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Ever Considered a Career Change? Florida Park is Hiring Mermaids

Of all the fantasy creatures, mermaids are arguably the most popular these days. Many people spend good money buying mermaid tails so they can live out the fantasy in a pool. Young girls on YouTube search desperately for 'mermaid spells' that will help them turn into the half fish, perhaps because they think it'll help them swim away and avoid their problems. For many people, becoming a mermaid would be their wish if they ever stumbled upon a genie doling out wishes.

One Florida park is offering a lucky break to a mermaid dreamer. They might not be able to give you gills, but they are willing to pay you to live out the dream.

The Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, about an hour north of Tampa, is holding mermaid auditions on January 13 for anyone who has wanted to see what it's like to spend all day underwater with a tail. The city boasts that it's the 'Only City of Live Mermaids!'

The park runs a show twice per day, 365 days a year, that features 17 mermaids and three princes. The entire production is under water. Though it may look like a pretty glamorous job, swimming around in a tail and full make-up all day, it's actually pretty demanding.

“It’s not easy what they do, and a lot of girls find that out," said park spokesman John Athanason. He says that the first part of the auditions usually washes out a lot of the competition.

Girls who come to apply usually don't realize the physical demands of the job. The mermaids don’t go down for brief dips, they spend the show under water. They don’t wear SCUBA gear; instead, they have to go to nearby air hoses every so often to get a breath. The rest of the time they have to swim around holding it.

The audition starts with a timed 300-yeard endurance swim. Those auditioning then have to tread water for 15 minutes. Applicants need to be extremely strong swimmers who can hold their breath for a long time. You also have to be able to keep cool in a crisis, since it would strike you (or your colleague) while under water.

“It’s an inherently dangerous job, and you need to be able to not only save yourself but save a colleague,” said Athanason to the Tampa Bay Times.

If you prove your seaworthiness in the first audition, you then get a call back to show that you can look graceful under water. You're asked to do ballet moves and dance.

“It’s all about how comfortable they are,” Athanason said. “We encourage everyone, from every background.”

Unfortunately, being a mermaid doesn't pay all that well. Starting pay is $10 per hour, and for the grueling work, that's not much. Still, for some, it's more about living the dream than salary.

Applicants must be 18 years old and have to be available for at least four days per week. The show isn’t as worried about body types or looks as they are about how a mermaid is able to look while swimming underwater, without starting to look tired or 'panicky'. Still, if you think you’re up to it, it can be a great experience.
Source: Huffington Post
Photo: Bustle, The Sun

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