Erika O’Shea probably has one of the world’s only jobs where she gets carried in to work each day by a pirate.
O’Shea, who’s originally from Lawrence and lives in Kansas City, has been performing as the Heartland Mermaid for about four years, and has worked as a performing artist for a decade.
Because her job requires a mermaid outfit – with, you know, a tail and fluke instead of legs – she can’t walk to her stage (which is typically a pool), so a pirate carries her in. “For long distances, he’ll use my cart,” she says matter-of-factly.
She’ll appear Friday at Richmond’s American Celebration, swimming with people during the free swim from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., and also coming out of the pool for photos from 6:30 to 7:30.
O’Shea – who went to the University of Kansas and also has a master’s degree of business administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City – started her mermaid career at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival. “I started out as queen of the fairies, and princesses, and one year they needed a mermaid.”
The complete version of this story appears in the Tuesday, June 26, 2018, print edition of The Richmond News.