As a seasoned full-time professional mermaid of 7 years, I’ve learned that mermaiding, although it may seem like it, cannot be put in just one box. It can really go in so many different directions. But what defines “professional mermaid”? Well, simply put, a professional mermaid is a person who earns an income through mermaiding. Sounds enticing, doesn’t it? A dream come true for many!
Photo by Orlando World Center
I’ve witnessed such a growth in this unique line of business. When I first started performing and getting my fins wet as a mermaid performer, I noticed that humans often were surprised, shocked when they learned I was a professional mermaid, sometimes in a positive way and sometimes in a negative way. I took it upon myself to educate them, show them what I do, reaching out to media outlets and attempting a mainstream breakthrough for mermaiding to have a space in this world. I figured, if more and more people saw this, the more it would be normalized and not seen as a weird thing, but rather admired and respected as the beautiful magical line of work it truly is. I also thought “this world needs more magic” so it was a win-win for me no matter how much backlash it received in my early years. I just kept on swimming!
Fast forward to now, those waves from my own effort and a few others have become a tidal wave of ways to become a professional mermaid. More and more pathways toward the mermaid-related profession keep on surfacing from the depths of such a unique and vast ocean.
Mermaids are loved and admired by almost everyone. It’s no surprise a person may want to get into the world of mermaiding and earn a rightful place in it. After all, mermaiding is an incredibly beautiful art and sport that continues to evolve. For now, here are a few ways you can become a professional mermaid in today’s world:
Photo by Orlando World Center
One of the main ways to become a professional mermaid is by being a great mermaid performer. There are the kids' parties, mermaid parties and princess parties that bring clients who want to make their child’s dream come true. A mermaid nowadays may be performing on land or in the water. Because this requires tons of human interaction, I recommend a few acting classes and learning how to become a great performer in general. Entertaining crowds, mostly children, with their grown-ups watching, requires tons of improvisation, imagination, storytelling, and even comedy.
Another way a mermaid entertainer can make some more wholesome sand dollars is through “edutainment” (educational entertainment). By adding the educational touch, a performer increases their own value where a child or grown up can learn something they didn’t know before. In mermaiding, a few, like me, educate crowds on nature and ocean education and conservation. In my experience, adding this educational aspect to my interactive performances has doubled the value of my simpler performances and it is also a rewarding experience to educate others on our planet, our oceans and how to protect our wildlife. Coming from a mermaid, it just makes sense, as mermaids are the voices of the creatures of the underwater world who can’t speak for themselves.
Photo by NATIV Productions
Swimming performances are also a luxury item for clients that are looking to provide their guests with an unforgettable experience. Mermaids are a wow factor at any event, mostly when they can swim, but not only swim, swim and entertain. Embodying these mythical creatures in the water sure makes an impact on an audience, mostly in person. Whether seeing the mermaid performance poolside or through the glass, at an aquarium or tank, watching a mermaid swim is something a person will never forget. I recommend tons of mermaid practice and training and getting all the diving and safety certifications to elevate skill during the performance, enhance breath hold and build trust with an already weary clientele. Being a skilled mermaid, a safe swimmer and a great performer, is the mer-fect combination for success in this field.
Photo by NATIV Productions
Mermaids can also be seen performing at night parties, corporate events and even high-end celebrity events. One of my biggest clients, Formula One, is a good example of how mermaiding can really fit anywhere, add water or not, no matter how crazy that may be! Mermaids are truly for everyone. Remember, mermaid entertainment is a specialty act. Make it your own! Be unique and when it comes to how much pay you can get, know your worth!
As of the past few years, you can find several mermaid training programs such as The PADI Mermaid program that can take a swimmer from zero to mermaid hero in just a few days, learning both pool and underwater skills in a structure that just works! I love teaching the PADI Mermaid courses and one of my favorite aspects of it is making new instructors.
Photo by PADI
As PADI Mermaid Instructor Trainer, I can make new instructors that can open up their own mermaid school or work with a dive center and teach these fun-filled, safety-oriented and learner-centered mermaid courses.
This has become a popular way to earn an income as a PADI Pro and professional mermaid, because the instructor not only teaches their students, but they are required to be a mermaid themselves at a role model level. This can be a very rewarding experience that improves skill, builds community, encourages women to join the world of diving and empowers students. This also brings awareness to ocean conservation and how to protect the ocean as a PADI Mermaid through beach clean ups and other ocean conservation initiatives.
Photo by NATIV Productions
Being a mermaid instructor and teaching these courses can be a very profitable way to maintain an income as a pro-mermaid and also improve your own skill.
Mermaid Content Creator
In a very developed social media world, mermaid content has become a binge-watching habit for many people. Everyone loves mermaids and seeing them in action is a dream come true for viewers. Because of this, mermaid content creators can earn an income not only from views on several social media platforms that reward creators like TikTok or Youtube, but also from brand partnerships and collaborations. Some can make an income being a mermaid in the comfort of their home and growing their audiences, and thus getting more paid views, while others can earn a decent passive income from showing off their underwater skills and posting breathtaking underwater mermaid content. Working with brands on creating unique content can also be a fun way to make extra mer-moolah.
Photo by DBatista
With my growing social media platforms, I’ve realized the power to influence others, so I also apply the edutainment factor to my content so I can inspire others to follow their dreams, believe in magic, and protect our oceans. You can check out my educational family-friendly #SavingtheSeas series on my YouTube Channel.
Are you crafty? I am certainly not! But if you are, there is a lot of opportunity for mermaid crafters to sell their creations to this fast-growing mermaid industry. From mermaid tails, tops, crowns, mermaid accessories, in fact, any mermaid-related product can be a huge hit for mermaid lovers and mermaid professionals as well. There is a need for more mermaid makers in all these areas that can make swimmable, waterproof costume pieces for professionals. As more mermaids are washing up ashore, there is more demand for high quality, artistic costuming. The mermaid marketplace is a ton of fun to be a part of. Very much like online shopping, swimming by mermaid grottos and finding mermaid treasures is fun for the maker and for the shopper and can offer a great way to be a mermaid and earn an income. So, if you’re crafty, you might even make a customer out of me and many others.
Other ways to earn sand dollars can be offering mermaid photography, mermaid costume rentals, “mermaid-core” fashion content creation, or even writing mermaid-related blogs, books and articles. There are just so many mer-mazing ways to be a part of my world!
Photo by Jeri Lynn Portraits
However, let’s get a bit more sea-rious; it doesn’t come easy! Just like with any profession, mermaiding in every way also requires all the backend functions to work and be a successful business. Quality matters. Offering a valuable service or product can lead clients and customers to call you on your shellphone. Quality is also important because of word of mouth. When I started as a mermaid, most of my work came from referrals and clients recommending me. Provide a great service and product and you are sure to be busy faster than you think!
Because any professional person means to make some sand dollars, it is imperative to look at mermaiding just like any other business. It requires a legal business entity, it requires managing finances, taxes, also shameless marketing, advertising and self-promotion for it to even catch the human eye and build a clientele and reputation. I recommend taking some simple business management courses, doing your research on how to open a business and getting legal advice. My mer-sister The Mermaid Lawyer is a wonderful resource for any legal counseling, contracts, trademarks and all the important protective measures any mer-tertainer, mer-trepreneur or mer-creator needs to have a successful mermaid business. I know it can sound so tedious, but this builds a strong foundation and sets mermaids up for success. After all, being a professional mermaid is not just about the “mermaid” part, it’s also about the “professional” part. This allows mermaiding to continue to be respected as a profitable career.
Lastly, aspiring mermaids, patience is a virtue. Growing your fins takes time. Every business takes time but because mermaiding is still in the baby stage as an industry compared to the rest of the world, it may take a bit more sweat to get yourself going. Nothing is impossible. Hard work always pays off. My advice is to be patient, be kind to yourself, don’t compare yourselves to others, you are making your own waves and carving your own path. This takes grit and consistent work, not luck! Believe in yourself. I believe in you!
If you need some extra kelp (help) you can set up professional mermaid consultations with me on how to become a professional mermaid here. I’m just a shellphone call away.
Best fishes to you all!