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Thread: Full Time Mermaid

  1. #1
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod
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    Full Time Mermaid

    Happy to announce that today marks my dive into full time mermaid living I have been full time once before for a period of 6 months, but it was unplanned and came out of necessity when a summer job decided not to renew me due to budget issues in the fall. I was unprepared to be unemployed and there was (and still is) an unemployment crisis in my particular field (education). I relied totally on gigs and while I had many they were not enough to sustain a life given my school debt and health expenses. so after 6 months I took a job that I honestly hated, made the best of it, and worked for a year and a half. During that time I paid off one student loan, and about 15,000$ in debt that I had incurred through the previous 7 years of being a student and having to need expensive medical care.

    Sean and I have been carefully planning so I could leave my job to do what I love. I know a lot of people dream of doing it, but I think some of the pro mermaids out there make it look easier than it is because you don't see all the behind the scenes. No one just makes money from bookings and gigs I promise you, I've asked them all So we started a board of directors, got financial advising, created a kick ass business plan, upped our insurance (meaning I can now and am now taking on bigger well paying gigs) saved saved saved money for emergency purposes and to have a 'cushion', created new income streams through the company (youtube, selling items through a store, creative book sales, workshops, kits etc), started going to small business and entrepreneur workshops and groups, having grant money coming in, and investors! Things have EXPLODED. But they started exploding before I left my job, so I was considerably burnt out. it became like working two full time jobs. I had zero time for myself, and as many people saw - I started getting sick.

    I don't expect to do this forever, but I am very excited to do it for now. We had a lucky break in that a children's magazine did an interview with us and the magazine was given out to every single kid in the school board. I've had what would be considered as bigger media coverage before (covers of the paper, high profile magazines, TV, music videos, radio, etc) but because this was given to our demographic for gigs, for free... the requests are more than I can handle. I am planning to audition another mermaid this summer and can't seem to get money for tails fast enough! (July can't come quick enough). In the past year I've gone from Just me and occasionally hiring my sister (who no longer works for us) and occasionally teaming up with Mimi, to employing 4 other mermaids sustainably, with a 5th hopefully on the way, along with my assistant Sean (who yes, gets paid!).

    My second book that is coming out is clearly documenting my life between the first book, and right now. (That's where it'll end). I go into detail how I got this far, specifics of what I've done to prepare, pay off debt, and get ready, along with the ups and downs of gigs, mermaid life, and coping with chronic illness while trying to run my own business. The book ends here. But from here on it, I'll be doing my best to post regular updates of how things go, challenges I face, success stories and other fun stuff both here, and through my youtube series.

    So yay! Already before I was even done my last day of work I got a TV show request for the whole company (local TV show wants to do a special on us, fun!) and landed a few summer contracts. I'm only a bit anxious about my health expenses. We're not insured (though if I can sustain my level of income I will be able to apply for insurance), and my meds cost 250$, physio costs 190$ a session (very specialized and seriously needed) and I have a few invasive tests coming up. Of course, bad things have already thrown a wrench into some of my plans. One of my mermaids lives farther away and would normally drive to us and then we'd take her to gigs and back, and of course her car just died lol so she's stuck bussing to us and our transit system is notoriously unreliable. So that little factoid keeps me up at night knowing how time sensitive certain gigs are. LOL. And Mermaid Mimi's tail is totally dying and we haven't been able to find a sufficient in between tail to purchase (the company cant afford to front 3k+ for a new custom, and she's getting married this summer and also can't afford at the time being) because Mimi is an amazon and super tall. The tails we've added to our collection just are too small and can't be modified. So she's doing a lot of dry gigs so her tail doesnt fall apart. I'm really hoping when grant money comes in July I can just get either a good used tail, a 1000$ in between tail, or purchase her the materials to make her own real latex one. But June is still super busy... so trying to get through that will be.. fun.

    I found out I qualify for a pro mac makeup account which is cool, because it gets you 30% off all their stuff, along with exclusive performing makeup not available to the public. I usually use sephora (MUFE) and mermaid minerals, but I have yet to find a lip stain or lipstick to work beyond mac, and they also have a new line of underwater stuff coming out. so yeah, 30% off makeup? Great! In order to apply you need to have an established business as a performer, some work under your belt, and business identification.

    I am really looking forward to a summer with Seanny too. He is working for me along with doing contract work from home. It's exciting as a couple to have adventures too.

    I'll also be posting more updates on the Halifax Mermaid Blog: http://halifaxmermaids.weebly.com/blog

    And you can follow my journey on my facebook PROFILE: https://www.facebook.com/raina.mer.5

    That's about it for now! I'll keep you all posted! woot woot. Yay for full time mermaid status!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania Mermaid Miel's Avatar
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    Yay!!
    Mum saw your post on Facebook about this (reading over my shoulder) and was curious. "I thought she already was a mermaid?" lol.
    I'm really excited for you!

    And thank you for (again, in true Raina fashion.) educating us about the insane amount of work needed behind the scenes to make the transition from part-time professional mermaid to Full-time professional mermaid.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Pod of Oceania Fifi Tigg's Avatar
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    Congrats Raina! I wish you all the success
    http://make animated gifs like this at MakeaGif

  4. #4
    Congratulations!
    (Formerly known as Mermaid Claudia)

  5. #5
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod PearlieMae's Avatar
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    Congratulations, Raina! All the best of luck in your new professional life!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Euro Pod MermanOliver's Avatar
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    Congratulations! Hope everything works out well for all of you. Good luck for the future!

  7. #7
    Congratulations! What a dream--sounds amazing and I'm so happy for you. I look forward to hearing about more of your adventures as a full time mermaid too!

    For Mermaid Mimi, you could always buy a tail from Jazz as I'm sure you're aware. Right price range for an amazing quality tail I'm sure.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Euro Pod Echidna's Avatar
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    Great news!
    I didn't know it was possible at all, thought even the most famous mermaids had other jobs besides mermaiding.
    happy for you, and hoping it works out well!

  9. #9
    Congratulations, Raina! Your future looks bright.

    Mermaid Galene (pronounced Guh-LEE-nee)



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    Neptune's Keep makes music with fish. Fish have hidden depths!


  10. #10
    Senior Member Pod of Cali Mermaid Clara's Avatar
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    congratulations Raina! best of luck to you!

  11. #11
    Senior Member Pod of The South Rivertee's Avatar
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    AMAZING!!! Super Congrats please keep us updated on how things go ^.^
    ~Nothing's Impossible just hard to achieve, so stay true to yourself and always Believe~

    Formerly known as Kaguria the Kitsune Mermaid

  12. #12
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    Day 1 has been amazing!

    We were super busy with a big gig that went over really well. When I was done I crashed pretty hard, got some food, and did some company shopping (got some bubble machines for dry events, gear for displaying our merch, makeup etc) and have been working on the client photos.

    I am realllllly looking forward to tomorrow (which is actually today, haha by the time I'm typing) it is the first day in a month that I have 'off' meaning no work, or gigs. I am running to the store where we sell our stuff to drop more merch off, we also did some mermaid photos for a poorer family for free that we're dropping off, and hopefully I'll be picking up some footage I shot last month. Back to super busy on Monday. And we're finally having warm weather! So I'm going to dance in it.

    I just feel so happy

    here's a snapshot of me swimming up through a bubble ring



    Naida and I snapped a chilly pic at the end of our swim portion



    Red eyes= bad chlorine!



    The pool was L shaped and there was this neat beam of light Naida kept trying to get shots in before the kids arrived





    It wans't very deep or wide and my tail is so big I couldnt fit n much for underwater photos



    annnd just a few youtube clips of us goofing around because there wasn't much space or time


  13. #13
    SO happy for you! You're free at last, free at last!! I just know huge and awesome things will be coming your way now that you're devoting all your passion to mermaiding full time <3

    Wingéd Mermaid Iona

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  14. #14
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    So Day 2- my supposed to be day of rest, didn't go as planned, LOL

    We got up to take my merch to the store annnnd the car died. LOL it was a heart attack moment for sure, eep! All of a sudden all those gigs seemed a whole lot scarier without a set of wheels. After a few hours my dad was able to come and jump start us. Thankfully all it was was a door didnt shut all the way, so a light was left on. A jump start did it! We dropped our stuff off at Shore Things (the store where I am selling stuff) and picked up some footage from the guys who did the Dream Your Way project, and talked plans for another collaboration. Just been working on client photos now, woot.

    Here are some behind the scenes stills and video from the footage:






























    Seanny got us another bubble machine as mentioned lol



    I be creepin



    Happy self employed people



    Also, my boobs look funny with an octotop under my clothes


  15. #15
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    I got all the good clips into a montage!


  16. #16
    Senior Member Undisclosed Pod PearlieMae's Avatar
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    Love it! Seanny looks so awkward compared to your smooth swimming.

    I read somewhere, I forget where, that a mer uses leg warmers around their ankles to smooth the look...have you tried that yourself?

  17. #17
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    Actually this video isn't seanny it was one of the camera guys

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk

  18. #18
    Congratulations Raina!!! I'm so happy for you
    Follow me at Facebook - YouTube - Instagram - Twitter - Google+ - or ask me anything you like at Ask.fm

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  19. #19
    YOU'RE FABULOUS, RAINA! *w*
    (Formerly known as Mermaid Claudia)

  20. #20
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    I've got about 20 minutes before I have to get ready for my next gig, so I thought I'd check in about my first week! It was crazy busy and happy and stressful all at the same time! lol. Making this sort of lea certainly makes it hard to sleep at night. Cant shut off your brain from anxiety or creative ideas. It's fun to do something you love but I'm also realizing how it changes how you view it too. Instead of being this fun thing I do on the side for extra money it's not my bread and butter and EVERY decision seems like it could change the future of your company. Very easy to over think!

    I spent the week editing client photos, updating the website, trying to streamline the email, working on my book, did a few interviews for larger contracts, and being in pain. Back in March at a gig I injured my leg trying to take my foot out of my tail. I thought I had the foot strap off, so I pulled as hard as I could (had a foot cramp and wanted my leg out of there) and the foot strap slipped back on and I'm sure I tore a muscle or something. It was horrible pain. Well, Monday I went to the gym (obviously months later) and was doing my usual workout when that same terrible pain came back. Sometimes because I have a curve in my spine, what seems like leg pain is actually nerve pain and a back adjustment fixes it. So I did the stupidest thing and kept going around like normal because usually a range of motion or back crack would stop it. but I know now 5 days later it must be my actual leg and man, it has NOT stopped hurting since. literally 24/7.

    The start of the week I was happy go lucky Raina all energetic, now it's Sunday and I couldn't be more tired. I haven't slept more than 6 hours a night every night since Tuesday, and my leg has been throbbing the entire time. I have a doc app tomorrow thankfully but I still got a gig to do. Sadly, everyone is booked and I really can't afford to have someone fill in. I was more expecting to have to worry about being SICK as a professional mermaid since I have a weakened immune system. Not have an injury. I'm pretty worried doc will tell me no mer swimming but I guess I'll have to see.

    I went to a government meeting about crowd funding. In Canada and America new laws are coming out to protect both those who crowdfund and those who pay into crowdfunding. Nova Scotia is actually going to be one of the first places in North America to set up Government portals for crowdfunding and enforce rules on both sides. Think kickstarter but on a much much bigger scale. We found out how the people funding will have to be more accountable and how they'll be able to attract big time investors. This isn't the sort of here's a reward thanks for the donation crowdfunding, but the here's stock in my company or I will appear at this event crowd funding and you get a nova scotia tax credit or incentive for locally investing in me type thing. It was really informative. I didn't think I'd be doing any crowdfunding ever again for my company especially after how it seems to be received in the community. But this would be local money only and on a whole different level. So we'll have to see... it goes into affect at the end of the year. I also met other entrepreneurs at the meeting and networked which was cool.

    Mermaid Nessie and I did World Ocean's Day (celebrated early) and this was my 5th year volunteering. It went really well except for my pain annnd ugh this other group had this super cool flying shark BUT they'd wait until I had 50 kids sitting down and listening quietly to my presentation and then fly it over and disrupt everything. Totally trolled us, every single time. So the kids would then jump up and walk all over our tails and freak out trying to get the shark. *sigh* We met and networked with many other activist groups and ocean groups though so that was cool, and the museum was super thankful for us because they had about 300 kids come through and we were the only thing specifically geared to kids. Everything else came off sort of trade-showy.

    Saturday I did a Spirit Fair in the morning, it was like an expo for alternative living and healing. And then I had a gig in the evening for 2 hours with Mermaid Naida and Now I'm off to another one that's a bit of a drive away.

    This week is shaping up nicely but I've been feeling super stressed and tired so I'm making myself take a day to myself to do nothing. When you're relying on self employed income you feel super guilty taking any time off. But I'm already feeling burnt out and I don't think I took any time at all to take a break from my previous job. For anyone wanting to follow in my fins I suggest scheduling a vacation LOL

    Here's a little clip of Nessie and I with some lobsters:



    Here's an instagram video of that shark that was flying around, and you can see more on my instagram account: http://instagram.com/p/o5_6YzQP8G/

    Here's my photo album of World Ocean's Day: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...2223161&type=1

    And a few high lights:













    Also if you didn't see the funny/cheesy photo Sean grabbed with our tablet:



    Here I am getting a henna tattoo at the spirit expo




    Also I dropped off some things at the Store where I sell, and I got some photos with some of the mermaidy merch I loved



    And two pics of Naida and I taken at our gig last night







    This week, I'm off to a specialist doc app about pain, I am interviewing another mermaid, hitting the dentist for a filling, giving a presentation at a local high school, giving my workshop on Saturday, going to the season opener for my store where I sell things, upgrading my first aid (sean will be getting his lifeguarding soon!), and doing another party with Naida. I'll also try and work on my book as much as I can and then the usual admin stuff. I'll have all the photos and video to edit from this weekend too for the clients Hopefully my leg feels better and I sleep better.

    My tail is also in a pretty bad spot a part of the dorsal just will not stay fixed. I've tried all the stuff smoothon suggests and I even sewed it! it's right behind my knee. Another mermaid broke it at merfest and I have just never been able to fix it. I don't see any sense in sending it to Raven, that's like 700$ in shipping back and forth, custom fees, and loads of time I can't afford when I have another tail coming. It's just really frustrating. I'm also really having a hard time with mold because of the increase in gigs. I've started treating my tail in the car ride home on the way back from longer gigs but my usual routine just isn't enough to keep up.

    I think my splash tail may be heading for retirement. she looks good on the outside but after 2.5 years and being cast extra thin (which was my choice) and I think it's probably the silicone tail used most in the mermaid community besides maybe mermaid linden (who has access to her artist and regularly gets touched up) so she's had a good run. I plan on giving her a good touch up overhaul when the new tail gets here, but she may become my "beater" tail I use for rougher gigs and photo shoots We'll have to see.

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