So Tammy Nabors Middleton is a glamorous Orlando-based photographer, filmmaker, screenwriter and mermaid. In fact, she is a bona fide Weeki Wachee mermaid camp graduate and attended mermaid camp last summer at the same time yours truly did, an experience I lovingly describe at The Hairpin and which was one of my favorite weekends ever. Here is Tammy in her true mermaid form:
Here, too, is Tammy swimming with my own true love the manatee who came to visit us that day and who will forever haunt me in my most longing-filled dreams:
Anyway, Tammy was fortunate enough to attend MerPalooza and generously offered to write about it and share some of her stunning photos with us so that we can live vicariously through her. She did not attend the International Mermaid and Pirate Awards ceremony, as it happens, so I will mention that Mr. Eric “The Mertailor” Ducharme won “Favorite Tail Maker,” that his model Ashley Nadine won “Mermaid of the Year,” that Traci Hines won “Best Mermaid Performer,” that Mernetwork.com roodly won best mermaid/pirate web site, blog or recurring column (the nerve!), and that yours truly won Best Mermaid/Pirate Author. I know. Please do not be too jealous. A full list is coming, according to MerPalooza organizers, who are already hard at work on next year’s gathering.
Tammy Nabors Middleton on MerPalooza:
As a Mermaid in my heart, I had to attend the MerPalooza in Orlando, Florida, this year, Aug. 11 & 12, 2012, at the Wyndham Resort. And what an exciting event it was! Mermaids from all over gathered to share their passions, stories, and tails! The Vendor room was filled with every kind of merchandise you could imagine to complete your mermaid collection. Tails, jewelry, figurines, and etc. lined the walls of the conference room. If that wasn’t exciting enough, mermaids lounging on rocks and piers displayed their perfectly made tails available for purchase. The entertainment was spectacular! Opening the show was Mermaid Kylee Troche, who wears the titles of International Mermaid and Mrs. Weeki Wachee. Kyle performed a beautiful and emotional dance routine to promote the pink ribbon, cancer survivors.
Throughout the day, attendees were visited by Captain Jack Sparrow, and Caribbean Pearl, who made quite an impression. Another surprise participant was Thom Shouse, who created the famous mermaid tail for Daryl Hannah in the movie Splash. It was such an honor to meet him! Toward the evening, a MerPalooza backdrop was brought in with a red carpet, so everyone could have a personal photo opportunity to remember this special day. Something peculiar happened that I’ve never seen before—other convention attendees found the MerPalooza so interesting, they stopped by to see what it was all about. There’s always room for more Mermaid passion!
After the talent awards were given, everyone proceeded out to the pool area, where the partying and fun began! Belly Dancers from Hips of Destruction gave us a fantastic show! At the other end of the pool, performer Alexanderia the Great completed her underwater escape artist stunt, by being bound in heavy locked chains then jumping into 11 feet of water and freeing herself! She performed Harry Houdini’s stunt even better than Harry Houdini! Back to the other side of the pool—it was kind of like a 3-ring circus—Liang, a contestant on “America’s Got Talent,” kept plates spinning on sticks and handled 25 hula hoops, blind-folded. Then the best, saved for last, was Sasha the Fire Gypsy. This girl rocked! Once she started her performance, she didn’t stop. Twirling and eating fire, continuously—she was amazing! And she wasn’t just lightly touching the flames, she was “all there to get you” to the flames. At the end of her performance, she expelled huge fire flames high into the air—again—non-stop. It was so exciting to watch her!
The remaining of Saturday night, all the Mermaids frolicked in the huge pool, posed for photos, and swam with others who also passionately enjoyed what it’s like to be a Mermaid.