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 young 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 in May 2012.
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 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. Watch the video here.
Q: How do you stay fit?
A: Mermaiding is a full body workout which makes you use many different muscle groups. Additionally to swimming in a mermaid tail, I do contortion training once a week and practise yoga once a week. These are great workouts for strengthening. But even when I’m travelling I make sure to keep my body moving even with simple things like going for a walk. I have a step counter on my phone and make sure to achieve a minimum of 10,000 steps every day. With the support of my plant based diet I feel very fit and strong.
Q: As a mermaid, do you follow a special diet?
A: In 2012 I changed my diet to a vegetarian diet because of my love for animals and our planet. Since 2019 I follow a diet which is about 95% plant based. I love drinking my chai latte with oat milk and feel the goodness energising my body and mind. Being plant based doesn’t just give me a clearer conscious about animals and our environment. It is actually a great way of life and supports your mental and physical strength. Many athletes are archiving much better training results after changing to a plant based diet. If you’re interested in finding out more, I can highly recommend watching the documentary “The Gamechangers”.
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: 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. 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 long can you Hold your Breath for?
A: While relaxed, I can hold my breath for close to 4 minutes. During underwater shoots the breath hold will be effected by various factors such as the water temperature or currents. When you have marine life around you that excites you, your breath hold will also be effected.
Q: Are Mermaid Tails safe to use in the Water?
A: Mermaid tails are no swimming devices and should only be used by experienced swimmers who can swim in deep water without any assistance. You should only swim in your mermaid tail with an experienced buddy or under direct supervision. As your legs are tight together, you are at 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 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 available are safe for children. If you want to purchase a mermaid tail for your children check out my top 10 tips.
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, my team has turned over 7,000 people into mermaids and mermen. Before you become a professional mermaid you should decide which fields you want to work in. Do you want to work as a mermaid entertainer at dry event, as a singing mermaid on stage or as an underwater mermaid model? There are endless jobs out there, it all depends on your skills and abilities. You can also check out my article on How to Become a Mermaid. If you would like to build up your free diving and underwater modelling skills and have amazing underwater photos taken of yourself, join me on one of my international Mermaid Weeks.
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 during events it can be quite embarrassing. A few years ago I was in the Philippines to shoot with whale sharks to create awareness for them. I’m an environmentalist and really conscious about not touching any animals underwater. Touching animals can have a lot of negative effects and as a mermaid you need to be extra careful with the things you do, because a lot of people see you as a role model and are copying whatever 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, because I don’t wear a mask during shoots. Suddenly 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.
Q: What did your first mermaid tail look like?
A: My first mermaid tail was made from neoprene, latex and a monofin. It was black and red coloured.
Q: What Make Up do you use Underwater?
A: There are many different brands out there that make waterproof make up. For me it’s important to choose cruelty free, vegan cosmetics, ideally when they are not packed in plastic. Usually I only use waterproof mascara and lipstick. If you don’t touch your face, non waterproof eye shadow, foundation and blush stays in place.
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 that makes it almost impossible to open your eyes. Saltwater might sting a little bit but after a short time of practice you’ll get used to it. Without a mask you are not able to see clearly underwater. Depending on the light and visibility you might see shadows, shades, shapes and colors. This might take some time to get used to.
Q: How do you avoid Water entering your Nose?
A: Mermaiding looks much more glamorous than it actually is. Saltwater and chlorinated water entering the nose and sinuses is just part of the job. Some mermaid performers may use masks or nose clips to avoid water entering the nose and sinuses. Otherwise, it’s just something you have to “suck up”.
Q: How important are freediving 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 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 natural underwater while performing you need to feel relaxed. You can only be relaxed underwater when you know that you have enough Oxygen in your body to stop breathing for a while. Personally, I would recommend to join a basic freediving course and more if you like.
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. 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 train hard and be fit. You need to be able to hold your breath for several minutes and still be able to look natural when salt and chlorinated 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 with 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 a total 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 that keep animals in captivity just for the amusement and entertainment of humans. I do mermaid shows for special environmental events or to support campaigns which create awareness for our oceans. Therefore, I swam in the shark tank of Underwater World Pattaya in Thailand. 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: 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 that they’ll cover that topic later
Q: How do people react when they find out that you’re a “mermaid”?
A: When I first turned myself into a mermaid, people wouldn’t take me seriously. I mean to be honest – would you? But after I turned into “Mermaid Kat” and turned mermaiding into my full time professional and a successful international business, people’s reactions changed. Today they take me seriously and appreciate the hard work and training I put into my unusual career. But telling someone that you are a mermaid is never a quick thing to do. Be aware that more questions are coming your way
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 it developed quickly and turned into my profession. In August 2012 I opened my mermaid school (Mermaid Kat Academy). Since then I have taught mermaid courses in over 12 different countries and opened up branches in Germany and Australia.