Time once again for a check-in with the Halifax Mermaids. Life has been a lot of fun for the fishy girls since the fall hit. We've had an unusually warm fall and the girls have been making the most of it. Public events have begun to wind down and private events are once again taking over. So let's see... where to start? Click Read More to see what we've been up to
This blog is an adaptation of an older blog post from my first website, and a publish article I've done on Annette Kellerman.
With the recent rise of mermaids in popculture- you may not realize that mermaids have been around for over 100 years in the performing field! Through my research I believe Annette Kellerman was the very first professional mermaid. She is the woman who pioneered our field- and a heck of a lot of other things too! Kellerman was a champion for women- and you're about to see why she's my idol!
I first came across the story of Annette Kellerman before I'd ventured into the world of professional mermaiding while researching. A now long gone tail making company claimed her as their inspiration and a few trips to youtube showed me why- Annette was an underwater performer who'd been in movies wearing a mermaid tail and at the Hippodrome in New York in giant glass tanks. While this isn't a completely new idea now a days with places like Weeki Wachi; in the early 1900's Annette was ground breaking.
I could certainly identify with why the tail company idolized her as a mermaid but as I began to do a few internet searches I found my own independent reasons. Kellerman had been afflicted with a type of paralysis and used her swimming as therapy. Kellerman had to wear braces on her legs and her disability kept her very isolated until she found swimming at age 7. She'd swim with her brothers and push herself constantly taking huge joy in the little difference she's notice in her legs as she swam. As her legs and fitness got better she began to swim competitively. She'd swim any chance she got and even accepted dares from local boys to dive from high altitudes. She felt like she could do anything in the water. She went against many odds to win her first title at the age of 15 (beating men in sprint races!) then she set a world record for the mile.
I often get asked what I do for a fitness routine to help me be swim as a mermaid! Before I get into it I want to give you these two disclaimers: 1. I am not a fitness professional and I don't replace one. Always consult a professional. 2. My experience may be very different than yours. I cope with mobility issues and chronic pain. Now that that's out of the way, let's get into it shall we?
I am so thrilled to tell you my latest book is ready to be sold!
"Fishy" Business: My Life as a Mermaid, follows me on my journey to switching from a part time mermaid to a full time mermaid. The book chronicles the ups and down of trying to make it as a performer, all sorts of hilarious stories, the struggles that are unique to me and the ones we all encounter, along with photos, and tips for other mermaids and performers.
Where my first book focused mainly on information with little stories woven in; this book is the opposite. This is my story, with all sorts of tips to help you out.
It's my hope that this book will inspire others to follow their dreams, but also give them a realistic understanding of the work involved.
So how can you buy my awesome book? You have several options!
If you are local in Nova Scotia, I'll be having a book release party at Shore Things in Eastern Passage. You can learn more by checking out the FB event details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/822175611146688/?ref=22
If you are buying online you have two options:
For a print copy, until 11:59 this Wednesday, you can get 25% off with the coupon code MATEY25 at checkout! Print copies can be purchased here through the reputable Lulu website. Print copies are printed after they are ordered, so they can take an extra day or so on top of shipping. I chose this option because it is more environmentally friendly. You can buy the print copy here: http://www.lulu.com/shop/raina-mermaid/fishy-business-my-life-as-a-mermaid/paperback/product-21820060.html
Please note the price is 1$ more than my last book was, this is because this book is bigger and was more expensive to make, and also because we're hoping to donate some of the funds to a charity (see bottom)
For a digital copy, you can get the PDF which will load on most electronic devices instantly, here: http://www.lulu.com/shop/raina-mermaid/fishy-business-my-life-as-a-mermaid/ebook/product-21819988.html
If you are planning on going to Merfest and would like to pre-order a signed copy for pickup when I arrive there, I will be taking preorders in November.
If you would like a signed copy now and you aren't local, Buy a signed copy from me with a print- 30$ (same as last year), or if you'd like a tracking number 36$ (to cover the extra fees I have to pay for tracking) to anywhere in North America. If you're international I'll charge a flat rate of 40$ and if there's anything left over (as the tracking price will vary) it will be donated to the charity my book is sponsoring.
Want to add the first Fishy Business to your order? I'll throw in a hard copy as well for 13$ USD
I am expecting copies to arrive after the proofing process, by the end of the month. Then I will mail them out and they should get to you within the first or second week of October depending on where you are.
You can place an order by emailing me raina at rainamermaid dot com and I will send you a paypal invoice!
I'll be taking preorders until Thursday October 2nd , so get em in quick.
Thank-you so much for your support during this process. It has been an amazing experience, and I am over the moon.
THERE WILL BE AN ONLINE RELEASE PARTY ON OCTOBER 10TH details to follow!
**Please Note** I will be donating a portion of my sales to the local charity: Hope for Wildlife
Hi fish fans! With the summer season ending it’s time for a Halifax Mermaids check in! We’ve been so incredibly busy there’s just SO much to show you! Hold on to your sea shells, here we go!
When we last left you the mermaids had just finished the Pirate Festival and were going into a busy August. Raina did her final booking at the summer camp she’d been attending all summer and it was so much fun. You can see photos and video below
A lot of potential clients, and people who attend public events, often wonder out loud about boys and mermaids. Some parents don’t bat an eye at booking a mermaid party for a boy, while others who are parents of boys at a party for a girl can get uncomfortable.
I get a few different types that usually go like this:
A parent books a mermaid party for boys. The boys have fun swimming with us, racing us, using the underwater camera, asking us questions about our tails and the ocean, and generally just have a lot of fun.
Then sometimes we have parties for girls where boys are guests. These can go several ways. The way I like is when parents encourage their kids to play. The boys do exactly like the above example. They have fun.
Multiple Intelligences. Howard Gardner is this awesome guy who came up with the theory that we don’t just learn by listening, doing, or reading. We actually learn through multiple ways like through nature, through music, through physical activity, through inter and intrapersonal development and more. Our company is founded on multiple intelligences and whether we’re doing a pool party or working a public event, we strive to meet as many of the multiple intelligences as possible. When your kid- not just your boy- is engaging with us, we are helping him develop his multiple intelligences. Kids who attend our events are often left with an impression on some topic we’ve covered (like ocean plastic) and we hear years later from parents that they still talk about it. We know our system for educating your boys works!
Physical Activity. Current research is showing that kids do not get enough physical activity, and that boys specifically need healthy spaces and environments in which they are allowed to exert extra energy. When kids don’t have that, they end up with restlessness, behavioural problems, sleeping, eating, and toileting problems. An hour swim with a mermaid is a WORKOUT. Your kid is constantly moving, and will be sleeping well after the swim for sure. Plus it’s important to model to boys- who at times can be more susceptible to aggression - healthy ways in which they can use that energy. Research shows that when this happens, boys are less likely to have aggression issues as teenagers and adults. Because they’ve learned healthy self-regulating. At our swim parties boys sometimes have the chance to try mer-fins/monofins which teach them the basic dolphin kick. They can also go for mermaid rides, dive with mermaids, learn underwater tricks and flips, and play in the pool environments which typically include slides, diving boards, rope swings, climbing walls, and wave machines. Just getting on top of a floaty can be a mechanical feat all on its own.
Curiosity. Fostering a sense of wonder is so important for kids. Teachers can tell you that boys and girls will often respond to stimuli differently in terms of being curious. Boys are brought up in society to be curious of one thing while girls are brought up that it’s only acceptable to be curious of other things. Mermaids encourage kids to use their imagination in a broader context, to play along, and be curious. Developing curiosity even through the simple task of asking questions can set up success for later in life, especially in academics. Boys are often incredibly curious about our tails, about our back stories, and especially about our underwater camera. I’m often entrusting a boy with the camera and a pair of goggled while he swims off to capture photos and videos of the whole party.
The Importance of play. There is a mountain of research under the emergent curriculum movement that shows education through play is the best way to learn. It also supports that extremely important developmental and social development occurs through play. Your kids need time to be kids. Boys are no different but are often rushed into growing up. We may allow our boys to play pretend at 3 or 4 but by 6 or 7 we are putting them into structured play environments like sports. There’s nothing wrong with that but kids need (as the research shows) unstructured play. Time where they can take the lead and be sporadic and not have any specific direction. The fact is, so long as parents don’t undermine what we try to do boys feel safe to explore and have fun. In a judgment free zone, boys have a heck of a lot of fun with mermaids.
Boys can be rough and tumbly, kind and loud, energetic and quiet, cuddly or introverted. Boys can be wanting mermaid rides or preferring to swim around with a camera. They can be giving mermaids hugs or throwing things for us to dive toward. They can be enamoured with our tails, or sometimes with our sea shells haha! ;)
The point is your kid only gets to be a kid for so long. These boys have everything to gain from your supporting of them in environments with women. You can teach them respect for women and to value what women have to offer. You can teach them to see that it doesn’t matter if some people think mermaids are for girls or that what we do is girly, because you know better. You know mermaids are for everyone and that we can do lots of things! We want to give your kid a memory that will last with them forever. We want them to feel inspired to take care of the ocean. But most of all we just want your kid to have fun. And sometimes it works best when parents put their personal gender biases aside… and just let us do what we do best.
Please be sure to follow Mutiny onFacebook and you can check out her BIO right here on the website! Mutiny went through a long process do audition for us, and we're now happy to be booking her as a second mermaid at bookings. We're hoping that with her new awesome mermaid skills and merwrangler, she'll be able to branch out and take bookings on her own too!
Have a peek at some of the photos and videos from her audition process!
Mermaid Nessie here! Just over a year ago I began my mermaid career, and it’s been one heck of a year at that. My first fabric tail was given to me by Mermaid Mimi 3 years ago but I never saw it as more than a novelty. The story all began…
July 2013 at the World Tuna Flat Races. This was my first official gig, which I had the lovely Mermaid Mimi with me for. She soon became my mentor, and began teaching me the tricks of the trade. It was at this gig that we decided that my mermaid career needed to go farther and we began discussing new tail ideas.
Congrats Nessie!! We are so proud of you
Well Fishy fans, life sure has been insanely busy for us mermaids! Raina here, writing to you all. I haven't had much of a chance to post and new blogs, I'm sorry it's been a while. I thought I'd start it off with this silly photo of Chicklet and I doing yoga. I am doing yoga on a regular basis right now and it's really helping me cope with stress, chronic pain, and mermaid fitness so I can't recommend it enough! A lot has happened over May and now into June, so I'm going to take a few minutes here and give you the lo-down!!
Raina & Mimi at Princess Tea
As you can see from the photos above, Mimi and I had a real blast at the Princess Tea Party. This was my second year doing it and Mimi's third. The event is a fundraiser for Children's Wish. That organization sent me to Disney when I was a kid. We met so many little girls and a few little boys, all dressed up and there were lineups for us all around the place! We were really popular. These types of charities are so important to us, and I am so glad we had the chance to do it.
This is Raina's blog where she documents all things mermaidy in the Halifax Mermaids!