Odd Jobs: Professional Mermaid – Businessweek

The worst part about being a mermaid, according to Staycy McConnell, a 31-year-old, full-time mermaid performer at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park in Florida, is all the swimming.

It may sound like a contradiction—not liking to swim when you’re a mermaid is like being a tax accountant who’s annoyed by math—but the job requires more time underwater than even the most skilled swimmer would be comfortable with. The Florida air is usually warm, but the temperature in the Weeki Wachee freshwater springs, where McConnell performs with her fellow mermaids for packed houses three times a day, seven days a week, is usually in the low 70s. The U.S. Water Fitness Association claims that the ideal water temperature for adults is between 85 and 89 degrees. “If you’re not one who really likes cold water, it can be pretty miserable,” says McConnell. “Especially when you’re down there 30 to 45 minutes at a time.” Which just so happens to be the length of an average mermaid show.

And then there’s the 15-pound mermaid tail that performers have to wear, which zips up the side and binds their legs together. “You have to swim like you only have one leg, instead of two,” McConnell says. “Which isn’t as easy as it looks.” Making it look easy is what separates career mermaids from the amateurs. “You don’t want to do a swimmer’s stroke when you’re being a mermaid,” she says. “You can’t look like you’re struggling down there.” Performers spend countless hours rehearsing a highly stylized swimming technique called the Mermaid Crawl. “It’s about being graceful and looking natural,” McConnell says. “You learn how to swim with pretty hands.”

via Odd Jobs: Professional Mermaid – Businessweek.

Strange Random Mermaid Quote:

“I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.” ― Anaïs Nin

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Posted on April 12, 2012, in Article and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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