FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
We will match ANY competitor's written price quote, service for service.
Please refer to our Event Packages link for pricing details. All of these fees will be paid directly to The MerFriends in order to book the event and hold the date and performers of your choice. The quoted hourly rate will be paid by credit card the day BEFORE the event or in person by cash or check the day of the event directly to the performers. (Exact change is appreciated as performers don't carry cash. We cannot accept credit cards in person.) If paying by credit card, we use PayPal, and there is a fee attached to this service. The booking fee is non-refundable.
We have a pirate's treasure box to keep our keys and phones in. We will often lay out business cards and other marketing materials that guests are welcome to take with them, creating a small display. This is where you will place our payment. Tips are appreciated!
Though it is easy to simply book the company with the lowest price, the customer needs to compare what all they are getting. Does the company offer free underwater photos and videos, do they have dry entertainment in case of inclement weather, how many performers are included in the total price, and do the performers have an appearance itinerary customized for your event so you know exactly when, how and where they will appear/perform? With the MerFriends, yes, free photos and video taken underwater during your event are sent to you within two weeks of our appearance to share with family and friends, we bring both wet and dry entertainment just in case, all quotes are for a minimum of two performers as we ALWAYS abide by the buddy rule when around water, and your booking contract is long and detailed broken down to the minute by minute plan for your event so you know EXACTLY what you are getting. And remember- we will match ANY competitor's written price quote, service for service.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
MerFolk cannot walk in their tails. They cannot scoot or be dragged. They must be carried when out of water, though they have a limited range of motion so to change their position while seated. This is why EVERY merperson is accompanied by a merwrangler. Non-Employees are prohibited from picking up a MerFriend.
For events where guests will be swimming with the MerFolk:
With the help of the MerWrangler, the Mermaid will be carried into the event. They will organize mermaid games, obstacle course, races, diving for treasure, and so forth as time allows. She will also encourage guests to sing songs with her, she will answer questions, tell stories, and other forms of entertainment as time allows. If any additional packages were purchased, such as tail rental, tail purchase, mer-makeovers and so forth, they will be the primary focus of your event.
*If a merman is booked for your event and must be carried in, TWO merwranglers must also be booked in order to carry him safely to and from the water.
For events where The MerFriends are providing the water source:
We require an entry gate and performance area of at least 6 feet in length, 12 feet in height, and 4 feet in width in order to maneuver the tank into position. We also require a hose and the ability to fill up the tank with 500 gallons of fresh water (normally takes 2 hours.) For an event taking place outdoors in the months of September-May, we will need a hot water source and/or electrical outlets to plug in our space heaters. We will also need a way to empty the tank where it sits at the end of the appearance. The tank may only be used and handled by members of The MerFriends for safety and liability reasons.
The swimming mer will be inside the tank, taking breaths as needed at the surface. The tank itself will be decorated like the NeverLand Lagoon. The MerWrangler will remain dry outside the tank. Both performers will pose for photos, answer questions, and interact with the crowd as able. The swimming mer will demonstrate basic tricks (as space allows) such as flips, twists, bubble shapes, and extended breath holds. This set up is not ideal for a full show given the swimming space limitations. It is better as a simple attraction or living center piece.
For events where The MerFriends will be performing a show for an audience:
It is ideal that the water source be an infinity pool or aquarium as optimal viewing is from the side, but any venue can host a performance. The MerFriends can provide the music, sound system, and lighting required for this type of event. The host is asked to provide the area for the audience. These shows can range from 5 minutes to a full hour, depending on the event's needs and the performers' availability. A variety of shows are available including (but not limited to) water ballet, merlesque (water burlesque), a comedic safety presentation, or a choreographed demonstration of skills and mer-personalities. The MerFriends can also sing and tell stories while on the surface. The MerFriends do not utilize air tanks or hoses, but for certain events will have safety divers in the water. If totally enclosed, The MerFriends will share oxygen with the divers as needed, but do not swim with visible air tanks or hoses. Our MerFolk are mammals. AT LEAST 3 WEEKS NOTICE IS REQUIRED TO PREPARE A SHOW FOR YOUR EVENT.
For events where The MerFriends are appearing dry:
The MerPerson will sit inside our giant clam shell, on a pearl ottoman, surrounded by blue and green fabric, decorating the provided area around the clam as able to create a NeverLand Lagoon effect. Other props such as treasure chest, sea shells, and fisherman's netting will be added as needed to create an interesting backdrop. From the clam shell, the Merperson will entertain guests and visitors with songs, stories, and temporary tattoos. They will also pose for photos alone and with guests. The Pirate, Sailor, or second Mer-Person will remain near by, also posing for photos and entertaining guests in character. The set up of this photo booth takes about 30 minutes, and it is preferred we do it unseen as we never appear in public without our tails. This is not a "show" but more of an attraction or rainy-day substitute for a swimming appearance. A show could, theoretically, be created for a dry appearance if requested.
At no additional cost, The MerFriends will bring their underwater GoPro in order to capture underwater video during the event. This camera does not have a playback option, so there is no way to review the footage. This is amateur video and photos. All photos and videos on the GoPro will be emailed to the host within 14 days of the event, unedited. These will be the property of the host to use as they desire. The host and all guests are free to take photos and/or video of The MerFriends during the event on their own devices. We can sit on the ground and pose for photos or in the water. We are not able to walk in our tails, and we do not drag it on surface. We bring a large fishing net that makes for some fun photo ops (I caught a mermaid!) We can take group as well as individual photos. You are HIGHLY encouraged to post these photos on the internet, including social media, and to email a copy to Info@TheMerFriends.com. Please tag #TheMerFriends whenever possible. www.Facebook.com/TheMerFriends or www.Instagram.com/TheMerFriendsDFW. Any photos we find or that are sent to us will be edited to blur out all participants who appear younger than 18, and then may or may not be posted to our webpages, including social media, for advertising purposes.
You can choose your mer-person from the photos on our website. They will appear in person as they do on the website. Our photos appear UNEDITED.
SPECIAL NOTICE: Some pools have restrictions on the use of fins at their facility. BEFORE booking The MerFriends, please confirm you have permission for us to appear. The venue is MORE than welcome to contact us should they have any questions, even before you book.
ALLERGY ALERT: Some of our tails are made of latex. Guests with a severe allergy are safe to swim in the same water as the tail but should probably avoid direct contact with it.
THE PARTY HOST IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SAFETY OF ALL GUESTS DURING THE EVENT. The host is HIGHLY encouraged to hire a certified lifeguard to watch all swimmers, or at least appoint a water monitor. The MerFriends are not able to watch every swimmer the entire time AND perform. A lifeguard is an extra pair of safety eyes who would not be distracted by other guests, the taking of photos, or be engrossed in a mobile device.
The MerFriends will not swim or appear around water or in open fields if lightning is seen or thunder is heard. Rain is not an issue.
The MerFriends will gently remind guests to follow basic pool rules such as jumping feet first and walking around the pool deck, but do not assume responsibility for rule enforcement.
The MerFriends carry entertainment liability insurance coverage through State Farm.
The MerFriends reserve the right to end any appearance early for safety reasons. No refunds will be given.
The booking fees are non-refundable. The hourly rate is due to the performers on the date of the event by cash or check. If the event is canceled, we must be notified in writing via email and/or text message at least 24 hours in advance. If 24 hours notice is not given, a cancellation fee of $50 will be charged. No refunds will be given if purchaser cancels event. If host is not able to pay the balance in full by the end of The MerFriend appearance, a $50/day late fee will be applied and the full amount due must be paid via PayPal, which will include a service charge. Please make every effort to pay the performers the balance due- they have taken the appointment in faith they will be paid.
There are no guarantees that we will be able to attend your event if you decide to change the date, time, or location due to weather or for any other reason. We will make a reasonable attempt to do so, but if we are not available for your changed date/time/location, then the event is considered canceled by the purchaser, and there will be no refund of the deposit.
Once The MerFriends arrive at the event, balance is due, regardless of weather, fire, or other occurrences that may arise to prevent us from performing at event. Please have an alternate plan in the event of inclement weather. All performers are certified lifeguards, and if there is thunder or lightning, we will clear the pool. We will remain at the party, in a safe area, and pose for pictures, apply tattoos, sing songs, tell stories, and otherwise entertain to the best of our ability.
If you wish to keep The MerFriends beyond the scheduled time, and both are available to stay longer, you will need to pay each performer an additional $50 per 30 minutes. Each MerFriend has a waterproof watch, and it will serve as the official time keeper. The prep time needed to transform at the arrival and departure is not considered billable time as it is our choice to maintain the illusion. The host is asked to assist The MerFriends in this endeavor by distracting guests to the best of your ability at the designated times.
INFORMATION NEEDED FOR BOOKING:
We provide a VERY detailed quote and booking contract in writing for every event. We will need to know which performers you would like (minimum of 2), when your event is (day, date, start, and end time), where it is (physical address of the venue), if it is swimming or dry, the type of event and how you foresee our participation fitting your theme, and any other details you can provide us.
EDUCATION, TRAINING, AND CERTIFICATION:
All members of the MerFriends are professional performers (actors, singers, dancer), stunt performers (specialized training with swords, hand to hand, and water), certified lifeguards, and have weekly rehearsals and ongoing training as a troupe. We are writing the curriculum and going through an accreditation process with our training program, The Mercademy, as there is no formal licensing or training for professional merfolk.
WHY THE MERFRIENDS
Professional swimming merfolk is an ever expanding genre of entertainment, though many clients don't know what to look for.
The client wants someone who is PROFESSIONAL. This is a major physical performance and it requires training and practice to do well. Extended breath holds, graceful form, tricks such as bubble rings, bubble shapes, flips, twists, and even underwater poses enhance the experience. Our performers have EXTENSIVE training in all of this and perform it with ease. They can also offer mer-rides for children under 80 pounds and merfolk swim lessons. Our pirates have choreographed sword fights and know how to handle their real weapons as professional performers. There are those who can barely swim and simply entertain while seated in water. Others, believe it or not, don't want to get their hair wet. We are SWIMMING MerFolk, and we come prepared to show all our tricks as appropriate for the event. We are also a professional business, upholding our contract, arriving on time, and remaining in communication with our clients at all times.
The client wants someone who is BELIEVABLE. Fabric tails do not cut it in person (and rarely in photos or videos.) Our tails are made of latex and/or silicone for the most believable look and feel. Our pirates have REAL pirate clothes, not cheap costumes, and the swords are so real, we keep them peace-tied unless a specific demonstration/performance has been approved in advance. No fake eyepatches or stuffed parrots here! Every MerFriend can answer many questions as part of their interaction with audiences. Test them in this and be amazed at their responses.
The client must ensure the event is SAFE for all their guests. Anyone can put on a costume and get hired to do an event, but you want to make sure in our litigious society that no one is injured- not guests or performers. Someone who is certified and experienced as stunt performers, water safety instructors, lifeguards, SCUBA, and free divers is optimal in this line of work. If there is a certification to be had, The MerFriends have sought it out. However, there is no formal, accredited certification for professional merfolk- yet. The MerFriends have developed curriculum for training merfolk and it is going through a national accreditation process now. But, until it is completed, anyone who says they are a certified mermaid or merman simply has a certificate from an un-accredited program.
Finally, research the company on the internet and call their references. Look at photos, videos, and reviews very carefully. Sometimes what they advertise isn't exactly what you get as some companies "borrow" marketing materials from others. With the MerFriends, we include photos, videos, and reviews of each performer that will be coming to your event. And the only editing on our photos or videos is to blur the faces of those younger than 18 for their protection. No airbrushing here! What you see is what you get.
Simply put, we are the BEST choice for mermaids, mermen, pirates, and fairies ANYWHERE.
If you have a question that is not answered here, please contact us.