Professional Mermaid Training
If you’re an aspiring or beginner professional mermaid, then you’ve come to the right place. Here at Aquamermaid we do many things. We give mermaid lessons, sell mermaid tails, but we also employ mermaids for gigs. Working for Aquamermaid is a good way to get your fin in the door of the professional mermaid world. We are passionate about bringing magic to the world through mermaid entertainment and want to help you fulfill that dream of doing so as well.
If you are looking for more tips on how to be a professional mermaid, this article will help. Here I will discuss some guidelines for being a professional mermaid, from performing at children’s parties to bringing some mermaid ambiance to classy events.
Being a professional mermaid is a fun and imaginative job. You get to bring out a sense of childlike wonder in almost anyone. But there’s a lot that goes into being one. It’s not all fun and games (although there definitely can be lots of fun and games!). Here are some tips on how to perform as a professional mermaid, from how to act, how to pose, how to talk to people, and how to interact with kids and even adults. You will learn all the dos and don’ts of being a professional mermaid.
What do professional mermaids do?
How much is a professional mermaid tail?
Professional fabric mermaid tails
Professional mermaid requirements
Dos and don’ts of mermaid gigs
What do professional mermaids do?
Professional mermaids provide magical entertainment for all kinds of events! We make a splash at kid’s parties, festivals, pool parties and more. People love to hire professional mermaids because they are fun, magical, exciting, and beautiful; adding some whimsical ambiance, especially for an ocean themed event.
Mermaids do different things depending on the type of event. There are two kinds of events. Wet gigs and dry gigs. Mermaids will work in tanks or at pool parties, in which they entertain as a mermaid while swimming around, or they will entertain at a dry gig, in which they are stationary.
No matter the gig, there are certain duties professional mermaids take on. Such as posing for photos, interacting with guests, answering questions, and bringing a magical mermaid vibe.
However, for pool parties’ mermaids demonstrate specific swim skills and show off tricks. For a kid’s pool party, a professional mermaid will lead pool games. If the pool party is not a kid’s party, there are different expectations. Mermaids at these kinds of events are there to create some ambiance and interact with guests. You will still answer questions and pose for photos.
Here are some more guidelines for entertaining as a professional mermaid.
Singing songs isn’t mandatory for being a mermaid, but kids really enjoy it. It is often expected, and kids will typically ask you to sing songs. It’s okay if you aren’t the best singer. Here are some good songs to sing:
- If you’re happy and you know it
- Happy birthday
- Part of your world
- A dream is a wish your heart makes
- Baby shark
- Twinkle twinkle little star
- Let it go
- Under the sea
I recommend having those songs on your phone and having them play on the client sound system. Before the party you should call the client to confirm the sound system set up.
You can make up fun little stories to tell kids, or you could read them children’s books. Or both!
You can use stories from classic fairytales that we are told as kids, such as:
- Goldilocks and The Three Bears
- Jack and the Beanstalk
- Little Red Riding Hood
- The Three Little Pigs
If you want to read a book to the kids, try to keep it relevant to mermaids and the ocean. Here are some good suggestions:
- Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
- Beachy and Me by Bob Staake
- Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle
- The Little Mermaid by Little Golden Book company
- How To Catch A Mermaid by Andy Elkerton
- The Brave Mermaid by Mermaid Kariel
- The Pout-pout Fish by Deborah Diesen
- Commotion In The Ocean by Giles Andreae
- Finding Nemo by Little Golden Book company
Pose for photos
When you are a professional mermaid, you must pose for lots of photos. Seeing a mermaid is a fun and magical experience that people will want to get pictures of, especially if it’s for a kid’s party. So be prepared for posing! Remember to smile for the pictures and sit up nice and straight. Try to show your tail as much as you can.
Here are some poses to use for a mermaid gig:
- On your stomach leaning on the pool with your tail outstretched behind you.
- Sitting on the edge of the pool extending your tail on top of the water.
- On your side.
- On your stomach outside of the pool with your tail up in the air.
It is your responsibility to invite the guests and guide them where to sit or what is the best angle to capture the photo. Always try to have the pool in the background.
Here is an video all about mermaid poses.
Answer kids’ questions
Make sure to stay in mermaid character for any questions you receive, by kids or by adults. Pretend to be a real mermaid. Be ready with creative answers for kids’ questions. Prepare and rehearse answers to the following questions, which are commonly asked by kids:
- Are you a real mermaid? Answer example: “Of course I am, silly goose! Are you a real human?
- Do you have legs? Answer examples: “I just have this tail! But I wish I had legs so I could dance around!” “Sometimes I become human and then I have legs and can explore the world! I have to say a magic spell in order to become human.” Prepare a spell or have a necklace/crystal to show them that allows you to magically transform into a mermaid. Example spell: “Under the moon and by the sea Give me legs, so mote it be”
- What do you eat? Answer examples “Sea food! Crabs, oysters, seaweed, fish…” “Seaweed and kelp. I’m an herbivore. Some mermaids eat fish, but I say, ‘fish are friends not food!’” “I can eat anything that humans eat! Humans have the best food. Have you tried pizza!?” Tell them your favorite human food. Ask them what their favorite food is.
- Can I touch your fin? A good response is to allow them to touch your tail, and then giggle, pretending it tickles when they do so
- Where do mermaids live? Answer example: “Mermaids live all over the world. There are river mermaids, lake mermaids, and mermaids who live in the ocean. Some mermaids live in underwater caves.”
- Can you talk to fish? Answer example: “Yes I can! I love talking to my fishy friends.”
- Do you have a mermaid family? Describe your own family here, but in the context that they are mermaids. Kids might also ask what they look like so it’s a good idea to prepare a mersona for each family member. You could also make up a family.
- Do mermaids sleep? Answer example: “Mermaids need sleep just like humans! If I don’t get enough sleep, I get a little crabby!”
- Do mermaids have powers? Here are some powers that mermaids are known to have:
- Shapeshifting between mermaid and human
- Controlling the weather
- Controlling water
- Using their song to enchant people into a trance
- Speaking to animals
Check out this article for more on mermaid powers.
- Can mermaids breathe underwater? Answer example: “I can’t breathe underwater, but I can hold my breath for a really long time, like a whale or dolphin! If you have prosthetic gills, you can say you breathe underwater because of them. Let the kids feel the gills.
- How did you get here? Answer example: “I had to be transported from the ocean in a big water tank on a truck.”
- How come you don’t have gills? Answer example: “There are many different kinds of mermaids. Some have gills, but some don’t, like me! I don’t need gills because I can hold my breath for a while.”
Share fun facts about the ocean
Since you are acting as a mermaid it just makes sense to know some cool facts about the ocean, which is the place mermaids typically live. Here are some interesting fun facts about the ocean to share with kids:
- Our oceans cover more than 70 per cent of the Earth’s surface, but less than 5% has been explored.
- Male seahorses are the ones to carry babies.
- The ocean has about 20 million tons of gold in its depths.
- An octopus has three hearts.
- On average, sea turtles can hold their breath for 4 – 7 hours.
- The Bowhead whale can live up to 200 years or more.
- Dolphins are very intelligent creatures. They demonstrate self-awareness, problem-solving, empathy, innovation, teaching skills, grief, joy and playfulness
How to interact with kids
Professional mermaids for kid’s parties are known for being very bubbly, silly, and curious. It is important to speak in a very enthusiastic sounding tone and smile at everyone. Be interactive with all kids, but make sure the birthday child gets the most attention. Kids will ask you lots of questions, but you can also ask the kids questions.
Here are some good questions to ask kids:
- What is your favorite color?
- What is your favorite animal/sea creature?
- Who is your favorite Disney princess?
- Have you ever met a real mermaid?
- What is your dream?
Here is a good video with tips on interacting with kids at mermaid gigs.
Bring mermaid props
All of the above information can be applied to doing dry mermaid gigs. But for dry gigs, there is no pool or body of water to swim around in. There are different things to do for a gig that does involve swimming.
You can do a gig at the beach, lake, pool, or tank. Here are tips for a kids pool party gig.
Swim around in tail and perform tricks in a pool
There are many tricks mermaids can do in the pool. Some good tricks are tail splashes, hair flip, spins, handstands, underwater flips, and spins, and being able to swim across the pool underwater in one breath hold.
Kids love to see when mermaids dive down and kick their tail up in the air making a big splash. If the kids have goggles, encourage them to go underwater to see underwater tricks and dances. You can also show them how you can open your eyes underwater.
Lead games and activities
For kids 1-4 years old
- Sing-alongs such as “Happy Birthday” or interactive songs like “If You’re Happy and You Know It” or “Baby shark.”
- Stories of mermaid adventures in the sea
- Bubble play
- Mermaid swimming demonstration, tail splash, hair flip, spins, handstand...
- Follow the chief/Simon says (copy the movement the instructor is doing)
- Ride a Mermaid (the kid sit on the mermaid back while she swims)
- Shell diving
For kids 5-12 years old :
- Teach the dolphin kick move (see if kids can swim with their feet together)
- Have kids swim through a hula-hoop (horizontal, vertical, slanted)
- Swim with a partner (holding hands or holding the tail)
- Treasure hunt (have them retrieve sinking toy at the bottom of the pool)
- Friendly competitions (races, dance contest, variety of movements)
- Practicing front and back flips underwater
- Practicing handstands
- Mermaid swim choreography with music
- Teach how to do underwater bubble rings and bubble heart kisses
- Teach the mermaid tail splash, make a splash with you fin when you dive
- Do mermaid high five (clap your fin with kids’ feet)
- Follow the chief/Simon says (copy the movement the instructor is doing)
- The Shark (someone pretends to be a shark while the mermaid/kids must cross the pool without the shark touching them)
- Mermaid seahorse (let the kids ride on your back while you swim)
- Tell a secret underwater to the kids and see if they can guess what you said
- Hair flip
- Pull the kids while they hold onto a noodle or sit on a floating mattress. Spin them around, move them back and forth, or pull them around as fast as you can (not fast enough that they would fall off)
- Mermaid limbo, where kids swim under your tail while you float at the surface
- Ask the kids if there is a specific game they would like to play
What to expect for doing a mermaid gig
Before the party:
- Make sure that you have the customer’s information: the client’s name, phone number, and exact address of the event. Find out who the organizer is and where you should meet them. *Confirm the venue details like the size of the pool or set up for a dry gig. A few days before the event you can call the client to introduce yourself as their mermaid performer and ask about any special request or thing clients need to plan for music or toys for example.
- Set expectations by describing what you will be doing. For all Aquamermaid parties, we inform the customer that the mermaid will be swimming, posing for photos, and leading games in the pool with the kids. We make sure to clarify that the parents must supervise the activities; the mermaid is not a lifeguard. Young children must wear arm floaties.
- Confirm the age range and number of kids participating. *For 10 kids and under the mermaid alone is booked for the event. For bigger groups we recommend having an assistant or an extra mermaid.
- Prepare your equipment. Make sure you have your ensemble together. This includes your mermaid tail, mermaid top, jewelry, and wig if you wear one. Fun pool toys, floaters, or hula hoops can be bought at the dollar store for the kids to enjoy. *We do not require performers to buy new equipment for parties. You can use things you already have. For example, pennies are a great option to throw in the pool for a treasure hunt.
- You can download a mermaid music playlist on your phone that you can connect to the customer’s sound system if they have one or bring a small portable speaker if you have one. Here is a playlist of songs you may use.
Day of the party:
- Make yourself pretty, only using waterproof makeup. Use accessories that won’t break or fall in the water. *You need to look like the photos you have provided for customer approval.
- Arrive 30 minutes in advance to give yourself time to find the place and parking (if the location is downtown, ask ahead for parking instructions and if any parking voucher could be supplied).
- If you are running late, call the customer to let them know your status. *I also like to text the customer when I leave my house to let them know that I am on my way.
- Check the pool location and take out any toys or floaters you’ll need.
- Ask where you should change and confirm how you will get to the pool (someone may carry you or you can get in your tail on the pool deck before kids arrive). IMPORTANT *For most of the parties you will be going alone. To offer a flawless and magical experience, before showing yourself in person, call the customer and ask them to keep the kids inside the house while you get dressed up on the pool deck. That way you will be a big surprise when the kids walk outside, and you won’t break the illusion of a real-life mermaid walking to the pool with your tail.
- Start by sitting on the pool deck and greet everyone with a loud, enthusiastic voice, saying something like, “Welcome everyone to Maya’s mermaid birthday party!’’ Make an introduction, such as, “My name is Marielle the mermaid and we’re going to have so much fun together for the next hour!’’ Then ask something like “Now where’s the birthday girl?” and invite her over. I would then give her a seashell necklace and then give everyone else one too.
- While sitting on the pool deck, invite guests to take individual and group photos with you while you have nice dry hair. Make sure the birthday child has the best spot and receives special attention. You can also take individual photos with the birthday child.
- Photo tips: Get the pool in the background and lay on your side. Guide the parents on where to take the photos from.
- You can do a few splashes with your tail from the deck.
- Kids may want to touch your tail and you should allow it. They are often very curious.
- After some introductions warming up to everyone, it’s time to get in the water. I like to say, “Who wants to see how fast I can swim?” Then I do a lap across the pool with one breath hold and I dive down and flip my tail, making a splash.
- Engage with the kids, play games, tell stories, sing songs, answer questions, and pose for photos for the rest of the party. If you have a special talent like juggling or hooping it’s a good idea to show the kids that.
Event for adults
Professional mermaids have been hired for weddings, corporate events, cocktail parties, fundraisers, and more! Mermaids aren’t just for kids. We bring a splash of fun and magic to any kind of event!
These kinds of events follow much of the same pattern as a kids mermaid gig. The only difference is for a pool party you wouldn’t lead games, but you can certainly participate if anyone suggests one, or brings out a beach ball.
Mermaids usually attend these events to be part of the ambiance. To create an ocean vibe, bring some whimsy. Mermaids are a great addition to a fundraiser that helps the environment.
Even though adults will know you are not a real mermaid, it is still fun for them if you keep up the act. So, tails should be put outside of the view of the guests. To get to the location of the event, a pool or perhaps a giant inflatable clam, have someone carry you in, or be pulled in on a rolling cart.
The mermaid will be expected to chat with guests, answer questions, do some arm dances, and pose for photos.
This is a good place to showcase special skills, such as juggling, contact juggling, hooping, ribbon dancing, belly dancing, or singing.
Some mermaids like to be a little flirty with the guests, and that is okay, but not expected. It is up to the individual mermaid.
Be aware that you might have to deal with merverts. Those are the guys who say inappropriate comments towards mermaids. If you encounter this there are several ways to handle it. You can tell them not to talk to you that way, ignore them, or have someone escort them away from you. And remember that it is not okay for anyone to be touchy with you.
How much is a professional mermaid tail?
You are not required to have a silicone mermaid tail to be a professional mermaid, but they are more realistic than fabric tails. Unfortunately, they are pretty costly because of the time, materials, and labor that goes into making one tail.
They may not be cheap, but a silicone tail is definitely a good investment for a professional mermaid. Here are some silicone tail prices.
Full silicone tail: $1,300 to $5000. Some of the top makers are Mertailor, Finfolk Productions, Merbella, MerrowFins, Aquamermaid, MerNation, Mermaid Amatheia, Sirenalia, and Mermaid Kat Shop. Check out our article about tails.
Partial silicone tail by MerrowFins: $1000+
Hybrid silicone tail: A tail with a fabric body and silicone fluke, such as the Aquaglitter tail, which costs $820. A Finfolk Mythic tail costs $1,500+. Haley Mermaid of the Etsy store MadeByAMer sells hybrid tails for $550.
Professional fabric mermaid tails
While a silicone tail is the best option for a professional mermaid, there are certain fabric tails that will suffice for mermaid gigs.
Here are the best fabric tails for a professional mermaid:
- Finfolk Productions- The greatest thing about Finfolk Productions fabric mermaid tails is that there are so many gorgeous options! They have the perfect tail for any mersona, with detailed and realistic designs and bright colors in amazing patterns. They have options for dorsal fins, side fins, and ankle fins. The only negative about Finfolk is that they are often sold out. They are also on the pricey side, starting at $365 and going up to $740.
- Finfun Elite- Finfun recently came out with a line of fabric mermaid tails designed for professional mermaids. They require a more advanced monofin and a vinyl piece that keeps the shape of the fluke. There are two different fluke shapes and several different pattern options. They all have detailed 3D looking scales printed on in gorgeous colors that blend nicely together. The fabric is very smooth and thick. Unlike a regular Finfun tail, the Elite is not open at the bottom. They cost $350.
- Magictail Pro- Their pro and premium tails are made to fit the Mahina Mermaid monofin. They have a wide range of designs, all including a dorsal fin and ankle fins. They have realistic designs that are modeled after certain fish like their lionfish tail, goldfish tail, and koi tail. They all have a 3D looking pattern with scales and bright colors and shading. Their flukes have extra fabric on them that looks amazing in pictures and underwater. Do be aware that the bottom of a Magictail Pro tail is open. Only a small amount of space is open, but there is still a chance a kid could see inside the tail, breaking the illusion. I sewed the opening shut on my tail for gigs. However, if you do that then you can’t remove the monofin to use for other tails. These tails for $339.
- Nereid Studios- Choose from 8 intricate mermaid tail designs for these neoprene tails. These tails feature a large fluke, and they all have different variations of fins. They are made of a durable neoprene material with bright colors in unique patterns printed on. Nereid Studios tails go for $298. A wide variety of monofins fit into one of these tails. Only drawback is the visible snaps at the bottom. Some kids might notice and think it’s a fake tail, which ruins the illusion of being a real mermaid.
- Shello Mermaid- Their designs are unique and their colors vibrant, close to neon for certain tails. Some of their tails have an ethereal look to them, with fairytale creatures as their main inspirations. Their tail collections include names like “Merdragon,” “Space alien,” and “Triton’s daughters.” They have a wide range of tail designs, from dragon tails to fairy themed tails to realistic tails mimicking sharks and manta rays. Their tails fit with monofins like Mahina, Finis Shooter, and Mermaid Linden. Many of their tails include flowy fins. Prices range from $260 to $476.
- Mertailor Whimsy- Mertailor Whimsy “three” tails are some of the most realistic looking fabric tails, with bright, colorful designs modeled after real types of fish. Their designs are intricate and detailed with spots, stripes, speckles, and shading. They sell tails with marbled designs, butterfly wing patterns, snakeskin patterns, and so much more. The scales have a realistic look to them, with a unique shape and texture. The color combinations used are pleasing to the eye. Most of their tails have multiple long and flowy fins on them. The Whimsy “three” costs from $295 to $400. You need a Mertailor silicone monofin for one of these tails.
Professional mermaid requirements
There is no degree to get to be a professional mermaid, but you will need experience. You can get experience as a mermaid by practicing swimming in a mermaid tail and working with kids.
Experience with kids is important for being a professional mermaid. Most mermaid jobs involve entertaining children. When looking for a mermaid job, provide examples of your experience with kids, even if it’s just that you’ve spent a lot of time with the little ones in the family or have babysitting experience. Another great way to get mermaid experience with kids is by mermaiding in public and interacting with kids who come up to you. Working as a kid’s swim instructor is another great way to get experience that helps with being a professional mermaid. Having a SCUBA or freedive certification is another good idea. There is also now a mermaid certification by PADI.
There are different requirements for being a professional mermaid depending on the company you work for. If you have your own business as a mermaid performer, then you make the requirements. But for aquariums and mermaid agencies there may be some requirements. Typically, you just need experience swimming in a mermaid tail and monofin, and must pass an audition, but there are sometimes other requirements based on the company.
Certain companies will have requirements, such as:
- Have your own tail
- Be lifeguard certified
- Be under a certain size
- Be scuba or freediving certified
- Good swimmer with a mermaid tail
- Good with kids
- At least 16 years of age
- Have your own mermaid tail
Example of a basic fabric mermaid tail that can work.
Dos and don’ts of mermaid gigs
- Show up early (at least 15 minutes early)
- Take charge (Tell client what you need to do, announce yourself, encourage participation of guests, go out of your way to interact with guests)
- Be prepared (with stories, songs, jokes, fun facts, and activities)
- Communicate with client (talk to them beforehand about where to park, and how you will get to the party location without being seen as a human, and let them know there need to be chaperones because you are not a babysitter or lifeguard)
- Arrive with your makeup and hair ready to perform. You should look like the photos you submitted. This is what the client is expecting.
- Tell client if you need to take a break (for longer gigs)
- Smile often
- Flip your fins often
- Be cheerful
- If there is music playing it is a good idea to do some dance movements or just sway to the music
- Have fun!
- Pay extra attention to birthday child
- Bring water and a towel (I like to bring a bathrobe for when I exit the party)
- Eat a healthy meal before the gig so you don’t get hungry during
- Go to the bathroom right before getting your tail on
- Wear sunscreen if it is an outdoor event, but put it on beforehand
- Ask for tip (it is common to receive a tip and Aquamermaid encourages clients to tip mermaids but do not ask for a tip if they don’t offer one)
- Break the illusion (even for an adult even it is a good idea to keep up the mermaid act. People may ask you questions about your personal life, but you should keep pretending to be a real mermaid)
- Do not cancel an event at the last minute. If you have an emergency and cannot make it, at least find a mermaid friend to replace you.
- Talk about serious topics (avoid heavy topics like politics, religion, or anything controversial)
- Be rude (this goes without saying that you should maintain a professional demeanor in all situations. If a guest makes an inappropriate comment towards you, it is okay to tell them that they cannot speak to you that way but try to do so politely or just ignore that person)
- Show up in an altered state of consciousness (don’t be drunk or high. It’s okay to have drinks at an adult function, but careful not to overdo it)
- Smoke cigarettes during a performance or in front of clients after events.
Performing as a professional mermaid in a tank or aquarium
Perhaps the hardest mermaid job to get, but the most appealing, in my opinion, is performing in a tank or aquarium.
There are more requirements for working in a tank or aquarium. For example, most of those jobs will require you to have a scuba or freedive certification. You will also need to be able to hold your breath longer and be able to withstand cold water for long periods of time.
Working in an underwater setting is fun because you get to rely on dance and beautiful movements. You can be really creative with the moves you do in a tank or aquarium. You also want to make sure to interact with guests on the other side of the glass.
How to interact with guests as a professional mermaid in a tank or aquarium:
- Wave at them
- Make eye contact and smile at them
- Initiate a game of patty cake against the glass
- Use sign language towards them
- Initiate a game of rock, paper, scissors
- Blow bubble kisses towards them
- Make bubble hearts
- Make hand hearts
- Press your hands on the glass (kids love putting their hands against yours)
- Pose for photos
Here’s a great video on how to interact with guests in a tank or aquarium.
Tricks to do:
- Back flips
- Front flips
- Figure 8
- Bubble rings
This video goes over 10 advanced mermaid tricks and gives instructions on how to perform them.
If being a mermaid in a tank or aquarium sounds like a great job, here are some places to apply to!
- Circus Siren Pod
- Ripley’s Aquarium in many cities
- Silverton Casino
- Weeki Wachee
- Sacramento Dive Bar
- Wreck bar, Fort Lauderdale Florida
To get work in a tank or aquarium, here are some things you must do:
- Send photos and videos to clients or companies (videos should demonstrate your skills and photos should show your costume and demeanor. Be sure to sit up straight and smile)
- Have a realistic tail with good flexibility
- Have availability
- Do a test swim in their tank
Hope those tips were helpful for you in your professional mermaid journey! Being a professional mermaid is one of the most fun jobs you can have! We love to help you accomplish the dream of being a professional mermaid.