Ask a Professional Mermaid

You had a look around the website of professional Mermaid Kat but you still have some questions? Have a look in our frequency asked questions and we hope you will find your answer. You can’t find your answer on this page? No problem, just ask a mermaid directly! Send us an email and Mermaid Kat is happy to answer all your mermaid related questions. 

Q: How did you become a real life mermaid?

A: Since I was a little girl and watched Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” for the first time I dreamed of turning into a real-life mermaid. About 20 years later I became a scuba diving instructor and while spending so much time underwater I remembered my childhood dream of becoming a mermaid. I signed up for freediving classes to learn breath hold techniques and how to swim with a mono fin. Then I built my first mermaid tail and “Mermaid Kat” was born.

Q: When did you start Mermaiding?

A: I started mermaiding in May 2012. My first mermaid performance was at the Bliss Beach Ball for the foundation “Phuket has been good to us” in Thailand. It was a beautiful event with a wonderful cause. At first  I started mermaiding as a hobby but quite quickly it developed and became a job. In August 2012 I opened my mermaid school (Mermaid Kat Academy) in Phuket and since then I have taught mermaid courses in many different countries. I also got my first experiences in tail making, underwater modeling and freediving in Phuket. For me it was a great place to start my life as a real life mermaid.

Q: What are the common responses you get whenever people find out that you’re a “mermaid”?

A: Well the first reactions after I told my friends and family that I wanted to be a mermaid were quite funny. People wouldn’t take me seriously, I mean to be honest – would you? But after I turned into Mermaid Kat and they had seen my hard training and work, they quickly realized that I wasn’t kidding and started to believe in me and that crazy idea. A bit later, when I planned to open my ownmermaid school and later the Mermaid Kat Shop, people didn’t question it anymore. By then they had seen that this little mermaid was serious.

Q: How can I become a Professional Mermaid?

A: When I started to work as a mermaid there were no mermaid schools or any other places where someone would train and teach you on how to be and work as a mermaid. In 2012 I opened the world’s first mermaid school and since then, me and my other mermaid instructors can teach you everything you need to know to work as a professional mermaid. Before you become a professional mermaid you need to decide in which fields you want to work in. Do you want to work as a mermaid entertainer for underwater shows, as a singing mermaid on stage or as an underwater mermaid model? There are endless jobs out there if you want to work as a mermaid. It all depends on your skills and abilities. You can also check out my article on How to Become a Mermaid.

Q: Are Mermaid Tails safe to use in the Water?

A: Mermaid tails are no swimming devices and should only be used by strong swimmers who can swim in deep water without any assistance. You should only swim in your mermaid tail with an experienced buddy or under supervision. As your legs are tight together you are in a higher risk of injury as a self-rescue might be more difficult in an emergency situation. Mermaiding is exhausting! Train your way up and get used to your mermaid tail before you use it in open water or deep water swims. We also recommend you to visit a mermaid school that teaches you the proper use of your mermaid tail. Make sure you get a high quality mermaid tail, not all tails on the market are safe for children. If you want to purchase a mermaid tail for your children check out my top 10 tips.

Q: How long can you Hold your Breath for?

A: I can hold my breath for up to 3 1/2 Minutes while performing underwater. I must confess that I’m quite lazy when it comes to practicing my breath holds. I spend more time teaching breath hold techniques to others than actually practicing myself. Here is a video of my first and only freediving competition I entered a few years ago. Unfortunately I got disqualified for saying “OK” instead of “I’m OK” after the breath hold. Bat anyway, it was a nice experience.

Q: What Type of Mermaid Tails do you use?

A: I use the professional mermaid tails made by Mermaid Kat Shop. For training I often use the fabric mermaid tails and during events and underwater photo- and video shoots the I swims in the highly functional and super realistic looking silicone mermaid tails. Compared to most other spandex tails, the tails by Mermaid Kat Shop all include a real freediving monofin. With this mermaid monofin you can do mermaiding as a proper sport and have a great efficiency in the water without the risk of breaking monofins or other issues.

Q: How do you get into a silicone mermaid tail?

A: To get into a silicone mermaid tail can be a bit tricky. The secret is to use a lubricant, for environmental reasons I like to use a natural oil such as coconut or olive oil. Be aware of fingernails! This video shows you the whole process of getting into my silicone mermaid tails.

Q: How much does your Mermaid Tail weight?

A: The fabric mermaid tails I use weight only about 1 – 2 kg. My professional silicone mermaid tails weight up to 15 kg.

Q: Is the “Mermaid Scene” better in Australia, or what prompted your move?

A: When I lived in Phuket there wasn’t a mermaid scene there at the beginning. I was the first mermaid that popped up on the beaches over there. Some girls came into my mermaid school who turned into mermaids themselves then. Most of them started working for me as freelance mermaids on birthday parties and events in luxury resorts. So we became a very fun little mermaid pod. I moved away from Thailand because I was too disappointed with the over-fished and damaged underwater world. Australia has much more beautiful underwater adventures to offer for a mermaid. The mermaid community is different here since there are already a lot of mermaids and mermen around. In general everyone is doing her/his own thing but once in a while we all come together and meet up for some shared mermaid fun, like on the “Mercon Australia” event.

Q: Have you ever been to a mermaid convention?

A: Yes absolutely. I love connecting with other mermaids and mermen from around the world. In August 2011 I went to MerCon in Las Vegas. I wasn’t really a mermaid at that time but went there to get inspiration and hoped to by my first professional mermaid tail. Unfortunately no tail makers who offered latex or silicone tails were present, but I still had a wonderful time swimming with so many amazing mermaids and mermen. In November 2016 I went to the MerCon Australia in Busselton. Unfortunately my husband broke his hand on the way down there so we were pretty occupied with that issue and couldn’t really focus on the convention too much. And then in April 2018 I went to the Mermates Convention in Belgium. I took my whole team from Germany to the event and we went there with a big group of 14 people. It was so much fun connecting and swimming with so many other mermaids and mermen from all around Europe. Below you can see a video from the Mermaid Convention in Belgium.

Q: Can you share a funny story, when things went wrong, or something unexpected happened.

A: There is not an actual super funny story but a few little ones. One problem all mermaids might now is the air leaving your mermaid tail in the water what makes it look like you just fated. If this happens on events it can be quite embarrassing. A few years ago I was in the Philippines to shoot with the whale sharks to create awareness for them. I’m an environmentalist and really conscious about not touching any animals underwater. Touching animals has a lot of negative effects and as a mermaid you need to be extra careful with things you do, because a lot of people see you as a role model and are copying the things you do. So I was just floating on the surface when I saw this bus-sized shark swimming straight towards me. There was no place for me to go so I tried to make myself as flat as possible to allow the shark to swim underneath me. But it didn’t swim deep enough and so my bum bounced on it’s back a few times until the shark had passed. That was actually quite funny at the end. Another funny situation was shooting with great hammerhead sharks in the Bahamas. I was posing underwater and couldn’t see clearly when I saw the shade of a shark swimming straight towards me. The female hammerhead decided to join me for a dance and pushed me through the water smoothly for a little while. I guess this situation would have freaked out quite a few people but I absolutely loved it. The photographer Michal Aw kept shooting during this whole situation and on every picture you can see a big smile in my face.

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Q: What did your first mermaid tail look like?

A: My first mermaid tail was made out of neoprene, latex and a monofin. It was black and red coloured.

Mermaid Kat in her first mermaid tail

Q: What Make Up do you use Underwater?

A: I use waterproof make up from Artiste Face and Lips. I love the colour choices and it’s vegan and cruelty free.

Q: Are Freediving Skills the most important Skills as a Mermaid?

A: It really depends on what kind of mermaid you are. If you are entertaining at dry events or maybe splash around with some kids in a pool at birthday parties, freediving skills are not the most important skills to have. If you are teaching mermaiding to others, are an underwater model or perform in underwater shows your freediving skills are very important. To be able to look good underwater while performing you need to feel relaxed. You can only feel relaxed underwater when you know that you have enough Oxygen in your body to stop breathing for a while. Also for safety reasons I would always recommend to train your freediving skills. But mermaiding is more than just the freediving itself. Depending on which field you want to work in you should also train your modelling and underwater modelling skills, your posing, storytelling, performances or teaching abilities. Mermaiding opens you a wide field and job opportunities in different categories.

Q: How do you swim with our eyes open?

A: Usually it is quite easy to keep your eyes open when you swim underwater as a mermaid. Only some swimming pools have a very bad water quality and sting so much in your eyes that you can’t keep them open. Saltwater and good water condition pools sting too but after a short time pf practice you’ll get used to it. If you keep your eyes open underwater without a mask you are not able to see clearly. Depending on the light and visibility you might see shadows, shades, shapes and colors. Without a mask water will also enter your nose. That’s another thing a professional mermaid as to get used too.

Q: Is being a Professional Mermaid a Glamorous Job?

A: Working as a professional mermaid is a job that surely has some magical moments. Making a birthday girl smile when she sees you in your mermaid tail is definitely a wonderful moment. Swimming alongside sea creatures like wild dolphins and sharks are experiences which you will never forget and getting fan post from your followers and costumers who are so happy when they receive their own mermaid tail makes you happy because you know you made someone smile today. But being a professional mermaid is not always as glamorous as it looks like. For underwater photo shoots you need to have many years of training in scuba diving and freediving. You need to be able to hold your breath for several minutes underwater and still be able to look natural when salt and chlorine water gets into your eyes, nose and sinuses. You must be completely relaxed in the water and work mostly blind, as you can’t see clearly without a mask or goggles. You might work in bad water conditions like big waves, strong currents and cold temperatures. Sea sickness, hypothermia, ear infections and sinus infections are basically part of your job when you work as a professional mermaid.

Q: Do you do Mermaid Shows in Aquariums?

A: I am an absolute animal lover. That’s why I don’t support any campaigns and events that support the hurting or killing of animals. I don’t do any mermaid shows in zoos or aquariums if they are facilities with keep animals in captivity just for the amusement and entertainment of humans. I do mermaid shows on special environmental events or to support campaigns which are create awareness for our oceans. Therefore I swam in the shark tank of Underwater World Pattaya in Thailand to support the shark saving campaign “Swim for Sharks”. I also swam in the shark tank of Aquaria KLCC in Malaysia for the “Save our Fins” campaign and took photos at Sea Life in Germany for a “SharkChance” photo campaign.

Q: How do you avoid Water entering your Nose?

A: You can’t. Mermaiding is about skills and looks much more glamorous than it actually is. Some mermaid performers may use masks or nose clips to avoid water entering the nose and sinuses. I prefers using only my skills even if it means being less comfortable underwater. Saltwater and chlorine water entering the nose and sinuses is just part of your job if you want to work as a professional mermaid.

Q: Where do you get your Mermaid Tails from?

A: All my mermaid tails are designed at Mermaid Kat Shop.

Q: Have you ever done a life interview for TV or radio?

A: Yes, quite a few. Please see some videos below.

Q: What is your typical week like?

A: I must honestly say that I was much more active in the water when I started mermaiding. Now my businesses developed to a size where I do more administration work than active work in the water. Every day I check my emails and coordinate the bookings in my German and Australian mermaid schools. At the moment I employ 6 mermaid instructors in Germany and one in Perth. In a few months two new franchises of the Mermaid Kat Academy are going to open in Germany, this also involves a lot of time. I have to coordinate who is teaching which courses and birthday parties. In Germany there are between one and 6 courses/ parties every week at the moment. Additionally to that I have regular inquires for events such as family fairs, weddings, birthday parties, opening events etc. and have to coordinate which of my mermaids work on these events. If possible I try to work on events and birthday parties myself because I love to see the sparkle in children’s eyes when they see real life mermaids. But I know that all of my mermaids are doing a great job even when I’m not there with them. Apart from events, mermaid parties and mermaid courses I also coordinate the orders in the Mermaid Kat Shop and build all mermaid related websites myself. So as you can see, there is a lot of office work involved of running a mermaid business. I love the events and also the travels that come with my job. Right now I’m on a trip in Western Australia to create new product photos for the Mermaid Kat Shop. In January 2017 I will be on a cruise ship from Hong Kong to Vietnam for a week and in April I will be swimming around the wrecks of Truk Lagoon in Micronesia. The great thing of running a mermaid business is that it never gets boring.

Q: Kids must ask you tons of funny questions, want to share some of those?

A: I love working with kids, they are hilarious. Usually they ask me where I live, how old I am, what I eat, how I came on land and other similar questions. You really need to get your story right and be prepared for everything. I performed at a school in Perth a while ago and one of the kids asked me how mermaids have babies. I replied “the same way as dolphins”. Then she asked how dolphins have babies and at that point luckily the teacher stepped in and said the’ll cover that topic later 🙂

Q: What are the misconceptions about becoming “mermaid”?

A: People think that it is easy. And when they try, they surely are surprised on how tiring it is. Most students are just so excited that they actually forget that they have to swim with their legs tight together. Often, I get emails from parents telling me that their children went to bed much early than usually because they were just so exhausted. What I do is classed at underwater stunt work. During TV, movie or photo productions I’m posing up to 40 m underwater. I don’t wear any scuba equipment, not even a mask to see clearly. Without a wetsuit, I’m not protected from the cold water, so hypothermia is something a professional mermaid has to deal with on a regular basis. Freezing, almost blind, on a breath hold and with water up in my nose and sinuses I pose around coral reefs, inside ship wrecks and sometimes I’m even surrounded by sea creatures such as tiger sharks. Being a pro mermaid requires definitely much more training than most people would think.

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