Is 'Hollywood Medium' Real? Why Tyler Henry Doesn't Care If You Believe Him
Clairvoyant medium Tyler Henry takes what he does very seriously. His job isn't your typical 9-to-5, but Henry recognizes the importance of connecting with the dead in order to bring clarity and peace to the loved ones still on Earth. "I liken my job to like, therapy," he tells me while at Bustle HQ, as he geared up for the new season of his show on E!, Hollywood Medium, which is very real for Tyler Henry.
Henry says his first premonition came to him at a really young age — it was his grandmother, basically announcing her own death. And, as Tyler says, it completely changed the way he would look at death from there on out. "At 10 years old, it's a lot — you're still coming into who you are. But for me, that initial premonition was that catalyst," Henry says. "It just really changed how I went about my life and how I went about missing my grandmother, because I missed being able to hug her, and call her, but I still knew that there was something more that at even ten years old that I couldn't explain."
Being a medium since the age of 10 means that you're not exactly like the other kids on the playground, but Henry sees his young age (he's only 22) as an added bonus for his readings. "People see it's authentic — it's something I've done professionally since I was 16 years old," Henry says. "The fact that I'm at where I'm at for my age brings credibility to the readings." But although Henry's been doing this for more than a decade, it's not exactly something that his friends and family can forget he does.
"I don't know if they've ever completely gotten used to it, because it's kind of a surreal thing, but my family is used to the abnormality of it. And so, even with my partner, like a couple of weeks ago, we were sitting, and I was talking to him, and I had a vision of my fourth-grade teacher. I knew at 11:00 at night, there was no reason I would be thinking of my fourth-grade teacher, so I knew it was the message," Henry says. "And I looked at him, and I said, 'Hey, I saw my fourth-grade teacher Gary Rice — does that make any sense to your family?' He looked at me and said, 'Actually, I do have a Gary Rice!' It ends up it wasn't my fourth-grade teacher, but it was a different Gary Rice that was a point of reference to me to say that. So that happens. But I try to maintain as much normalcy as I can."
Now in its second season, Hollywood Medium features Henry going to celebrity homes and doing readings, and he's read everyone from Alan Thicke and Tracy Gold to Amber Rose and RuPaul. And he still gets excited about what he does. "RuPaul was a huge one," Henry exclaims. In Season 2, Henry also tries to tap into one of the most famous people ever — Michael Jackson.
"This season, LaToya Jackson was the huge one that I was completely taken aback by. And what's hard about that is you see LaToya Jackson standing there, and you know who she wants to hear from," Henry says. "For me, the reason why I never know where I'm going or who I'm reading is because I don't want to know the circumstances of my client's lives so I don't bias the reading. When I sat with her, I thought, 'I have to connect with Michael. I have to come up with information that no one knows.' I was focused on trying to get those intimate details … he came through with a lot of details [surrounding his death] that helped fill in some of the blanks that the Jackson family still had about Michael's passing, which was good."
Wanting those details is what fuels Henry's readings, but sometimes (well, a lot of the time), Henry is uncovering supposed family secrets and dirty laundry that the readees don't know about. None of this phases Henry, though, who sees all of his efforts as a way to progress people through their lives. "I liken my job to being like a mailman. So, I just kind of deliver the message, but with that comes a huge responsibility," Henry says.
Here's where the progress comes in. "For me, I really set the intention to try and leave someone better than when I found them," Henry continues. "That can come through in many ways — sometimes, it's about the past, but it could be about the future. On the show, we've talked about some heavy things — paternity issues, alcoholism — but all of it is done in a way to take accountability or help a person move forwards."
And if anyone in the room doubts what Henry does? "I don't really invest a lot into my client's feelings about this. I just have to do my job and, whether a person is a skeptic or not, I just tell them what I see, hear, and feel," he says with a shrug.
"When I don't, my health takes a toll and it can get physically drained. Spiritually constipated!"
Of course, constantly hearing messages from the other side can be exhausting, and Henry finds he needs a little bit of time to unplug. "As time's gone on, I found a way to do it. Spending a lot of alone time is important — places like New York are very overwhelming because I get signals up and down and from the sides," Henry says. "That can be inherently draining. Just having lots of naps and a lot of alone time really helps."
Interestingly enough, Henry says, too much downtime, though, is equally as draining, and frankly, kind of boring. "I can only take a week or two before I start getting angsty and I have to share something. Because when I share something, it's a relief. When I deliver [messages], the sensations I have go away," Henry explains. "When I don't, my health takes a toll and it can get physically drained. Spiritually constipated! That's a quote!"
Today, Tyler's just interested in helping his clients connect with their loved ones in a positive, progressive way. "For me, I can't focus on the expectation of the client, as hard as it is," Henry says. "I want to help people as much as I can. I want to heal them."
You can see him try to do that Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on E!