Let's say you're about to take your first Scuba class. You may be a little nervous. When you find out that your instructor is a mermaid, you know you're going to have a great time! Today, we are speaking with Mermaid Kat who is currently living in Thailand.
Cynthia: Hello, Kat, can you tell us a little about yourself?
Kat: My name is Katrin Felton. I am 26 years old and I'm from Germany. I left my home country about 2 years ago to travel the world with my husband. We stayed in Australia for a year, but since September 2011 I've been living in Thailand and working as a Scuba instructor and model. But most of all I enjoy swimming the oceans as "Mermaid Kat" - a real mermaid!!
Kat: When I was five I saw the Disney movie, The Little Mermaid, for the first time. From that day on I always wanted to be a mermaid. I tried to tie my legs together hoping they'd turn into a mermaid's tail. My father however would not let me jump in the pool like that and my dream was put on hold for a while. After a couple of years I got the opportunity to work as a model and was crowned "Miss Germany International 2006" and managed to travel the world and gather some international modeling experience. I started diving for a photoshoot and I got a bit closer to the ocean again. I started scuba diving and after some time I was on the way to become a scuba instructor and started freediving. I remembered my childhood dream of becoming a mermaid and did some research. I found my first memaid tail online. This is when "Mermaid Kat" was born. In the meantime I have finished making my own mermaid tail and have had several under- and above water photoshoots. I have finally managed to combine my passions of being underwater and a model and am now an underwater model.
Cynthia: Tell us more about your life as a professional mermaid and model.
Kat: Currently I still work as a model in Thailand. There are quite a lot of fashion shows and photo shoots over here. Although I do prefer being underwater much more than being on the catwalk. I became a mermaid about a year ago so I'm still at the beginning of my career. However, things are starting to get going. I've got bookings for several events and interviews in southeast Asia. The majority of work still comes from modelling but I'm hoping that this will change soon.
Kat: In my free time I try as swim as a mermaid as often as possible. Unfortunately I don't have too much time to do this. Working as a Scuba instructor I dive almost every day and after scuba diving you are supposed to wait for at least 18 hours before freediving as a mermaid. But we are starting to get into low season so I hope there will be more time for me to swim as a mermaid.
Cynthia: No doubt you enjoy being a Scuba instructor.
Kat: I think it's the best job in the world. I used to work for an insurance company, and hated going to work every day. Things changed and I now really enjoy every day on the boat. Diving in Phuket is great and the scenery is beautiful.
Cynthia: Were your family and friends supportive of you being a mermaid in the beginning?
Kat: My friends didn't quite understand what I was talking about but most of them are from Germany and it's pretty cold there most of the time. Additionally, there is no water near the town I come from so it made it even harder to understand. Now they have seen what I do and they are really supportive but I still get to hear that I am crazy because I go diving with my legs tied together and without any air tanks and mask.
Cynthia: Can you tell us any stories related to people seeing you in the water, or for the first time?
Kat: I remember the very first time I tried swimming with a mermaid tail in public. It was at Bondi Beach in Sydney and I was so nervous. I was afraid of other people laughing at me or of funny comments. Luckily it went the other way, people were so curious and interested and I got talking to so many families with kids who wanted to try swimming like a mermaid too. This was really cool and it confirmed once again that I was on the right track.
Kat: Disney's The Little Mermaid is of course my number one as it was my inspiration. Another very good movie is Splash but to be honest I'm crazy about anything that has to do with mermaids.
Cynthia: Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Kat: I want to thank my husband Spencer as he is the one who always supports me, no matter how crazy my ideas are. Also my mother and step-father have been very supportive. I do regret very much that my father who told me that I could not swim with my legs tied together when I was little passed away when I was 16. Unfortunately, he will never be able to see me swim the oceans as a Mermaid.