“There is nothing a parent won’t do for a child.”
This saying holds true for the Merworld as well as the human world. Despite all our cultural differences, there are a few things that remain the same, among them being this: the bond of father and daughter should be strong and supportive. As a father, it is your job to instill in your daughter a sense of imagination and wonder, self-worth and confidence, happiness and health. Merman Christomer Starfish understands this to be true, so when his daughter began expressing interest in mermaids, he took the next logical step.
“When I saw her getting into mermaids and princesses, I decided to renew my SCUBA certification, and get back into freediving. I ordered a tail for her, and one for myself.” He presented it to her on her 7th birthday.
Christomer, currently the reigning Mer-King (crowned at MerPalooza in 2013), was only 19 years old, in human years, when he began his exploration into the freediving world. He said he didn’t use it. He remember that his favorite place was underwater, but specifically the when you dive in and look up. “When you look up, it’s that thin layer of calm right under the very surface. That’s my happy place in life.”
When he picked up SCUBA again earlier this year, he noticed the monofins. “It was only a short time before I found the tails. I figured it was my job to make her dreams come true.” Of course, Christomer joined his daughter in a Blue, Gold and White tail, putting his own special spin on it. Now, at 7 years old, Mermaid Casidy is doing parties and gigs with her father.
Christomer’s FinFolk tail color comes from the intersection between ocean and land, where the white foam atop the blue waves licks the golden sands, and makes the tranquil rushing sound featured on many “white noise” machines.
Christomer is a great father, but he is also a great community member. In September, after returning from Merpalooza, he decided that there needed to be another great gathering (conference, really) of the Mers. Unlike other Merfolk Conferences, this one really focuses on the aspects of building a career as a professional Mer.
“We have Raina the Halifax Mermaid coming to talk about how get started in the business, and John Jay to teach us how to increase our breath-hold time. On the last day, we all do a kids party. So we’re giving you all the building blocks for how to build your career.”
*I would also like to note: This is not a advertisement. It’s just a really good opportunity. If you plan on being a professional Mer, you simply must go to this convention. The information they are dispensing will be invaluable in figuring out a career.*
Designing, running, and essentially paying for a Merfolk Convention isn’t easy, nor is it cheap. But Christomer says that he doesn’t mind it. “I’m doing this for fun, but I’m really doing it to give everyone a chance to succeed. And to prove that there is room for everyone and no need to be competitive. At the end of the say, a mermaid can only do 3 parties on a Saturday. We’re better together as a family than we are separate.”
Christomer left me with a final message to all of his friends and fans. He tells them, as well as other Mers, to be original and tap into their creativity.
“Don’t let anyone tell you No. Be true to yourself. If you want to be a mermaid, be a mermaid. If you want to be a smurf, be a smurf. Be unique and be yourself.”
I’m sorry y’all for not having a transcript of our conversation, this was a phone interview. Tune in for a new interview next wednesday at 12 noon.
I was lucky enough to score an interview with this pretty handsome merman. Aren’t I just the luckiest fish in the sea?
His name is Merman Christian, he’s 290 years old, in Mer-years. He hails from somewhere just off the coast of Maryland, making him a part of the Chesapeake pod. I happen to know, though, that he is also an honorary member of the New England Pod (my home pod!) as well.
Like many Mers born around the same time, he has loved mermaids from an early age, since seeing The Little Mermaid, which came out in November 1989. He learned the dolphin kick, the most important swimming technique all merfolk need to know, in his grandparents pool. Flashing forward to nowadays, his human self works at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. He makes his own tails, which feature very gorgeous, very large flukes. When I asked him what inspired him to don a tail for the first time, he said:
“Well it started a few years ago when I happened to be on YouTube one day and I just randomly typed in the word ‘mermaid’, and many choices came up, but it was one specific video that caught my eye and it was one of Mermaid Melissa’s, swimming in the clear ocean in her new silicone tail. I immediately started searching online for other professional mermaids and tail-makers and that’s when I discovered that the whole mer-community existed.”
I also asked him about his tail collection. He currently has only one tail, but is working on adding more, including one that is top-secret. He cites SPLASH (1984 movie starring Darryl Hannah and Tom Hanks) and The Thirteenth Year (Disney, 1999) as an inspiration for his tails. He is working on one based on the Thirteenth Year at the moment.
His message to the world comes in three parts. To the Land People, he tells them to follow their dreams. “You are never too old to discover or re-discover your love for something. I had some very hard times in the past two years and I can honestly say that this passion that I’ve had since childhood got me through it.” He also reminds them to care for the ocean. “You may never think that by not recycling a simple plastic bag it would never reach the sea: but it DOES.”
For the Merfolk, he had this to say: “Always stay true to YOU. Don’t copy another Mers’ achievements. We all inspire each other, but make your character totally your own, something that you can look back and shout ‘SEE! I DID THAT! THAT WAS ALL ME!’ Be unique and don’t’ be afraid to push yourself to go further.”
This very unique Merman will be very busy this upcoming year. It is only November now, but he already has quite a few gigs planned.
“In December I will be in a Christmas parade with other Mers and scuba divers, January brings NCMerfest which I’m starting to be more heavily involved in, February I have a 3-day international event where I will be performing in a tank with my mermaid friend Lanai-the New York Mermaid, and then I jet off to L.A. for what maybe TWO photo shoots, one with a very well-known artist in the Mer-world, plus I have a new website, videos, and two new tails coming out and much more!” What a busy fish he is.
For his fans, he has ever more inspiring words:
“What I would love to say to my fans is that you guys are amazing and you all inspire ME, just as much as I hopefully inspire YOU! You all are my fishes and I hope that you’ll take what I do and teach and run with it to do amazing things in your lives. I never expected to receive such support and I hope you will continue to follow me onward as I help Protect the Ocean, and Protect the Future.”
That’s a great slogan. “Protect the Ocean, Protect the Future.” Reminds me like an aquatic version of, “Save the Cheerleader, Save the World.”
In any case, I know Merman Christian will be a crusader for the environment, and a true hero for the sea.
Until next time, Bubblers!~
XOXO, Mer-Prince JV