as a pro mermaid but I just haven’t reached that level of success yet.

I would love to of course be included in more performances and events and eventually start my own plus size mermaid school where they can learn to be a mermaid comfortably without having to worry about their size.

Do you ever think you will stop Mermaiding?

I will never stop mermaiding. For as long as my body allows me, I will put that tail on! I absolutely love the feeling of swimming in a tail. It’s one of my life’s simplest pleasures.

Any tips for people on how they can become a Mermaid?

To anyone who wants to be a mermaid but are having doubts because enough feel like you don’t look like what a mermaid is supposed to look like. Stop and go put that tail on girl! There’s no such thing as you don’t look like a mermaid. And please don’t feel like you are less of a mermaid than any of us just because you don’t have a fancy crown or a silicone tail.

Want to find out more about Merlian Mermaid? Make sure to follow her on Instagram !

9. Mermaid Ginger

Photo by Unknown

When did you start Mermaiding and why?

My story begins when I’m 2 years old and am introduced to my favorite childhood movie, The Little Mermaid. I would watch it on repeat for weeks on end, my family claims, which made babysitting me a piece of kelp cake! I would constantly and to this day still, have dreams of breathing underwater believing I had to have been a mermaid in a past life or something.

When I was 5 years old my mom was painting unicorns in my room; I had a stellar idea and burst in yelling, “Mom! Mom! I have a better idea than unicorns! Why don’t we pour cement in the room to cover the floor and walls, build a shelf in my closet to keep my things dry, build a sand island in the corner to sleep and fill it with water so people want watch me swim through the window from the sidewalk!” As fun as an idea it was, she giggled and said it would be very expensive so I walked out with a dream. I knew one day, that’d be my life, swimming in water as onlookers gawked at my mermaid tail… However that was going to happen.

When I was 20 I had yet to make my own costume for mermaiding because my career in entertainment and media was going in a very different direction but had discovered a gal on YouTube who was a professional mermaid. I thought, perfect place to start looking into where I can get a tail just for fun. My sewing and painting skills weren’t as developed as I’d need for that project so I scoured the internet. I purchased the least expensive “realistic” tail I could find and it arrived on my 21st birthday. I hastily ripped the box open and basically teleported myself into the pool wearing the green latex painted, neoprin tail.

It was a dream.

And from then on, Mermaid Ginger was born and living her best life!

How did you become a Professional Mermaid?

About a year went by having fun with the mermaid look and I was scouted out by an agency that hired mermaids. I was interviewed and asked if I owned a silicone tail. I said no but that’d I’d buy what ever I needed for the job. I was hired on the spot, just had to wait for this silicone tail to be ordered and made to work and practice with the team in the meantime. 3 months later on my 22nd birthday, I got my first silicone tail and went out on my first gig that weekend! It was party after party, event after event for years after!

I discovered so much in such a short time; tail makers, seashell top makers, how to make my own tops, jewelry crafters, other mermaids, mermen, ect… It was wild and so fun!

Are you making enough money as a Professional Mermaid to fund your Mermaid lifestyle?

Now that we’ve been hit with a pandemic, I’m not as financially sound with mermaiding alone.
I do run online stores and create content for partners and sponsors and that’s how I keep up my expensive career and content.
For the majority of the 8 years I’ve been a professional mermaid, I’ve not had another job. I’d say I’d worked a normal job on top of performing for a total of 7 months of my 8 years.
I travel a lot for mermaiding which makes holding a 9 to 5 difficult.

What’s your plans for the next 3 years?

For the next few years I plan to expand my retail opportunities and start teaching courses on how to hone in your mermaid business.
I flow with the times so my plans never seem to be solid until it comes to taking action, but I accomplish a lot that way.
Flexibility is vital in this industry.

Do you ever think you will stop Mermaiding?

I don’t think I’ll ever stop mermaiding in one capacity or another. I’ll never be tailless, that’s for sure. The feeling of being free (while ironically bound in a tail) in the water is something I’ll never be able to give up. My legacy is something I’m building to last generations and hopefully I can pass the torch to the next generation of trailblazers in the industry when I bow out as a mer mentor.

Any tips for people on how they can become a Mermaid?

My biggest advice to any merperson, of any size, shape, orientation, gender or anything else…. BE YOU. Be what YOU dream to be. Your uniqueness is what will propel your success, whether it quick or slow to come, you’ll never regret a day of your life when you put your best face forward and meet the challenges each day brings with confidence and humility.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU?

I don’t know what’s coming next but I’m ready to take it on! Thank you for reading the short version of my story and I hope to inspire you to be your best self!

Want to find out more about Mermaid Ginger? Make sure to follow her on Instagram!

10. Mermaid Madeleine

Photo by Unknown

When did you start Mermaiding and why?

I started in early 2018 after completing full time ballet school and auditioning for disneyland 5 times with no success. I still wanted to be a performer and I saw a mermaid show and watched videos online and thought it would be something very unique that I would love to try out.

How did you become a Professional Mermaid?

Fortunately I was already working at the aquarium I currently perform at and spent the first half of 2018 saving up for a silicone tail.  I went on a professional mermaid course run by my mentor Mermaid Kat and then practised my swimming, breath hold, performing and refining my look and did my first under water performance in January of 2019.

Are you making enough money as a Professional Mermaid to fund your Mermaid lifestyle?

No. I have purchased quite a few tails and recently purchased a very high end merbella tail. I invest so much into my look as it is something I want to be high quality that people appreciate.

What’s your plans for the next 3 years?

Covid has put a stop on my progression as a mermaid in regards to new opportunities and locations to perform. I hope to be close to finishing my degree in marine biology, be a SCUBA diving instructor and possibly a free dive instructor too. I would have also liked to have performed in another aquarium.

Do you ever think you will stop Mermaiding?

I hope not. Its been really interesting to see how much popularity mermaiding has received over the past few years. I wonder if it may be possible that it will lose interest and something else will come along. But I love the ocean and performing so I intend to keep at it for as long as possible.

Any tips for people on how they can become a Mermaid?

My tip is to master swimming in a monofin before purchasing any type of tail. There are many groups around the world who meet up to swim for fun so its always a good idea to reach out to see if theres any in your area to make connections with and go from there.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU?

Hopefully some more performance opportunities in other tanks and aquariums, I’d love to work more on my under water modelling skills and swim with some amazing sea animals especially sharks.

Want to find out more about Mermaid Madeleine? Make sure to follow her on Instagram and Facebook!

11. MERMAn Maui

Photo by @ricky_r_photography

When did you start Mermaiding and why?

I started in February of 2018. I’ve always been in love with the elements of water, and when I found out about this world it felt like a no brainer. But I was mostly looking forward to feeling magical, and getting good exercise while swimming in a tail.

How did you become a Professional Mermaid?

First I saw that Court of Mermaids was looking for new pod members, I went out in a limb and applied even though I’m based in a different state. I was very happy when they accepted me as part of the pod for when I’m available. It wasn’t too long after that that I also started working with Dark Tide Productions based here out of Los Angeles. I couldn’t be happier with these companies!

Are you making enough money as a Professional Mermaid to fund your Mermaid lifestyle?

That’s a tough question, for I don’t mermaid full time. My main work comes from theatre (which is currently shut down), and teaching dance. That aside, I do utilize mermaiding and influencer income to put right back into my craft. 

What’s your plans for the next 3 years?

I hope to continue growing Maui’s brand and continue to spread positive messages weather that’s through working events or social media. Making people smile really gives me joy! So I plan to keep doing just that!

Do you ever think you will stop Mermaiding?

Absolutely not! I live for the water and the peace it brings me. Working events? Maybe sometime in the far distant future, but I’ll always be a Merman. 

Any tips for people on how they can become a Mermaid?

People think you need fins to be a mermaid, but it all starts with being a mermaid at heart! Everything else just ads to that magic!

WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU?

I hope once the pandemic is over, Maui can appear more and more. Only time will tell!

Want to find out more about Merman Maui? Make sure to follow him on Instagram!

12. Lux the MERMAID

Artwork by @lux_the_mermaid

When did you start Mermaiding and why?

I feel like I’ve always been Mermaiding, when I was a little girl anytime I’d go swimming I would just hold my legs together imagining I had a tail. I spent hours with my friends imagining what colour my tail was, my hair was, what accessories I had and play games that we were mermaids. One summer, my dad ended up moving to a house that had a pool. My dad was always a really strong swimmer so he encouraged that, and we used to play this game called Lengths, actually it was more like “Widths” where we see how long we could go underwater and swim without coming up for a breath. And of course he was always so much better than I was, but it pushed me to sorta learn how to hold my breath longer and work on that while swimming. I’ve just always been in the water, pretending I was a mermaid, with my head in the clouds. And why? I don’t know, I guess it makes me happy.

How did you become a Professional Mermaid?

I had always lurked on Finfolk Productions website and dreamed of one day owning their tail, they always seemed way too expensive for me, way out of reach. And then I found myself going there everyday to their website, daydreaming which tail I could get, how I could save that money. And so I actually used to smoke cigarettes, but I quit in 2014. So in 2019 when I celebrated my 5 years, I decided to do something nice for myself which was buy myself a mermaid tail. I justified it as the money I saved by not buying packs of cigs throughout the years. They are incredibly expensive in the USA, around $10 a pack. I was smoking a pack every two days, so that’s a lot of money! So I figured 5 years of not spending money on something terrible, I may as well spend money on something lovely.

So I bought myself a fabric tail, I was at my local mall and I saw they were renovating a new attraction. There were ads for an aquarium called “Seaquest” and wondered if they needed a mermaid. I went home, did research on them and sent them an email. It was a cold email just saying, “Hey do you ever need Mermaid performers?” It was awhile before I heard back from them, and in the meantime I reached out to some girls in my neighbourhood. I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I found Minnesota Mermaids, reached out to them and asked how did you get into Mermaiding? How do you get gigs?  And they were really supportive, giving me lots of feedback on how. Then I heard back from the aquarium for an interview, and turns out one of the girls I had reached out to actually had done the same. So she had gotten a job there first, and then they were interviewing me and she put in a good word. So her and I were hired on as their first mermaids. She had a lot more experience than I did, the only experience I had was swimming. So I was hired at the aquarium and they were new and figuring it out, which was perfect for me because I was also new and figuring it out. So we learned and grew together and serendipitously started my Mermaid career that way.

Are you making enough money as a Professional Mermaid to fund your Mermaid lifestyle?

No. I am not. During the day I am a freelance animator and artist. So my day job is working with clients who reach out and hire me to put together hand drawn illustrations and motion graphics work. I was doing the mermaid stuff on the weekends, but I honestly wasn’t making enough per hour, it was a little bit above American minimum wage so it really wasn’t very much. And I was not doing things like birthdays because I was so inexperienced, and its kinda hard to transition into doing birthday parties and things like that where you can start to make good enough money per hour. So I do animation work during the day, mermaid on the weekends and I also do a lot of mermaid artwork and animation for the Mermaid community and take commissions. So between the Mermaiding and the commissions, through that I am able to sustain buying myself a fabric tail a year. I do have a silicone tail, but it was the cheapest one and I’d say I’m not making enough money to fund it completely.

What’s your plans for the next 3 years?

My plan for the next 3 years is to keep going with what I’ve been doing. I really enjoy making artwork and I have some goals to make an illustrated children’s book about mermaids and the environment; taking care of the environment, practicing sustainability, bringing awareness to people about climate change, trying to become plastic free and losing our dependence on fossil fuels. These are all things that are really important to me and I’d like to write a children’s book that incorporates those ideas using mermaids to bring awareness to young children so that it gets planted in their head when their young. Its something that they can get excited about using a magical creature like a mermaid to spark their imagination and connect with them on “Hey mermaids need clean water. These are things mermaids do to keep the water clean and here are things you can do too to keep the water clean”. So I’d really love to make a children’s book and possibly a short animated film or series of short, 10-30 second films that break down things people can do to help the environment but keeping it mermaid related.

As far as continuing on with my professional Mermaiding career, I struggle with that because I am getting older. I think I’m one of the older mermaids in the community. If you can believe it or not, this year I will be turning 39, so I am almost in my 40s. Although I think that mermaids come in all ages, shapes and sizes its tough to be older in this profession. There are a lot societal standards of beauty that even if people don’t want to necessarily fall into. A lot of people who do Mermaiding are brave people who want to do their own thing, I’d like to think of myself as a very brave person who loves to do her own thing and doesn’t care what other people think. But I do, its really hard to sorta buck those traditions, and my age is something I do think about a lot, so I don’t know that I will continue doing it.

I think as long as being at the aquarium brings joy to children, some magic and enjoyment, then its something I will keep trying to do but I don’t know.

Do you ever think you will stop Mermaiding?

This kinda goes with the whole age thing. If I do stop it professionally, I’ll never stop it personally. I love swimming in my tail, I love pretending I’m a mermaid. I just get SO much joy and happiness from it so I don’t know why I would ever stop doing something that I love for myself.

Any tips for people on how they can become a Mermaid?

I would say to become a strong swimmer. It is a hobby that comes with some dangers, so being knowledgeable on how to swim and best practices such as knowing your body and when you’re tired, when enough is enough, when you get a cramp what to do if you are stuck in a tail, making sure that you are never alone, and able to help yourself. So starting out, basic swimming techniques and becoming a strong swimmer and working on your breath is very important.

I do think that there is a certain amount of bravery with becoming a mermaid. It can feel like people are looking at you and judging you, and that can be really scary. So I think with a lot more people doing it, it gives more permission for others to do it as well. But that initial fear can be tough to get over.

If you want to get into (Mermaiding) professionally, I would say talk to other mermaids, research the community and see what you can do with it. I sorta fall into more of the art side of it, but there are mermaids you do just aquarium work and there may be some certifications you need to get. I myself am Freedive certified but I’d like to get my Open Water. Some places require that. So just being educated on certain sports that crossover with Mermaiding like diving and swimming. And then there are some people who make it their own business and do birthday parties or maybe they have a tank that’s mobile and they take it from place to place. In that case, research on how to run your own business and things that go along with it.

It’s a lot of hard work, being a mermaid, it can be seen as something beautiful and glamorous but there’s a lot of blood, sweat and tears that go into it as well!

WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU?

Over the next year, as we try to start finding a way out of this pandemic, I’d really like to pick up some more hours at the aquarium and start doing that a little bit more. I am planning on trying to organise some beach clean-ups that are centered around a mermaid this summer, so that I can go to some of my local beaches and offer people to come out and clean up the beach for a half hour or an hour and maybe there’s a swim with a mermaid. I think that would be a really cool to get younger kids involved with thinking about the environment and how they can make things better. Other than that, maybe getting my Open Water diving certification, making some more art, making some more children’s books, chjldren’s videos, make a short film.

I’m just going to keep trying to make things, be myself, have fun with it and see where it takes me!

Want to find out more about luxe the Mermaid? Make sure to follow her on Instagram!

13. MERMAID Iris

Mermaid Iris
Photo by @waterbearphotography

When did you start Mermaiding and why?

When I was young, I lived in Hawaii and got to experience the amazing beauty of the ocean and its creatures. At a very young age, I learned how to swim and I used to mimic the dolphins and pretend I was a mermaid. From that point, I fell in love with the underwater world. When I got older (just about 3yrs ago), I discovered that getting a swimmable tail was possible and ordered my first tail. It was only a Finfun, but my childhood dreams came to life! As I became more aware of the presence of real mermaids and how it could become more and help others experience the magic I felt, I decided to pursue it a bit more. I am a performer and I love spreading joy, magic, and wonder back into the world. It’s also an amazing way to bring awareness to the importance and conversation of our waters and creatures in them.

Are you making enough money as a Professional Mermaid to fund your Mermaid lifestyle?

It is a growing business and with any, it takes time and investment to build that business. I do work full time on to support my mermaid needs, but COVID certainly set me back with many gigs and performances I had lost. It was very tough, but I do not intend to give up. It’s looking good for this summer and I’m keeping my hopes high!

What’s your plans for the next 3 years?

In the next 3 years I do plan to get my scuba certification (I already have my free dive cert), establish more of a presence among the community, grow as a performer, and continue to spread magic.

Do you ever think you will stop Mermaiding?

Honestly, I don’t see stopping this path anywhere in my future.

Any tips for people on how they can become a Mermaid?

If you interested in becoming a mermaid, that’s great! Anyone can, but keep in mind these things: as it looks very fun (and it is), it is also very dangerous. Always be sure to have the proper training and never swim alone. You always want to start out with a beginners tail, like Finfun, Capecali, or Mertailor and then build up to ones like Finfolk, and Mernation, and Merbella. Whether you do it as a hobby, or a career, make sure you’re having fun! (:

WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU?

What’s next is just trying to continue to grow and get back to normal life, as we all recover from this pandemic. I intend to be light and spread magic to the world even during these times.

Want to find out more about Mermaid iris? Make sure to follow her on Instagram!

Are you a Mermaid and would like to be featured on Sydney Mermaids? Send me a dm at sydneymermaidsteam@gmail.com or head on over to our Instagram!

Xo

Mermaid Lauren

Mermaids pictured: Mermaid Kat (Photos by Chris Schenker and Ian Gray) Mermaid Zelda (Photo Alpine West Creative) and Vero Beach Mermaid (Photo by Brandy Anthony Media)

Originally from Oregon, Mermaid Lauren is a digital designer + illustrator now living in Sydney, Australia. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, she spent her childhood swimming in waterfalls, learning about the world of Faeries and dreaming about being a Mermaid. When she isn't doing beach clean-ups with her local environmental groups or swimming in the ocean with friends, you can find her drawing comics about her adventures as a mermaid here. She also loves baby bunnies, Sailor Moon and bubble tea.

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Real-life Mermaids in Sydney, Australia. 

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