Rayla Elkey is an ambitious seventeen year old with many dreams and aspirations. She currently works as an actress/singer for Storybook Entertainment Hawaii, a model/actress/singer for her agent Nancy Bernal, a professional mermaid and a published poet.

Her humble confidence is what truly makes her stand out in a crowd of working teenagers as she pursues dreams of performing, writing, and ultimately, “…never working a day in her life”.

However, she wasn’t always so comfortable in her own skin.

At a young age, Rayla stood out amongst her peers as the shorter girl with freckles and wild dreams of becoming a performer.

Nicknames like “brainiac” “weirdo” “loser” and “freak” became part of her everyday life.

Cyber, physical and verbal bullying were all concepts that Ms. Elkey was very familiar with throughout elementary and middle school. It took several years for Rayla to stand up for herself as well as other bullying victims.

After breaking out of her introverted shell, Rayla began to realize her dreams of becoming a performer through working with Storybook Entertainment Hawaii, a role which consists of transforming into various fairytale characters for parties and events. This job gave her confidence on stage and in front of crowds as well as improvisation skills and exposure to the performing arts community in Hawaii. By working with Storybook, Rayla rekindled her fascination with the ocean.

During a conversation concerning new characters, the concept of realistic mermaids was brought to light. This peaked her curiosity.

After months of researching, watching mermaids videos, and browsing google images, Rayla had her heart set on being a mermaid. She started out with a simple monofin to practice swimming and then moved onto a fabric tail. Months later, she purchased her full silicone Mertailor mermaid tail. Rayla now swims at Sea Life Park on the island of Oahu, as mermaid Melody with the Aumoana Mersisters, and mermaid Rain with Storybook Entertainment Hawaii. She also continues to pursue her modeling, acting and poetry careers. Rayla’s book Love, Butterfly is now available on Amazon.

Rayla’s next steps include attending college for a degree in business management while continuing to write, model, act and perform as a mermaid.  After graduating high school this year, her journey will continue in Virginia. She hopes that her story will take her to new and exciting places in the years to come as she continues to be anything and everything.

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