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Meet Marina (MeduSirena) Anderson of MeduSirena in Fort Lauderdale

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marina (MeduSirena) Anderson.

Marina Anderson — an aquatic performer known as MeduSirena —
Anderson grew up in Puerto Rico, where she began free-diving with her father and brother when she was three years old. As a child, she shared her mother’s love of Esther Williams films and her father’s love for an underwater adventure.

After moving to Tampa in the mid-’80s, Anderson’s adventurous nature led to her start working as a reptile, primate and bat zookeeper while training as an aircraft pilot toward her commercial license. After moving to Daytona Beach to continue her aviation education, she began training and working as a firefighter/EMT for the town of Ponce Inlet while moonlighting as a Polynesian dancer. in 2000, she came to South Florida to work at Fort Lauderdale’s iconic tiki restaurant, the Mai-Kai. On the side, she booked corporate gigs, photoshoots and parties as to the underwater performer MeduSirena — “Medusa” referring to her long, wavy hair, and “Sirena” for the mythological mermaid. Marina was initially turned down by the hotel management over 14 years ago after auditioning for an underwater show she hoped to start up at the Sheraton, a historic resort in Fort Lauderdale built-in 1956 as the Yankee Clipper. She was disappointed but not discouraged — Anderson was confident she could attract guests to the then-empty Wreck Bar, a dive that looked like a Spanish Galleon with portholes looking into the hotel’s swimming pool.

Luckily, the management’s denial came with a handy caveat.
“They wrote that they didn’t have an interest in a show at the moment, but welcomed me to come anytime and practice. And practice I did,” Anderson says. “I swam in a fishtailed ensemble every Thursday at 5:30. I went on MySpace and spread the word to everybody that a mermaid would be swimming at the Wreck Bar.”

Anderson “practiced” her shows every week without being paid. Within two months, the bar was packed and the hotel reconsidered- hiring her to swim. MeduSirena and her swim shows have been a staple of the establishment ever since, soon entering its 15th year at the now revived establishment.

Today, the Wreck Bar is part of the B Ocean Resort, where Anderson stars in what might be Florida’s and possibly the east coast’s only underwater mermaid bar show- as well as expanding to a variety of other themed swim show including the only Aqua Burlesque shows in the US.

Because her performance style is all her own, Anderson says she’s never had a true mentor in the field. Seeing no one else do what she wanted to, she had no choice but to do it herself.

“Somebody has to start it, and that was it — it was based on what I wished I could see and experience,” she says. “If I sat here having a cocktail and I saw somebody gracefully swimming as a mermaid, or a dancer, doing stunts or a burlesque act underwater- I would have been thrilled to see that !”

also known as the Fire Eating Mermaid (she really does eat fire), MeduSirena keeps the adventures going- as a Japanese Taiko drummer with the group Ronin Taiko (which she co-founded in 2006), involved in producing swim shows such as The AQUAMEN, the only underwater male burlesque show in the U.S., Attending swim entertainment and tiki conventions nationwide as a keynote speaker and Aquaballet trainer, and continuing her aviation endeavors training in wing walking.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Certainly yes- it seems simpler when you work solo.
Once you a troupe is created- your priorities tend to change- the concerns cannot be about you anymore; as it must involve others. Ironic to find yourself swimming in paperwork and meetings just as much if not more than in swimming pools sometimes! But I suppose that’s the nature of the term “Show Business”.

Please tell us about MeduSirena. MeduSirena one of the trailblazing founders of what some know as the current “mermaid profession.”
To be able to revive an almost lost art form (Aquatic dance) is an honor and a thrill. Focusing on movement art-
Sharing the underwater art with all its diversity and options via the medium of liquid space has continued to be a wonderful experience.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
When I started out way back, I was very eager to not make waves with people (pardon the pun)- it sometimes an entertainer’s plight; people-pleasing.

Being younger, I had trouble being assertive enough, not having the business savvy and honest judgment to have confidence in my own abilities. I wasn’t in any manner the confrontational type. Back then, it would have been good to know ya can’t please everyone- if one bends too quickly to accommodate another, that twig could snap. A mentor could have taught me this. Then again- those lessons learned have been instrumental in my continued evolution as a performer and now businesswoman.

I hope I get the chance to help encourage and mentor others as I continue my work and it, in turn, continues to evolve.

Contact Info:

  • Website: AquaBurlesque.com
  • Email: medusirena1@gmail.com
  • Instagram: fireeatingmermaid.medusirena
  • Facebook: TheFireEatingMermaidMeduSirena

Image Credit:
Sveinn Kjartansson, Roy Anderson, B Ocean Resort

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2 Comments

  1. Shannan Steen

    September 26, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    Talented, Smart, Beautiful, eats fire, walks on plane wings when out of the water! What more could you want in a mermaid? I only hope to be lucky enough to make it to one of her shows.

  2. Doug

    September 29, 2019 at 6:41 am

    How are you looking better every time I see you? Could it be the water? Naaa
    Congrats on all of you success 😊

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