Tyler Henry, known as the “Hollywood Medium,” considers what he does a capability, not a gift. Having grown up in a very conservative household, he wasn’t ever exposed to talk of ghosts or spirits. Yet, at the age of 10, he awoke one night with a “knowingness” that his grandmother was going to pass away. He describes it as “memory that hadn’t yet happened.”
As he was explaining this to his mom, his dad called to share that his grandmother had just taken her final breath. This is the catalyst that changed their family’s grief process and Henry’s life path. “At 10 years old,” he says, “it’s really more something that happens to you, not something you consciously identify.” Yet as these events started occurring with increased frequency, it was clear there was something significant at play.
Henry initially found this discovery confusing. “I think there’s a perception that with mediums, we see dead people walking around,” he says. For him, this simply isn’t true. His impressions can be very subtle and are more of a meditative process.
“It’s not as dramatic as people think,” Henry says. Over the years, he’s trained himself to become hyperaware of any changes going on internally for him that might, in fact, be a message coming through.
After graduating from high school at the age of 16, Henry wanted to become a hospice nurse to use his abilities in a private way. He had begun doing readings on the side and, within a year — thanks to word-of-mouth endorsements — people were coming to his house with notes and letters. “I was faced with having to make the decision to continue school or meet that demand literally showing up at my front door,” he says.
One thing led to another; Henry met his future manager at a Christmas party and then was offered his own show. He admits to being “put through the ringer,” as the production team made him prove himself by reading friends, family members and random strangers he knew nothing about. (He now views this as great experience to have had early on.)
Henry admits that getting centered before a reading can be nerve-racking. “I am my job in essence,” he says, adding that he has no control over what comes through. He likes to remind people that he “can’t dial direct; it has to happen how it has to.”
His process is the same whether he’s preparing for one client or a room of a few thousand audience members. He tries to get himself in an altered state for 24 hours leading up to the event — and 24 hours after — in order to “tune in” and “tune out.” He does this by distancing himself from interactions and removing stimulus, “so I can be hyperaware of what’s going on in my mind and body,” he explains. “My sixth sense works through the other five senses.” Once he’s created more space and eliminated distractions, he may get a song or image stuck in his head that proves relevant during upcoming readings.
People in Henry’s life — from his friends to his partner of more than a half-decade — know that this way of life is simply part of the deal. They also have to be open and willing for things to come through related to them (like at 11 p.m., when hanging out with his partner, he jokes). “I have no control over it,” he says. “It’s difficult in that sense. You have to trust the process.”
Henry knows that many who come to him for readings are naysayers, yet he actually welcomes this mindset. When someone has low expectations, this usually leaves more room for transformation. “I embrace skepticism,” he says. “I think critical thinking is essential, now more than ever.” He believes that we learn to think by asking questions, and anything that has value is worth scrutinizing.
Henry does, however, voice hesitancy toward the extremist skepticism we’ve seen in current events — people who are wary of everything, from vaccines to climate change. He doesn’t think skepticism equates to intelligence, adding, “I think it’s important to be open to see where evidence leads.”
When he’s not working, Henry loves to stay busy with creative endeavors such as painting and stained glass work; his second book is set to come out early next year, too. “I believe creativity is fundamentally an intuitive process,” he says.
As part of his upcoming live tour for “An Evening of Hope and Healing,” Tyler looks forward to shows at Snoqualmie Casino on September 17 and 18, especially since he had to reschedule over a year ago after suffering a collapsed lung. He’s spent this past year recovering and healing, and says, “I’m coming back on a positive note.”
Henry believes this tour couldn’t be more timely, since the pandemic has forced everyone to spend more time alone, to assess the big picture and to face one’s own mortality. Within an audience of 3,000, Henry hopes to read about 15 people in one evening. It’s all impromptu, with no participants having been selected ahead of time. “That obviously adds an element of pressure,” he says, yet he’s learned a lot about expectation management on his end, too.
Some readings and events are stronger than others, Henry comments, as each group brings its own, unique energy. “You have to honor that process and let it be what it is.” In any case, he hopes every attendee gains something meaningful from the experience, whether it’s relating to others’ stories or taking in powerful messages they hear as if they’re their own.
“It’s so special to be a part of it,” Henry says with warming sincerity.
Tyler Henry – The Hollywood Medium — star of E! Entertainment’s “Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry” — continues his sold-out national tour across the country and will be coming to Snoqualmie Casino Friday, Sept. 17 and Saturday, Sept. 18.