Updated: Jul 28
If you are a professional mermaid, or are interested in becoming one, you may find some value in this post. I'm going to tell you about ways a professional mermaid can bring a little extra magic to a mermaid gig.
To complement all your swimming and mermaid acting skills, there are props that you can use to add additional flair to any mermaid show or gig.
When you’re a professional mermaid, you do a lot of sitting down, chatting, and posing. You can also do a lot of swimming around and showing tricks, while also interacting with kids. It can be loads of fun!
But it’s possible to have dull moments at a mermaid gig. Sometimes kids are not as interested in you as you'd hoped. Having some little props can really lighten things up in those moments, especially if there are some older kids who may know you’re just a performer.
Add a little razzle-dazzle to your mermaid performance with any of these props.
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I’m obsessed with bubbles. They add a certain magical ambiance to any under-the-sea event. “Life is de bubbles!” when you’ve got a bubble machine. You can get one for as low as $5 from Five Below. That’s where I got my narwhal bubble machine. The great thing is you can get them shaped like whales, fish, or other marine animals to match the theme even more.
Kids also love pouring bubbles into the machine. I named my bubble machine Mrs. Narwhal, which is fun for the kids. I tell them she eats bubbles and then I have them “feed Mrs. Narwhal” by pouring bubble soap into the machine. This way it works as a decoration and an activity.
A common question from kids is “do you have magic powers?” If magic is a part of your mersona then a crystal ball might be a good prop for you. Crystal balls are known for being used to see into the future. You can get creative with a crystal ball. Come up with a story about it, such as how you got it and/or where it came from.
They are an elegant and mystical prop that you can also do tricks with. If you’ve seen Labrynth or are familiar with Fushigis, you know you can roll one along your fingers and do illusions with it.
It took me forever to figure out how to juggle because it's challenging at first, but I persisted and have gotten pretty good. This is a fun skill to have because it's quite entertaining. If things get quiet you can say “wanna see a trick?” and pop out the juggling balls. If only I could find some seashell shaped juggling balls.
You can teach yourself by watching videos on the internet. Juggling balls aren’t a bank-breaker either. Get a set of them for just $11. One thing about juggling, is that even if you do drop a ball, you can play into it. Do a little giggle and ask the kids if one of them could retrieve it. Kids love helping out mermaids. You can even respond to their helping with “you have my mermaid blessing” or “helping a mermaid brings good luck!”
Hooping is a new trend that has risen in popularity, mainly for young women and girls. We played with hoops as kids, but now there are more advanced techniques and tricks that can be performed. It's an artform.
You can't get full use of a hoop when you’re in a mermaid tail, but you can still swing the hoop around your arms and do tricks such as throwing it in the air and catching it, then continuing to twirl it.
Hoops are also great for kids. Have them practice hoola hooping, or use it for an underwater obstacle course where kids swim through the hoop. It also works a basket ball hoop in which you hold it up for them (out to the side so they don’t hit you). You can buy them in your favorite color and you can even get light up hoops!
Twirling ribbon wands around looks graceful and magical with the rainbow colors swirling through the air. The best thing is that anyone can make it look good. They are used by gymnasts, but it’s not hard for the layperson to figure out to make some magic with them.
I have two rainbow ribbon wands and I’ll have one in each hand. You do elegant arm dances and wrist movements to swirl them around. It can be difficult to prevent them from forming knots every once in a while. Ribbon wands are also a great prop for underwater performances.
Treasure chests make the perfect prop and decoration. They relate to mermaids because pirates are known for sailing across the sea to seek out treasure chests. Mermaids and pirates are connected because they both dwell among the sea, and there are many stories where pirates encounter mermaids.
For a mermaid gig, bring a small treasure chest and fill it with goodies. I include shells, pearls, and toys.
This is another great buffer for if you start to lose the kids’ attention. It also works great for getting the ball rolling. The first thing I do is show kids my treasure chest and let them see all that’s inside. I also make little seashell necklaces to give the kids and I store them in the chest. You can get a pretty cheap wooden chest from your local craft store in the wooden crafts section. You’d just have to paint it yourself. You could also try a thrift store to see if they have one.
Watch this video for a more in depth look at my treasure chest and find out more about what I do at mermaid gigs.
I go to a gig with some picture books in hand (well, in treasure chest). When kids are all swam-out (is that a word?) and they just want to sit by the pool or on the steps, that is the perfect moment to read them a book, depending on the age. It’s an opportunity to tell an interesting story and use some funny voices along the way!
The best books for a gig are ones that relate to mermaids, the sea, or fish. The Rainbow Fish is a great kids’ book! You can also find books about The Little Mermaid. Check the book department at your local thrift store. I found some real gems there!
You would think for a pool party that the host would have pool floats and pool toys, but this is not always the case. It’s safe to come prepared with things like beach balls. You can usually find them at the dollar store.
A beach ball can really liven things up. Get the kids moving in a game of volleyball or just a game of catch. I like to throw the ball up and then bounce it off my head. You could also try sitting on the edge of the pool and using your tail to “kick” the ball.
Pool noodles and other flotation devices are very useful for kids who are not the best at swimming. Ask the birthday child's mom or dad if they have any, if not you can usually find them at the dollar store or order some here.
Have the kids use the noodles like swords and do a sword fight. You can tell them about all the pirate sword fights you've witnessed as a mermaid out in the sea.
Dive toys are a great way to entertain kids. Most kids love a game or challenge. I bring a hand full of dive toys to throw to the bottom of the pool for kids to retrieve. You can call it a treasure hunt.
They are relatively inexpensive. I bought mine from Five Below. I even found some cute mermaid dive toys! Not only do they work as dive toys, but they can be played with like dolls. Find some here!
What will you bring to a mermaid gig?
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