Hearing the siren call of a new business venture, a Southern California lifeguard company now supplies mermaids for private pool parties.
Golden State Lifeguards, based in suburban Los Angeles, is a one-stop shop for professional lifesavers, as well as actors who portray mythological sea creatures. Adding entertainers to its repertoire is how the firm intends to maintain a stronghold on a very niche market — celebrity pool parties. Hollywood types hire Golden State Lifeguards to supervise their splashy soirees.
“We’re dealing with very high net-worth clients, celebrities, VIPs — people who don’t hold anything back when throwing birthday parties for their kids,” said owner Ed Castillo.
It was at such a function where Castillo found himself chatting with a performer sporting a shimmering fishtail. The two discovered that both their businesses could benefit through cross promotion. That’s how Castillo and Chantel Durelli, CEO and director of Iridescence: A Mermaid Tribe, joined forces earlier this year.
The Iridescence cast includes actors, contortionists, fire dancers, aerial performers and what its website calls “silly mirth makers,” all trained in the art of “mermaiding.” (Training takes place each year in Hawaii and includes tail swimming, daily exercise and meditation.)
A partnership between lifeguards and merfolk makes sense, Castillo said. When his company books a gig, he’ll offer a troupe of performance artists to be the (sea) life of the party. Likewise, Iridescence can suggest that clients hire Golden State Lifeguards to ensure safety at the functions where they perform. The finned entertainers do more than 20 events a year, Durelli said. These include festivals, productions and corporate parties.
“The relationship is wonderful because it adds a layer of protection at these parties,” Castillo said.
This isn’t Golden State Lifeguards’ first time offering entertainment services. The company has been supplying music and event-planning support for several years.
“I don’t think there’s anyone out there more diversified than us,” Castillo said.