ail grown women deciding to quit the best job she has ever had as a Taxi call center She quit to follow her dream to go to the mermaid champion’chips in America.
time in a taxi call center, Mary McPhail felt like a fish out of water.
“It was really boring, really draining, because mermaiding is my passion,” she says So, after ditching the j
ob and getting her tail into gear, life’s a beach now for the Oakleigh 28-year-old.
“I had always wanted to be a mermaid ever since I was a little girl and saw the movie Splash!” she says. “I would make costume tails and pretend I was a mermaid, combing my hair and singing in front of my mirror.”
Now Mary – in the guise of Mermaid Aela – can be seen week in, week out mermaiding at bayside beaches – pier-sitting, rock-basking and dolphin swimming.
But Mary says they change their tune after seeing her swim like a dolphin on Facebook.
She says her dream was revived two years ago when she saw a US woman on the internet who made her own tails and swam mermaid-style. “I thought ‘I want to do that’. It reignited my imagination,” she says. “I made my own tail and started mermaiding.”
She finally took the plunge this summer and now has a six-tail selection, some for diving, some for swimming, others just for looks to laze around in.
More than that, she has an adult dream of making a living as a mermaid at corporate gigs, birthday parties, anything …
“The greatest thing so far was being on the beach during the school holidays. As soon as I put my tail on, about 30 kids just ran up to me. They were amazed.”
And when the smaller kids ask if she’s a real mermaid? “I say ‘Yes, course I am’. Kids are great!” And the rest of the time?
“I just swim, sit on the rocks, just lounge around, enjoy myself. Annoy the seagulls.”