3N - Mermaid School

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Mermaid School

My favourite thing to do in the world is to act. Acting has been my passion ever since I can remember and I even studied theatre acts in college. I didn’t know any actors or theatres in Reunion, so as soon as I heard there was an audition for an indie film called Sirana, I knew I just had to go. At least, you know, to meet, I don’t know, people involved with film and theatre on the island.

I ended up getting the role for the mermaid Sirana. I was thrilled but also kind of nervous because I knew I would have to do some really complicated things in the water. I am a certified scuba diver but for this role I would be diving without a mask, without air, without fins, and wearing a dress that weighed 20 pounds when wet (9 kgs). Kind of a challenge!

So I called Stefaan Dewulf from Wulfy Diving. He’s a professional scuba diver and a good friend. I told him what I was doing and asked for some tips on freediving. He said it would be even better if we could meet up in person because telling someone and showing them how to freedive are two very different things. So that how I started my training as a mermaid.

It helped a lot that I dive regularly with Wulfy so I know that he’s very knowledgeable. When it comes to the ocean honestly, Wulfy is someone you know you can trust. He’s the only person who made me feel at ease when I first arrived in Reunion about going in the ocean despite all the stories about sharks.

So Wulfy and I met as often as possible for my mermaid training at Cap La Houssaye. He lent me a mono-fin to practise with - a mono-fin is like a giant fin for both your feet, and it just kind of looks like a mermaid tail. And we did lots of exercises for breath control so I could hold my breath longer and longer under the water.

It was really an incredible experience because we were practising alongside giant schools of sardines, a friendly turtle, and, you know, fish of every colour. I really loved going to Mermaid school - it introduced me to the world of freediving and I’m even planning on continuing to learn more about this beautiful and challenging sport.

Vocab:

to act = jouer (la comédie)

college = la fac

at least = au moins

mermaid = sirène

thrilled = ravi

fins = palmes

dress = robe

to weigh = peser

wet = mouillé

tips = astuces

freediving = plongée en apnée

training = formation

knowledgeable = bien informé

despite = malgré

sharks = requins

to lend = preter

tail = queue

turtle = tortue


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