Making the Performance Personal


Another great aspect of being a mermaid was being allowed to give special shout-outs to loved ones during performances. Pictured here is Rita King underwater, holding a welcome home sign for her parents, who were in the audience.

Susie Pennoyer was able to do a similar acknowledgement for her grandfather. "My grandparents would love to come and visit and my grandfather just thought Weeki Wachee was the most special thing he'd ever seen. And then many years later when I was working there, he could not wait to come see me swim, which he did. And, um, at the time, we used to have a little microphone in the water and you put it on your throat and you could talk. It's a bit bubbly, but you could talk and the audience could hear you. And there was a certain seat that you always spoke to. And if it was their birthday, you'd sing 'Happy Birthday'. And if it didn't happen to be their birthday or anything special, we'd sing that song 'How Dry I Am'. 'How dry I am, how dry I am.' Anyway, we put my grandfather in that seat and I got to sing to him. And it was right after that we're performing the show. And they ended up having to take my granddad out of the show early because he wasn't feeling well. And they brought him home and he ended up having a stroke. And that was the last time I ever saw him. So for him to see me swim was profound for him and it-it means a lot to me these days. So that was kind of really-kind of cool, sad thing. But it was just really special..."


Life of a Mermaid
On The Job
Making the Performance Personal