Dream job alert! Have you always dreamed of being a mermaid? I’ll admit it—ever since I first saw “The Little Mermaid” at five years old, I’ve been somewhat obsessed with the mythical creatures.
Now that I’m an adult, it’s pretty amazing to learn that “professional mermaid” is a real-life job. Yep, Florida State Park Weeki Wachee is holding auditions for mermaids.
Since 1947, the mermaids at Weeki Wachee have performed in a theater built of limestone, submerged six feet underwater in 72-degree spring water from the head of the Weeki Wachee river.
There are currently 17 performing mermaids and three princes.
Check out a mermaid in action during practice:
While it may sound like a super-fun job, landing it is no easy task.
Potential mermaids must complete a timed, 300-yard endurance swim, where they swim both with and against the current.
They must also tread water for 10 to 15 minutes.
After passing these tests, hopefuls come back for an underwater audition with the theatre manager, in which they perform underwater ballet moves like flips.
Finally, there is a traditional question-and-answer style interview component.
“It’s all about how comfortable they are,” John Athanason, the park’s public relations manager, told Tampa Bay Times. “We encourage everyone, from every background.”
Here’s a mermaid smiling with her eyes open underwater—how do they do that?!
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We hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas. We missed #MermaidMonday because of the holiday, so Mermaid Amanda wanted to wish you a great holiday week! Don't miss the mermaids before your Christmas break is over. The mermaids are performing daily at 11 AM, 1:30 PM & 3 PM. #LoveWeeki #florida #mermaidlife #weekiwachee #mermaid #mermaids
The park expects about 50 candidates to come out for auditions on Jan. 13. The pay starts at $10 an hour.
Candidates must be at least 18 years old and able to work at least four days a week. Once you land the job, that’s only the beginning.
New mermaids must undergo a year of training, including becoming scuba certified.
Here’s a little sneak peak into a new mermaid’s first show on the job:
“It’s a very magical job, from getting to actually live a fairytale life to getting to see little girls’ faces light up when they see a real mermaid,” Weeki Wachee mermaid Carli Goodworth told Fortune. “Every little girl’s dream is to become you at that time.”
Think you have what it takes? Snag an audition spot by emailing WeekiHR@gmail.com by Jan. 11.