Today we take a trip Down Under for a lively chat with Mermaid Mizuko. Mizuko is Japanese for Water Child, and that fits our guest perfectly. As we arrive, we find Mizuko relaxing near the shore.
Mizuko: I'm a small town girl who moved to the 'big city' a few years ago! I have a lot of interests- including fashion, drawing, performing and day-dreaming. My favourite colour is pink, and it shows in almost everything I do, from my clothes to my computer! Until I moved to the city, I lived in a fishing/surfing town on the West Coast of South Australia, so I was extremely lucky to have an ocean-loving family and spent every spare minute at the beach or marina: swimming, surfing, diving, camping. Because of this I have seen a lot of amazing wildlife in their natural environment, which led me to be a big animal lover. I am so grateful for the upbringing I had, as I know it shaped the person I am today!
Cynthia: How did you first become a mermaid?
Mizuko: I took the dive and officially became a mermaid mid-2011, but in my heart I had been a mermaid for life. Having the opportunity to literally grow up in the ocean, the idea of living and breathing beneath the waves was always something I desired and dream about. I used to run around the house using Mum's sheets as a tail pretending I was on some undersea adventure, and I read numerous books about mermaids (my favourite still being 'The Mermaid Princess' by Shirley Barber, it continues to influence me today). I even swam like a mermaid, using dolphin kick, ALL THE TIME. I refused to swim normally! Haha!
In 2011 I took the plunge and decided that I should live my dream. I researched online about other mermaids and how to make tails. And then I purchased my first monofin! Oh man, was I excited! Then I made my first tail (pink, of course). It was such a learning curve, as I am terrible at sewing, but when it was done it was the proudest day of my life. The first swim in it was as natural as breathing, and I knew right away I had found myself.
Cynthia: What kind of performances do you do?
Mizuko: At the moment I am still learning on the performance-side of mermaiding! But I have a variety of skills which have helped me, such as singing, acting and dancing experience from my years on the stage. Kids love it when I burst out singing, it really makes them go “oh wow, she's a real mermaid!” My freediving has improved a bundle, too, as I practice as often as I can. This makes me more confident with underwater tricks like blowing bubble kisses and bubble rings, as I can stay down the bottom much longer!
I try my best to bring the fantasy of a mermaid into every experience I have with people- whether it be popping up beside them in the pool to just say hello, or talking about my sea-lion pup who keeps chewing on my hair. The main thing about performing is to have fun! If you are having fun, everyone around you will pick up on the vibe and will enjoy themselves too. Making people happy is such a wonderful thing to do, and its one of the best things about being a mermaid.
Cynthia: Tell us about your connection to the play, "A Midsummer's Night Dream".
Mizuko: Being on stage for most of my life, I love acting and being a new character. Midsummer's Night Dream is one of my favourite plays ever! Its full of love, comedy, magic and of course Puck! Puck is the mischievous (or is it just clueless?) fairy who causes all kinds of trouble for the fairy-folk and humans alike, and I loved his character the second I read the book. I've got the opportunity to play him in a few months and I am so excited!
Of course, the magic and fantasy of Midsummer's Night Dream isn't the only thing that makes it my favourite Shakespeare play! The best line (for me) is said by Oberon:
My gentle Puck, come hither. Thou rememberest
Since once I sat upon a promontory,
And heard a mermaid on a dolphin's back
Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath
That the rude sea grew civil at her song
And certain stars shot madly from their spheres,
To hear the sea-maid's music.
Yes, it is my favourite line because its about mermaids! Hehe!
Cynthia: You have a blog of your own I hear.
Mizuko: I do! Its a mish-mash of my daily life, fashion, mermaiding, and a general diary! I found if I dont write things down, I tend to forget them. So it is a way of sharing my memories and experience with the world, as well as a good reminder in years to come for myself! I'm not a talented writer, so hopefully people find it easy to read! Haha!
Mizuko: In my short life so far, I've had so many adventures! Most of them revolve around the ocean and my own mistakes, haha! When I was in my early teens, my family were camping on the beach, and everyone but me had gone out on the boat for a day of fishing. I was swimming and building sand castles having a great time- when suddenly I saw this huge black shape come barreling toward me from the deeper water. Scared, I raced (backward) out of the water and watched it approach. Only to realize there was an even bigger shape following close behind it- water was spraying off its back as its belly scraped the shallows. Before I knew it, the first shape- a huge sting ray- launched itself out of the water on to the sand in front of me, followed only seconds behind by the biggest sea lion I had ever seen. The sea lion proceeded to bite hard on the ray, killing it instantly, and stood triumphantly on top of it. He then just stared at me with his round, dark eyes. Pretty sure I stared back in absolute disbelief.
I spent the next fifteen minutes backing away slowly, running to the tent, and searching for a camera. Eventually the seal ate the stingray, and casually waded back into the water to vanish. I never did find that stupid camera. And my family still doesn't know whether to believe me or not!!
Cynthia: Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Mizuko: If there is one thing I have learned since becoming a mermaid, its that being yourself is the most rewarding thing anyone can do! Follow your dreams, no matter how far away they feel, because every step toward your goals is an amazing experience and learning curve.
I hope to use my mermaiding to bring awareness to the oceans off South Australia and Australia in general- I know the importance of sustainable fishing and ocean conservation as these were important parts of my life growing up. I believe people can live, fish and dive in harmony with the ocean and its creatures, but we have got to get the awareness up first! These are my dreams and goals, and I know that with hard work and positivity, I can make a difference. Which means we can all make a difference!
Cynthia: Yes, each of us can make a difference. Thank you very much, Mizuko. Look for Mizuko on Facebook, and do check out her blog as well.
Best wishes and starfishes,
cynthia (at) goldmermaid.com
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