MeduSirena Marina to Get the Hukilau off to a Swimming Start!
By Jeff Ballard
What does the artist known as MedusaSirena Marina NOT do? Aquatic performer. Mermaid. Dancer. Taiko drummer. Fire eater. Photographer. Model. Costume designer. Choreographer. Tarantula owner. And thanks to Mulder, she is even a tiki mug!
I had the chance to catch up with this very busy and very energetic self-proclaimed "Sea Hag" a couple days ago to talk about her upcoming performances at the Wreck Bar during The Hukilau.
With her impressive resume, I just had to ask, "What don’t you do?" She laughed and said, "cook". Then she proceeded to tell me about her cooking and that it might lead her to yet another endeavor! “Between the raw food diet and Japanese food, there may be something that comes out of that." she said. Seems she is getting requests to do a book about her cooking and dietary regimen. “Maybe I’ll do that sometime” she says. Yeah, so much for the ‘not’ cooking!
As for the mermaid part of her resume, she says never dreamed of being a mermaid. Rather it was a mix of Esther Williams movies and her father teaching her free diving at the age of three that inspired her onto the journey that would eventually lead her underwater as a part human/ part fish performer.
Then there is the tiki lifestyle that she has lived all her life that was another contributing factor on her path to the pool. She grew up in the Caribbean and her parents made the outdoor patio in middle of their house into a tiki bar. And it sounds like a straight up home tiki bar from your dreams, complete with tikis, lava rocks, and more! They played exotica and Hawaiiana music, and rocked some pretty good cocktails she says. That tiki environment was so much of an influence on her that instead of tea parties little Marina would actually make Tiki cocktails for her Barbie dolls! Now that is a seriously legit tiki spirit right there!
As for her shows at the Wreck Bar, she focuses on the craft of performance swimming, entertaining visitors every Friday and Saturday with her 14-person troupe. In her shows, she often pays homage to those who have come before her in the genre. For those that may not know, porthole pool swim shows were very popular years ago. The first ones starting in Ft Lauderdale, actually. But today there are only 4 porthole pool bars in the country. And only two of those have swim shows - the Mai Kai in Ft Lauderdale and the Sip n Dip, Great Falls, MT. (Both will be at the Hukilau!) So, experiencing one of her shows is a really great opportunity to experience a wonderful, almost forgotten piece of Americana.
And when it comes to The Hukilau weekend, her shows take on an even more fun and lively tone. She and her team will perform Wednesday night in a very special Burlesque show. She has been working on this for some time and from what I hear it will be special! The show will have an old school Las Vegas feel to it. There’s a special tip of the hat to Bob Mackie’s long running Jubilee show which recently has gone dark. And Marina promises this show will be an epic performance with some “extra stuff thrown in”. And so you know, the Hukilau audience is very special to this tiki temptress so make sure to bring your best tiki vibe if you are coming to her shows!
Her Thursday show will also be fun, albeit a little more tame - but not too much! It will feature a Polynesian theme and the fact it’s an afternoon show means the bar will be a bit brighter - all the better to see some of the cameo appearances by some special guests. She wouldn’t divulge who so I guess we have to go see the show to find out!
So if you are coming to the Hukilau and have your tickets to one or both of her shows, you are in for a treat! And if not, those shows are sold out so make sure to catch her at the Wreck Bar in Ft Lauderdale any Friday or Saturday night.
There is so much more I could say about this one woman wrecking crew who seemingly does it all and who is so much a part of the tiki scene. After all our interview “half hour” interview went for over an hour and a half! And she was a bundle of energy the whole time – even at midnight her time! She’s very easy to talk to and very engaging. When you meet her at the Hukilau you will experience yourself the same energy that has her doing so many things! Oh and you can get that tiki mug John Mulder did of her!! How cool is that! Here’s to hoping he brings enough of those to the Hukilau. They will certainly be in demand as they are not only great looking mugs, but they capture MeduSirena Marina doing something she rarely seems to ever do … sit still!