Weeki Wachee Springs State Park in Spring Hill, Florida is known for its live mermaid shows. And now, they’re looking to expand their roster of talent. If you’ve ever flirted with the idea of becoming a real life Ariel, pack your bags.
The park is holding auditions January 13 and if you think the only qualifications include being able to swim and looking cute in a onesie, think again.
“It’s not easy what they do, and a lot of girls find that out (during the audition),” the parks PR manager, John Athanason, tells Tampa Bay Times.
Auditions include a series of physical endurance trials, like treading water for long periods of time, and swimming 300 yards against the current. Of course, candidates will also need to be able to hold their breath for long periods of time, all while performing ballet moves (including flips) under water.
“It’s an inherently dangerous job,” says Athanason, “and you need to be able to not only save yourself, but save a colleague.”
The mermaid tank faces a 400-seat auditorium, which means potential mermaids need to be comfortable in front of the crowd.
The Weeki Wachee mermaids have been performing since 1947, according to the Tampa Bay Times. They perform underwater year-round in 72-degree spring water from the head of the Weeki Wachee river. The mermaid show takes place in a limestone theater submerged six feet below the spring’s surface.
If you think your personal safety is worth $10 an hour, this might be for you.