If you looked through the jobs listed in the career fair back in high school, it’s unlikely you would have found Mermaid as an option. But more and more people are learning about this unique and fascinating way of interacting with the ocean. And this means that more job opportunities are becoming available for Professional Mermaids.

Being a Professional Mermaid is not just about looking the part and swimming around in a mermaid tail. It’s also about creating experiences that bring joy and wonderment to others.

We spoke to some Professional Mermaids to better understand what it’s like to be in their fins.

inspiring mermaid images
Image Credit: @verobeachmermaid / @mermaid.keke

What Inspires Someone to Become a Professional Mermaid?

For Brandee Anthony from Vero Beach Mermaid, it was about the performance.

“I wanted to create a unique and magical experience for my viewers, and that’s when I decided to purchase a mermaid tail and perform live underwater! Putting a tail on for the first time completely changed my life. After I did that first live stream, I was enamored by the idea of embodying a Mermaid in my everyday life and as a profession.” 

Elle Jimenez, aka Mermaid Elle, was a seasoned specialty performer for events. But when she got a request to perform as a mermaid, she didn’t know how to swim. After thinking it was something she should try, she took swimming lessons, overcame her fear of water, and never looked back.

“When I did my first mermaid performance, I saw the magic in people’s faces when they saw me and interacted with me. I created my own mermaid character to play for my shows with a backstory, Mermaid Elle®, and built a brand around her. It’s been now 7 years and such a mer-mazing journey.”

Pro Mermaid Great Chin Burger @guam_babe_freediver on a rocky beach with a pink tail
Photo Credit @guam_babe_freediver

It’s not always about the performance, though, as Elaina Thomas of Catalina Island Mermaids told us.

“I never considered becoming a Pro Mermaid because I didn’t think I had the small frame/ body type that being a Pro Mermaid seemed to require. Performances didn’t appeal to me, I wanted to BE a mermaid. After PADI began the Mermaid Program, it opened my eyes that mermaiding isn’t just performances. It is athletic, sporty, and recreational!”

And for Great Chin Burger, her whole life was shaped by her attraction to the underwater world. 

In the Philippines, in my culture, we have the Sirena as a mythical creature I’ve known since I was a child, and moving here to Guam, the same thing. So as an ocean daughter, I have to answer the call and become not just a mermaid but a Mermaid Mother.” 

Pro Mermaid @themermaidelle in a Hotel Pool
Photo Credit @themermaidelle

Job Options for Professional Mermaids

We also asked the mermaids about the different career opportunities available for Professional Mermaids.

Chin Burger told us, “As a Mermaid Instructor I don’t just get to teach mermaids, but I am also making kids and adults’ dreams come true by doing underwater modeling and photoshoots.”

Elaina Thomas has a similar story: “As a mermaid, I own a small business, Catalina Island Mermaids. We offer Mermaid Photoshoots on the beach as well as PADI Mermaid Classes, PADI Scuba Classes, and Camp & Dive Retreats.”

Brandee Anthony, as well as owning a business for mermaiding and freediving, has a versatile career, including, “appearances and entertainment, events, online content, brand work, conservation, mermaid instructor and instructor trainer with PADI, photoshoots, courses, mentoring, and experiences.” 

And being a Professional Mermaid has the potential to have a huge social media reach.

Mermaid Elle, a professional mermaid entertainer and PADI Mermaid Instructor Trainer, has over 2 million followers as a mermaid content creator and influencer.

Pro Mermaid Elaina Thomas from @catalinaislandmermaids on a rock
Photo Credit @catalinaislandmermaids

The Impact You Can Have as a Professional Mermaid:

Mermaiding is a lot more than entertainment, and Professional Mermaids have the opportunity to be powerful role models. 

For Elaina Thomas, “Being a pro mermaid to me means that I get to empower other women. It is extra special when I get to see someone who is nervous become excited, fun, and confident. When you become a mermaid, you truly transform.” 

Brandee Anthony adds, “I also get the chance to amplify the voice of the ocean through mermaiding, and it has greatly helped with my conservation efforts.”

Similarly, according to Mermaid Elle, “Being a pro mermaid can also be a great way to be a voice for all marine life that cannot speak for itself. From my point of view, being a mermaid means protecting our oceans and spreading awareness on conservation.”

Elle Jimenez, Elaina Thomas, and Great Chin Burger posing on a beach
Elaina Thomas, Elle Jimenez, and Great Chin Burger

Words of Encouragement from the Pros

Finally, we asked the mermaids if they had any parting words for those considering making mermaiding their career. This is what they had to say.

Brandee Anthony:

“Whether you want to be a mermaid for a career move, to heal, to have fun, unlock your inner child, gain a greater sense of community, or to just create art… there is space for everybody to embody the mermaid. 

Being a mermaid is such a beautiful and whimsical experience, and it truly has endless opportunities, professionally and personally! 

The mermaid journey is one that will take you on an adventure of a lifetime with the most incredible community. If you are thinking about it, dive in, I promise it’s worth it!” 

Great Chin Burger: 

“Anybody can become a Pro Mermaid, one of the reasons why mermaids are getting attention is because we are making waves; mermaids as athletes, yes please! Mermaids saving lives and more. 

Mermaids are the voice of the ocean in a graceful and beautiful way that people will listen just because we can make them.” 

Pro Mermaid @themermaidelle in a pool with a yellow and blue mermaid tail
Photo Credit @themermaidelle

Mermaid Elle: 

“Never give up! Doing something unique and different requires lots of work, but absolutely anything is possible when you believe in yourself. 

Definitely get PADI certified to get started on the right “fin” and learn training and safety skills that are the most important for any aquatic-related career. 

And last but not least, do your part in #SavingtheSeas! Protecting the ocean, a mermaid’s home, is the best purpose for becoming a mermaid!” 

Elaina Thomas: 

“If you are considering becoming a Pro Mermaid, I say go for it. Please don’t let anything hold you back. No matter your size, ethnicity, or mobility, mermaiding is for you. Please reach out to me; I’d love to introduce you to our community. 

A message to Mermaids who are already in the community: A rising tide raises all ships! Support the other mermaids in your community and go with the flow of the new changes to the industry! Become a role model, become a Mermaid Instructor, and empower the mermaids in your community.” 

Become a Pro Mermaid 🧜‍♀️

How about you? Would you like to be a Pro Mermaid?

If you haven’t taken the first step already, contact your local mermaid center. Try on a mermaid tail for yourself.

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