First there was the Long Island Medium, Theresa Caputo. Locally we have the Jersey Shore Medium, Linda Shields. Now there’s the Hollywood Medium, Tyler Henry, who’s coming to the East Coast 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, to Caesars Atlantic City, to show audiences here what he’s all about.
Henry has been wowing viewers throughout the country on his E! network show “Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry,” which will release its third season early next year. With celebrity clients like rapper Lil’ Kim, actress Jenna Dewan-Tatum, pop star Lance Bass, television personality Dr. Drew and “momager” Kris Jenner, among others, he is known for his highly emotional readings — such as with Today Show host Matt Lauer — as well as for the stunning health advice he gave to actor Alan Thicke just months before he died.
At the Shore spoke with Henry to discuss his booming career, his unconventional style — namely his use of a scribble pad — and what A.C. audiences can expect to see, hear and feel at his show “6 Life Lessons I Have Learned From The Departed.”
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At the Shore: We know you’re a clairvoyant medium (sees things), but are you clairaudient (hears things), too?
Tyler Henry: With my ability, the 6th sense uses the other five to communicate, so I get things visually. (However) sometimes I hear voices or get a physical sensation.
ATS: Why are mediums so popular these days?
TH: They are something that have been around for hundreds of thousands of years. But there’s more openness about the subject matter now — there’s been a redefinition of mediums. Before the thought was that it only involved séances and crystal balls. Today it shows more of a mental process that brings healing to people — society has helped that.
ATS: What is your job as a medium?
TH: To be interpretive — to interpret whatever I’m seeing, hearing or feeling. I say that I’m a messenger, a mailman — I deliver the mail. That’s why I put emphasis on validation and that it (the message) makes sense.
ATS: How old were you when you discovered the gift?
T.H.: It stared dramatically when I was 10. I grew up in a Christian household and we didn’t talk about things like this. But one night I woke up with a knowingness that my grandmom would pass away. I had this sense of urgency about it. I went to my mom to tell her we had to say goodbye. We were just leaving the house and the phone rang and we were told that she died.
ATS: What if you’re in line at the supermarket and you get a message for someone there? What do you do?
T.H.: In the early years I’d go up and tell people. But I learned that it should be told in a certain time and place. It takes time to process.
ATS: Does the gift work on you? Can you talk to a deceased relative?
T.H.: It definitely can happen. At the lecture (his live show) I talk about my best friend who passed, and I got some heartfelt revelations. But I tend to connect more to others. I prefer that. (Laughs.)
ATS: What are people looking for when they solicit your help? Is there a common question or common themes?
T.H.: When people come — and after 1,000 readings — everyone looks for same things: knowing that loved ones are at peace and that there’s something more.
ATS: What’s the most unusual request or question that people want the answer to?
T.H.: People want to know if Aunt Ethel left her jewelry in the wall or where the will is (laughs). But I always say in readings that what comes out, comes out. They may not always get what they’re looking for.
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ATS: Aside from receiving messages from the dead, do you ever see the future?
T.H.: There are times when information comes through for future events, but I always say the future is not set in stone. I just focus on the messages. It’s an interesting thing. Some things are unavoidable. But people can be complacent. I encourage people to actively try to make the future they want.
ATS: On your E! show “Hollywood Medium,” you don’t know in advance who you are going to do a reading for. Why is it important for you to not meet your client?
T.H.: There are a lot of aspects to that. It’s part of my process. I don’t want to have a sense of bias, because that could make it difficult to interpret. And with TV you can deal with skeptics. So I went through precautions to maintain the integrity of my reading.
ATS: How did you become known for work with Hollywood folks?
T.H.: It’s interesting … I was 16 when I started professionally. I grew up in a small town. After graduating high school I wanted to become a hospice nurse, and I did readings on the side. Word had spread, I got interest from clients in southern California, so I commuted there on weekends. It just naturally evolved. But celebrities are actually the minority of my clients. I do a lot for charity.
ATS: Do you ever feel a sense of responsibility to your client? For example, when you told Alan Thicke to have his heart checked out? (Thicke died months later of a ruptured aorta.)
T.H.: It’s a tricky thing. This (gift) doesn’t come with a handbook. I feel very isolated sometimes. I try to focus on delivering the message — sometimes it’s harder, sometimes it’s easier. In his case, a strong health message came through. (But) that’s all I can do. I just hope they can make use of the message.
ATS: What is it with that scribble pad? How does that help you?
T.H.: That’s a process that came about when I was doodling while on the phone — I got visions for a friend on the phone. When I doodled or scribbled, it allowed me to focus in a different way. And with a camera crew and lighting … there’s lots going on. So this is a repetitive task that let’s me focus on more subtle impressions.
ATS: Why go on the road?
T.H.: There’s been such an outreach since the show began. I wanted to travel to have the opportunity to meet people more closely. My book (“Between Two Worlds”) came out a year ago. It tells my story more in-depth. But more than that, I told my story through those I’ve met and those who came through. This (the live show) is on an even larger level and it’s my first time in Atlantic City. I’m excited.