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Thread: Ask me Anything about going Pro!

  1. #21
    Senior Member Euro Pod Talia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AniaR View Post
    I wrote about how one school took huge issue with my mermaid stuff and made me feel like absolute crap and a bad person, while another school posted a newpaper front page of me in my tail and shell top all over the place and bragged about it while I was teaching there.

    I cannot wrap my head around the fact that that school made you feel like a bad person about mermaiding. I understand the need to keep your two activities kind of separated, and not promoting your business to your students, but that? I just don't get it.

    To me would be like saying someone has been working as a Disney princess character at Disney World and people judging her negatively for that. It is a make-believe for kids, for goodness sake. Sometimes adults are really complicated...

    Sorry you had to go through that

  2. #22
    Senior Member Euro Pod Talia's Avatar
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    By the way, I wanted to ask:

    I have had (young but not so young) kids coming up to me and directly asking "hey lady, where did you buy your tail/swimfin?". I am always at a loss at to what to respond to that, other than the truth.

    How do you deal with this? Has this or something similar happened to you?

  3. #23
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    I cannot wrap my head around the fact that that school made you feel like a bad person about mermaiding. I understand the need to keep your two activities kind of separated, and not promoting your business to your students, but that? I just don't get it.
    I guess some parents called the school complaining their kids thought mermaids were real -_-

    I have had (young but not so young) kids coming up to me and directly asking "hey lady, where did you buy your tail/swimfin?". I am always at a loss at to what to respond to that, other than the truth.

    How do you deal with this? Has this or something similar happened to you?
    Yup. I tell them I grew it, unless I really think they aren't gonna stop badgering me, then I tell them there are special effects artists that make it. I try to keep the conversation short and sweet so people don't over hear and ruin the magic

  4. #24
    I have a question! I believe you've written a little about it in your book (which I have, hehe!) but I thought I would ask anyways. How do you deal with sponsors? Companies or people who want to collaborate with you? I've been approached by a designer wanting to sponsor me (advertisement, etc) as well as collaborate a range of mermaid themed clothing/accessories under the name Mizuko, with myself modeling. Are there any legal things I need to think about? Its still in early stages of designing, but I just thought it was good to cover my bases

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by AniaR View Post
    I guess some parents called the school complaining their kids thought mermaids were real -_-



    Yup. I tell them I grew it, unless I really think they aren't gonna stop badgering me, then I tell them there are special effects artists that make it. I try to keep the conversation short and sweet so people don't over hear and ruin the magic
    I like this answer! Right now I just swim with a MerFin and constantly people ask me where I got it and when I tell them online they always are really disappointed and don't care to go to that much trouble. :c

  6. #26
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod PearlieMae's Avatar
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    Continuing with the 'ruining the magic' theme, my daughter does a lot of kids parties as a party clown...usually very small kids. They are always so sweet and well behaved, but occasionally, there's one bigger kid that insists on ruining the illusion...taking off her wig, pulling in her nose...

    My question is, do you have to deal with that very often - pointing out your knees our waistline - and if so, how do you handle that? I'm sure your mertender can't always run blocking for you, and being in a tail, you can't get away easily, either. Pointers?

  7. #27
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    I have a question! I believe you've written a little about it in your book (which I have, hehe!) but I thought I would ask anyways. How do you deal with sponsors? Companies or people who want to collaborate with you? I've been approached by a designer wanting to sponsor me (advertisement, etc) as well as collaborate a range of mermaid themed clothing/accessories under the name Mizuko, with myself modeling. Are there any legal things I need to think about? Its still in early stages of designing, but I just thought it was good to cover my bases
    It's funny you bring that up, an investment group just contacted me so now I'm learning all about it. I don't think I could give you a clear answer for the legal stuff in regards to this for the states. Canada is different. But I say contracts, and have a lawyer look them over! My first stint with fundraising and sponsorship was very informal and kickstarter esq even though kickstarter didn't exist back then. And I did have someone sponsor me 1000$ without asking anything in return. Of course, I give them all my love and still send them regular updates hahaha!

    If I learn anything helpful through my current experience with the investment group I'll let ya know!

    My question is, do you have to deal with that very often - pointing out your knees our waistline - and if so, how do you handle that? I'm sure your mertender can't always run blocking for you, and being in a tail, you can't get away easily, either. Pointers?
    Honestly in all my years, maybe 3 times if that? A kid might make an observations once, to which I just dont respond. If they keep at it I explain that mermaids have bones like everyone else. If they really push it I say "how many mermaids do you know?" and reply, "that makes me the expert!" or something like that. When it doubt, REDIRECT THEIR ATTENTION. It's not hard to distract kids haha. You can always swim away too when you're in the water.


    Accept the fact that some kids just wont buy it, and it's not the end of the world if they figure out you're in a costume and have knees. lol

  8. #28
    Senior Member North Pacific Pod Miyu's Avatar
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    That was an awesome video!

    "You can see her tail bending!"
    Silly fishie! How else would a mermaid swim?

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  9. #29
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    the funny thing is, I never answered a single question about that video with the kids. I just smiled and shrugged. It's now been over a year a half later and I still have those kids (who just started grade 7) ask me if I'm really a mermaid....... lol. And they always comment on my FB stuff and email me too haha

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by AniaR View Post
    Good question, I've been asked it before but I will admit the answer has changed as I'm always growing and evolving.

    In my book I wrote about how this sort of situation is really circumstantial. I wrote about how one school took huge issue with my mermaid stuff and made me feel like absolute crap and a bad person, while another school posted a newpaper front page of me in my tail and shell top all over the place and bragged about it while I was teaching there. I try to handle things as a whole as opposed to obsessing about the individuals, and I think that better prepares you for if stuff does clash.

    The thing is, with teaching specifically, teachers are held to a higher accountability than most professions. When other people screw up and get written about in the newspaper it wont say "so and so- a fast food worker- crashed his car into a light post" but if you're a teacher suddenly the article is "a note teacher crashed their car blah blah". Get the drift?

    What worked for me in terms specifically of teaching, is meeting with the teachers union and finding out exactly what I can and can't do with my personal life as dictated by the school board code of ethics, and as defended by the teacher's union. The school board can fire you for "questionable photos" of which they do not define what that is. So I not only had to talk to the union about my mermaid stuff but my modelling and online presence as well. I can't lie to you and say just be yourself because you really can't. You have to always think how things will look down the line and to someone else. That being said, I take risks. Calculated ones. I think as long as you know you're taking a risk and the potential outcomes, that's good. It's when we just jump into something blindly without considering it.

    I used to really worry about the mermaid costume being too sexy or whatever, and for my first few early gigs I work a tank top. Well I ditched that pretty fast and now I just make it known that mermaids are known to wear shell tops, I'm wearing a shell top! lol.

    Every school where I've been now after that first bad experience I speak with the principal and let them know what I do. I don't even bring up being a mermaid in the classroom without their permission first, because being a mermaid aside, there is a rule about not advertising your own businesses in the classroom to your students. So that right there could nail me.
    (for fun, here's my grade 5 class's reaction to finding out I am a mermaid on the last day of school....)


    It's a balancing act, but it's easier now that I've gotten confidence about who I am, what I want to represent, and how I want to be portrayed. My website shows the value I place on education as a professional, and I have loads of media to back that up as well. It's all about continuing to validate what you do. Being a mermaid is pretty weird in the general population of the business world, so advocating for yourself on a routine basis should be normal. You get so used to it, you can counter most arguments after a while

    In terms of being a professional in general, not just a teacher, I'd say find out what the rules are for your workplace and if you're scared, speak to your HR person to find out what you can do that wont put you in danger of losing your job. Canada is much more liberal than the USA so we can do a lot more. I did nude modelling for example, and the Teacher's union informed me that a load of teachers in my city have as well, when I asked them if it would cause problems for me. So I can't lose my job if someone tried to cause me problems, but also, we're pretty chill about nude art in Canada so if someone did try to make a big deal a big portion of people would simply roll their eyes. (seriously. A political leader tried to undermine another female political leader by finding a photo of her that hung in an art gallery, and it totally backfired for them) It seems to me that the USA really varies by state. So it's good to find out your work rules, and local protection laws etc.

    I would also say don't attach all your stuff together. I go by AniaR on mernetwork because I don't want every single one of the 5000 posts I've made to come up out of order and out of context when someone is searching for my birthday party rates. I also don't register for anything other than business stuff using my business email. I pay close attention to what comes up when you google me, so things are always in context.

    I also don't add many mermaids to my personal FB. I keep it separate from my mermaid one. It just helps

    Finally, I think it's just a matter of remembering, anyone from your work, your clients, your boss, etc could view what you're doing on purpose or by accident. Could they understand the context right away? or would it need some explaining?

    In all my years as a mermaid, modelling, being a musician, and performing I've only ever had 2 negative feedbacks. One was from that school that took issue with the mermaid thing- and that could have been totally avoided had I known my rights to begin with but I was a student teacher. The other was one single comment on facebook saying I looked too sexy for kids. lol. And sorry, but I'm not about to change myself for either of those things doesn't mean I'm not open to change or refining how I do things, but you learn as you go.

    Not sure if I gave you a good enough answer there I might need more specific examples, but hopefully it helps!
    Thank you!
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  11. #31

    Ask me Anything about going Pro!

    How do you vet potential mermaids or mertenders if you haven't known them previously?

    How do you meet up with the client before or at the gig? What I mean is, do you call and check if the "coast is clear" and then meet the adult before getting into tail? Is the first time you see them when you're already in the pool? If so, how do you know that they're the people you're looking for? (Please let me know if this is still unclear; I may have made it worse with my "clarification".)

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  12. #32
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    How do you vet potential mermaids or mertenders if you haven't known them previously?
    Auditions and interviews. Even my little sister was put through it. Then we do a gig together but they aren't paid, it's like a test, and if they pass I hire them lol and then they get paid

    How do you meet up with the client before or at the gig? What I mean is, do you call and check if the "coast is clear" and then meet the adult before getting into tail? Is the first time you see them when you're already in the pool? If so, how do you know that they're the people you're looking for? (Please let me know if this is still unclear; I may have made it worse with my "clarification".)
    All through email and we set up prearranged times. They know not to come into the pool until a certain time.

  13. #33
    Hey! My question is:

    Have you ever done collaborative appearances with other mer-people that are not halifax mermaids?

    The reason I asked is because In the future I would love to! I am a beginner performing merman and a really great singer.

    Merman Typhoon!

  14. #34

    Ask me Anything about going Pro!

    Quote Originally Posted by AniaR View Post
    Auditions and interviews. Even my little sister was put through it. Then we do a gig together but they aren't paid, it's like a test, and if they pass I hire them lol and then they get paid.
    Thanks, Raina! Do you do a background check? Or do you ask that they get a background check (I'm not sure how this works in the US, let alone Canada! ;-) )

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  15. #35
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    Hey! My question is:

    Have you ever done collaborative appearances with other mer-people that are not halifax mermaids?

    The reason I asked is because In the future I would love to! I am a beginner performing merman and a really great singer.
    We did one with the Pirates of Halifax. There aren't really any other mermaids yet. A few people just started out and we might consider in the future.

    Thanks, Raina! Do you do a background check? Or do you ask that they get a background check (I'm not sure how this works in the US, let alone Canada! ;-) )
    No, not usually.

  16. #36
    Well in the future i hope to work with you!

    Merman Typhoon!

  17. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by AniaR View Post
    Auditions and interviews. Even my little sister was put through it.
    I'm curious to know, how does that work exactly?? What are the terms and what are you looking for in someone who wants to work with you?



  18. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Merman Arion View Post
    I'm curious to know, how does that work exactly?? What are the terms and what are you looking for in someone who wants to work with you?

    good question! I wonder the same!

    Merman Typhoon!

  19. #39
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    Clean criminal background check. Clean child abuse screening. Do a practice swim in the tail. Experience with kids and or performing. Professional behavior etc.

  20. #40
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod PearlieMae's Avatar
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    I LOVE that video! You rock, Raina!

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