Young, handsome, and an out member of the community, Tyler Henry is a medium for the new millennium. His ongoing tour continues, and at every stop, Henry is prepared to give this crowd his own special brand of reading, sprinkled with his twinkling smile and ability to connect with each person in a very special way. I sat down with Tyler to talk about his path to becoming one of the countries leading mediums, how he balances a private life and a relationship with a public that can sometimes be demanding, and who some of his favorite readings have been (and one interesting reading he would love to give).
Michael Cook: Your tour has had shows at smaller and larger theaters, as well as casinos. Reading people one on one as opposed to as a large show must have it’s challenges, would that be fair to say?
Tyler Henry: I have been to Borgata before, but I am definitely excited to be back! It definitely is a lot more intense. Its one thing to read one person and have their loved ones coming through, but it’s another thing to stand in front of two thousand people and have many of their loved ones coming through. When I do audience readings, it’s really important to put an extra emphasis on validation and specifics. I usually will get pulled in a certain direction of the audience It’s a really interactive experience and I never know what’s going to happen. Even for me, it’s always fun to see what occurs.
MC: So take me back; when did you notice as a child, that you were definitely not like the other children?
TH: Well, I grew up in a very conservative Christian household and community, so we didn’t really talk about spirits or anything like that. One day I had a premonition of my grandmother’s death. I was only ten years old and I had a premonition that she was going to pass. I told my mom and I was explaining it to her, the phone rang and it was the news that my grandmother had just died. It really evolved from there, but at ten years old I didn’t really identify it as an ability until I was about sixteen when I started working professionally as a medium. I was in school to actually become a hospice nurse and the same time, so I was just going back and forth between school and readings. Before I knew it, word of mouth just kind of took off!
MC: Was it more difficult for you coming out as a gay man or as a medium?
TH: II have been asked that before and it’s definitely kind of a tricky thing. I would say that both of them were uniquely challenging, it’s hard to pick just one. A lot of people don’t think of Central California as being particularly religious, but it is actually pretty rural and pretty conservative, so I did deal with both aspects of that.
MC: Is it hard for you when you are living your normal day to day life, and finding yourself getting attention from the public, sometimes on a very personal level?
TH: it is a little overwhelming, I am thankful that I am able to just kind of turn on and turn off. When I am going about my day to day life or in public, usually I am not picking up on people that have passed away. Sometimes people will recognize me and it’s one one thing to see an actor or a singer that you recognize, but to see a medium that you recognize in public, can be very emotional. Sometimes people will cry, they will tell me their stories about the people that they have lost. I think that is healing in and of it self just to share those things.
MC: For those that have not seen the live show, what can we expect?
TH: The live show is actually in two parts. The first part, you have no idea who I am but it will give you a rough explanation of what I do, my story, and a few of the life lessons that I have learned from the other side, the most important things that I have learned as a result of over a thousand readings and kind of how we can all benefit from the bigger picture lessons. The second part of the show is more focused on a Q&A and audience readings. I basically go out into the audience and do as many readings as I can in the time that we have and I kind of alternate between readings and questions; it does get pretty crazy!
MC: You have done readings for a multitude of celebrities, and you never seem really shaken by any of the celebrities that you have done readings for. Is there anyone that has really shaken you that you have gotten to do a reading for?
TH: Absolutely! It has happened more than once, but when I sat down with RuPal recently it definitely happened. I am a huge fan and growing up, I did not have a lot of exposure to the gay community and all of that, he was amazing. I bought through his dad that had passed away, and it was emotional for both of us. Reading Todd & Julie Chrisley was also something, he was such a skeptic, but I love that. I feel that it’s a good thing when people come in with a little hesitance so you can really see that transformation that happens in every reading, in one way or another.
MC: Is there anyone that you think you would absolutely love to sit down and do a reading with?
TH: I think there are a lot of potential people that I would love to do a reading with, but I think Tonya Harding would be really fascinating. She’s a tough cookie and she has gone through so much and she went through it in the public eye. I think she would be really fascinating to see her inner workings. I think sometimes people forget that when people are blown out in the media and become more of a character than a human being, that these are just real people.
MC: Do you find it hard to have a personal life of your own without people looking to get a possible reading from you?
TH: It’s definitely an understandable question for sure. A few years ago I entered a relationship and we have been together ever since and we’re really happy. That actually started as a reading; his grandfather came through and had passed away shortly before we met. We became vey close as a result of it and I feel it kind of got us closer just from having that immediate virtual experience. I am very thankful and if anything, I think having a good intuition is helpful in helping to figure out who is good for you and who is not, who is compatible with you and who is not, things like that.
MC: You have Hollywood Medium on E! and you have the live shows, but what do you want the next step in your career to be?
TH: My goal since the beginning is to simply spread awareness of this and to let people know that our loved ones never truly leave us. I really just try to do that in any way that I can. Right now, I am just loving group readings, they have been really fun and I am also working on my second book. Hopefully we have another season of Hollywood Medium too!
MC: What gives your the most pride in your career and your life right now?
TH: I would say that it really is being a compassionate human being, that gives me the most pride. I think it is something that is so important and I think that when we are compassionate to others, it is really an act of compassion as well. I think that is what I am most proud of.