This is the top 5 things I wish I knew before I became a professional mermaid.
The first tip is you don’t need a silicone tail to be a pro! While many people believe you have to have the best most expensive tail, it is simply not true. Back in the day, the only options we had were silicone, finfun, or DIY so most pros got silicone for all performances. Now there's such a variety of tails, you can be a pro in a whimsy mertailor or finfolk fabric! There's plenty of adult performers, tank performers, even childrens performers who use these types of tails! We do not recommend fin fun as most kids have this type and can easily recognize it and may even have it. I’d recommend Mertailor Whimsy’s, Finfolk Production Fabric Tails, Swim Tails, or custom made fabrics like Shop Vancouver Mermaid. It’s important to remember its more about the performance than the tail! If you’re a good performer you can rock a fabric tail. Kids will believe as long as you make them however you can’t convince every kid, even in silicone!
My second tip for you is people have a specific look they like when hiring & it may not be you. I used to get very discouraged about clients not liking my more realistic look than others with a more “barbie” look and at the time, I didn’t like the bright colors. I had to learn to deal with it and accept not everyone will like the way i look. I have adopted my new bright look for both practical and personal reasons. Which definitely has helped in my branding and professional career.
The third tip is that men, and sometimes women towards mermen, are going to be creeps! Almost every big event I’ve been at, there is always one guy who makes the comment “mermaids don’t wear bras,” or asks “how do mermaids have sex” and I simply respond with something witty to shame them especially since I am usually surrounded by children. This is another reason you need to have a mertender present at every gig! Online is no escape as the creeps, we call merverts, try to turn our harmless fun into their odd fetishes. Its very easy to get rid of these, fortunately. Most are reoccurring merverts within the community on multiple accounts. Blocking these creeps do wonders. Its best not to engage. You should also keep an eye out on Facebook and check mernetwork for updates. There is a mervert registry located on mernetwork as well.
The forth tip is all mermaids know each other in this tight knit community! I would have never guessed I would know and meet so many beautiful and overall mermazing people! Even with the community constantly growing, most professionals know each other. I used to dream of having friends with similar interests in mermaiding and I was so lucky to be able to finally find some. Not to mention we are all in contact online discussing the industry and asking for advice when needed which would have totally helped me when I was first starting.
My fifth and final tip of today is that drama is everywhere, but you need to avoid it like the plague. Being a small and tight knit community, drama is bound to happen. It seems to occur every winter when it's slow season for most mermaids. The best thing to do is not get involved at all, as the majority of the time it is over something very meaningless and petty. I used to be the fixer and try to help mers who were arguing. Man, was that a mistake! There's been a couple “drama” instances I wish I didn't get involved with because some people will take things further than a civil discussion, calling clients and leaving fake negative reviews. I have since learned from my mistakes, but I do wish someone warned me before!
What do you wish you knew as a guppy? Did any of these tips help you?