“Hollywood Medium” Tyler Henry isn’t living large now that he’s a resident of Los Angeles.
The 20-year-old from Hanford, Calif., still doesn’t have a driver’s license and often has to rely on the kindness of friends and family to get around the city.
Hanging with celebrities? Nope. “I do a lot of hiking and spending time alone. I like to center myself and tune out,” he says.
The vast majority of his clients, in fact, are “real” people interested in contacting relatives who have died. “The show shows a small demographic of the people I read every day,” Henry says. “I do a lot of off-camera readings” that viewers don’t see. The celebs? They’re the ones who get all the attention – and might help viewers find closure in their own lives.
Surprisingly, the native Californian still doesn’t have a clue who some of them are.
“I prefer to read people with no awareness of them at all,” Henry says. “I have to go off my intuition and there’s no sense of bias for me.”
In the first season of “Hollywood Medium,” Henry was at a party and “got a pull and a feeling” to deliver a message to actress Bella Thorne. “There’s a time and a place for readings,” he says. “There’s not an on or off switch.”
Instead, the polite millennial says, there’s a volume dial – “a sense of background noise that I live with and I try to turn it up, from the back of my mind to the forefront.”
To keep from hearing the buzz, “I try distracting myself.” That’s where physical activity enters in.
Growing up on a ranch, Henry says he had limited awareness of pop culture. He started surprising people with messages he got at age 10 and, gradually, moved into readings.
In high school, those “I talk to dead people” moments both helped and hindered.
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“I had an insight that my peers didn’t,” he says. “There was a maturity due my perspective. At the same time, there was bullying that comes from being different and all that entails. That was difficult to go through. Now, it’s something I’m proud of.”
In a book Henry has slated for release this fall, the only child talks about a fellow student who tried to bully him in a restroom. “I told him I was getting a message from his aunt – ‘She knows you were crying with your dad last night.’ The aunt had passed away the night before.”
Needless to say, the bullying stopped.
“A lot of kids were aware of my ability,” he says. But it wasn’t something he used as leverage. Indeed, “people didn’t connect with me in high school and I feel no need to connect with them now. You go through growth in school.”
Eager to be with those interested in his ability, Henry says he’d love to do a nationwide tour to share what it is he does – “places that might not have much exposure. Like Nebraska.”
Interestingly, when he much younger, Henry was read by a medium who told him he would have lots of great experiences and a TV show when he was 19.
“I definitely was a believer in that moment. I’m shocked that everything happened. She predicted it to a T.”
Readings, though, don’t always go the way the client might like. Frequently, Henry says, he’ll be in a room and be drawn to someone who isn’t the person who’s supposed to be read or hear from a dead relative who isn’t the one the client thought he’d channel.
“When I go into readings, I tell people to put their expectations aside.”
For the most part, he says, the clients just want clarity – or closure.
The series, while celebrity-based, “shows they have the same questions everybody does – the same losses, the same life struggles.” As a result, the episodes can be highly relatable.
And that driver’s license? It isn’t on the immediate horizon, he says, but that’s by design.
If Henry doesn’t have to worry about traffic, he can spend the time preparing himself for the reading that’s about to come through.