Vintage Roadside: How do you train for your performances? Do you follow a fairly strict workout schedule and diet?
Marina: I train constantly - 6 days a week. Long distance runs, weight work, lap swims (underwater and surface) and dance, both performances and training.
Vintage Roadside: Followup question in regards to all that training - favorite "forbidden" food?
Marina: My fave "forbidden" food has got to be pizza. I only indulge in a slice after doing an "ultra swim" performance (2 hours or more) or after a half marathon.
Vintage Roadside: Well, we're going to consider this an "ultra interview" and raise a slice of pizza in your honor tonight.
Vintage Roadside: Who designs and produces your costumes?
Marina: I do it all myself. I have specific needs with the costuming. I don't wish for it to appear too "realistic" as I'm trying to depict "Glamour Girls" rather than "fish". They also must be very hydrodynamic to allow for proper underwater maneuvers.
Vintage Roadside: You've got quite a wide & talented fan base. Aren't you even a character in a new graphic novel?
Marina: Yes!! There are so many amazing people I have worked with. They call themselves "MeduSirenaphiles" - entertainers, artists, singers...whoa. I'm fascinated with all the different depictions that have arisen - Hawaiian artist THOR has placed me in several pieces, Jolyon Yates has designed some great movie inspired t-shirts with my image, Fez-o-rama even has a MeduSirena fez, and many more great artists continue to floor me! To top it all off - Aaah! - I was the model for a character in Jim Balent's "Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose" #70 & #71. This is a tremendous honor as I've been a fan of his work for a long time! I would have never thought 17 years ago that I would be appearing on BOTH covers! I'm still pinching myself over that one...
Vintage Roadside: You've performed in some pretty amazing settings. What's the "dream" list looking like?
Marina: To swim for Esther Williams...sigh...to visit and perform at aquatic attractions all over the world and meet more aquatic performers, to share my knowledge and teach future performers in the MeduSirena style of swimming. Also to see more porthole pool attractions emerge, and to continue to dance underwater.
Vintage Roadside: Have you gotten just about everything that can go wrong with a performance conquered at this point?
Marina: Wardrobe malfunctions are seldom too problematic (part of the training is to learn how to handle those) so besides really bad water conditions, or no lighting (hard to swim in the dark!) things are pretty well under control...but that could change at any time!
Vintage Roadside: We've always wondered - is there any magic to keeping the tail on?
Marina: Nope. It fits like a sausage casing - the tighter the better!
Vintage Roadside: Ok, let's change gears a bit. We're headed out on a road trip together, let's say to the Sip 'n Dip in Montana, and we let you pick the first 5 songs to play in the car. Go!
Marina: "Out on the Tiles" by Led Zeppelin, "Rainbow's End" by Iron Maiden, "I'm In Love with My Car" by Queen, "Kings of the Wild Frontier" by Adam & the Ants, and "Tu Boquita" by Iris Chacon. Really, there are too many to single out, I just threw out the first few that popped to mind - there are TONS more!
Vintage Roadside: We know you just got back from California where you performed with the Tikiyaki Orchestra, but what was the last road trip you took?
Marina: The Florida Keys. Go there as often as possible.
Vintage Roadside: Any parting words of wisdom?
Marina: Maintain discipline, originality, honesty, service, appreciation, and be in the moment. Always remember and acknowledge the trailblazers, thank your inspirations and mentors - it does mean a lot to them, and that your body can do A LOT more than you think.
I sincerely hope to see this art form again establish itself and go beyond just being seen as a "Mermaid" trend. To watch someone be athletic and fluid in an underwater environment is truly a sight to behold, and fortunately also a wonderful celebration of that the human body is capable of. I'll continue to perform for as long as my body allows and to continue to teach (with great honor) those future aspiring performers for as long as they're willing to allow me the privilege. Mahalo.
Vintage Roadside: Thanks Marina, we appreciate you spending some time with us, and most importantly for all you're doing to keep this type of performance alive!
Marina: You are most welcome!
To learn more about Marina and all she's doing be sure and visit her website here and "Like" her Facebook here. We guarantee never a dull moment!
We'll leave you with this somber video we shot with Marina one afternoon. ;-)
Jeff & Kelly
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