I've interviewed lots of interesting people in my radio career, including countless singers, actors, comedians, athletes, local figures, celebrities, etc. However, today was my first interview ever with a mermaid.

Photo provided by Jamie Rivera

Billings/Laurel local Jamie Rivera is a personal friend, who happened to be my daughter's dance class instructor a couple of years ago at her studio. Some of you may have met her when she was hosting karaoke nights at various spots around Billings. When Jamie shared the news on social media this week that she landed a job in Las Vegas as a professional mermaid performer, I had to reach out.

As seen in the news clip above, an entertainment production company in Las Vegas recently had a casting call/tryouts for mermaids. Out of 60 applicants, the field was narrowed to 12 and finally 3 were selected, including Montana's own Jamie Rivera. Casey McConnachie of Fantasea Productions said that the most important thing when choosing new mermaids for their team is "a good heart, selfless character and sharing the magic" of being a mermaid.

Photo provided by Jamie Rivera

Of course, the ability to gracefully swim with a prosthetic fin (tail?) is important too. I had so many questions for Jamie. You can hear the full interview below. Here are some  highlights:

Is it difficult to swim in the mermaid suit? Yes and no. The challenge is making it look natural and graceful.

Have she ever performed at the famous Sip n' Dip in Great FallsNope. Her new job in Las Vegas is her first professional gig as a mermaid.

What was her introduction to being a mermaid? She reminded me that every little girl at some point wanted to be a mermaid (thanks, Disney). She bought a mermaid fin online for a photoshoot in 2018 and found the experience enjoyable. Sometimes she would use the fin at the gym pool for fun.

Take a listen for more.

We can't wait to see her perform on our next trip to Las Vegas. You can follow her mermaid shenanigans at www.mermaids.vegas

LOOK: Here are the 50 best beach towns in America

Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.