What The Cameras Don't Show You On Hollywood Medium

Tyler Henry was introduced to TV audiences in a major way when his hit show "Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry" debuted on E!. Henry was only 20 years old at the time and immediately became well-known all around the world for his self-professed psychic abilities. In the years that have followed his international success, Henry has opened up about the realities of the behind-the-scenes life of the show, including the toll performing on the show takes on his health and how he knew that the show could translate well to live performances (via Netflix). 

While "Hollywood Medium" certainly has a lot of fans and believers, there are also skeptics who aren't sure they completely buy the experience. For example, Henry professes to prefer knowing as little as possible about his clients ahead of a reading. Still, in this day and age, it is difficult for some to believe that is indeed possible, especially since Henry works with so many well-known celebrity clients (per The Outline).

Despite those doubts, there's no denying that "Hollywood Medium" is a cultural phenomenon. Here's what you might not know about the show and the man at its center.

Tyler Henry is often driven to Hollywood Medium by his mom

Something that is often not portrayed on "Hollywood Medium" is the very real fact that show host and resident psychic Tyler Henry doesn't drive. Henry, however, has a very good reason for opting to stay away from being behind the wheel — as he told TV Insider, he suffered a brain cyst and ministroke at the age of 18 that made him hesitant about operating a car — which is completely responsible and understandable. 

Obviously, Henry still has to get to and from work. Luckily, his mom has stepped in, and she often drives him back and forth from his home and the show's set or to the home of the celebrity he is working with that day. In 2016, Henry told TV Guide he was absolutely okay with the arrangement and explained, "Trust me, I don't mind being chauffeured through the crazy L.A. traffic. I plan to milk this for as long as I can."

The Hollywood Medium reading experience is holistic

When it comes to conducting a reading, Tyler Henry's process really encompasses everything and is both mental and physical. Henry told Out that he really feels his readings are "immersive" experiences for him, meaning that several of his sense are often tapped at once. As he put it, "Primarily I'm a clairvoyant, so I receive information visually, but I also pick up on physical sensations. ... In a reading, I'm picking up on physical sensations as well as mental and visual impressions."

Henry explained that there is a massive mental element to each of the visions that he receives, and he told the publication that he often sees flashes of a person, place, or thing that is relevant to the conversation he's having at the moment. As he put it, "They'll just be quick little flashes of an image, symbol, face or person, but I do find that there are occasions where I will physically and visually see somebody." As for glimpses of full body apparitions, Henry admits they do sometimes happen, but exceedingly rarely.

Each Hollywood Medium session begins with a clean slate

One of the more interesting things about "Hollywood Medium" is that resident psychic Tyler Henry truly prefers to know very little about the client ahead of time — including their background. Considering he works in Hollywood and, like the rest of us, could easily become oversaturated with celebrity news, this can be tough. As he explained to Cosmopolitan, the biggest reason this matters is that if he knows a lot about someone before their reading, it could impact the results. He said, "I really don't want to know anything about my client [before a reading] because I don't want to be biased or have pre-conceived notions."

Henry adds that a crucial part of his success as a psychic hinges on whether or not he has to ask a lot of questions about what he sees in a vision. As he explained to Cosmopolitan, ideally, a good medium doesn't have to inquire too much at all and simply gleans the information through psychic abilities. On top of that, when it comes to his celebrity clients, it's massively important that he be able to pull on information that is not widely available to the public. He explained, " ... it's those details that really provide that validation, because regardless of how much public information about someone, I'm getting details that there's no way anyone could know unless they are connected to a person on this level."

Tyler Henry uses his notebook to doodle during sessions

As regular viewers of "Hollywood Medium" know, Tyler Henry spends a not insignificant amount of time doodling while the show is being filmed. Henry has been open about the fact that he brings a pen and paper to each session to "distract" himself, drawing in circles to keep himself focused and open to the experience (per The Outline). 

As he later told Netflix, Henry said he found out that doodling helped during sessions way back when he was just a teenage medium. The doodling process, he explained, allows him turn his gift "on and off" and explains that it's not about the doodling as much as the focused, repetitive motion. But, he said, "You actually see that in a lot of other aspects of theology. For example, most spiritualities or religions have some aspect of repetition that allows people to open up or connect." In fact, Henry goes on to liken the doodling to the use of rosary beads in Catholicism, which believers use to count their prayers as they meditate on the practice. 

Tyler Henry uses a combination of hot and cold readings on Hollywood Medium

When it comes to psychic readings, there are typically two kinds: cold readings and hot readings. As explained by The Outline, a cold reading is one in which the medium doesn't know anything about the person they are reading, and goes on to make guesses about them based on what they see and hear. A hot reading, however, is when the medium learns about their client ahead of time and can use the information they learn in the reading.

It seems that despite his insistence that he doesn't know much about the celebrities he works with, Henry does use a combination of hot and cold readings with each person with whom he works. Some have pointed out that when Henry relies on a cold reading, he sometimes uses questions that appear personalized but are actually pretty general. 

Podcast host Carrie Poppy told The Outline that an example of this would be Henry saying something like, "You almost drowned when you were a kid." Poppy goes on to explain that "A lot of people do almost drown when they're kids. We're not ready for water when we're kids, so it's millions of people," but that if someone believes their own near-drowning was unique, they are more likely to respond to a medium such as Henry with a lot more weight that someone who does not.

Some subjects on Hollywood Medium experience a lot of personal growth

While it might be nice if most of the topics on "Hollywood Medium" fell on the lighter end of the spectrum, the show definitely touches on some of the more intense aspects of life. Henry is upfront about the fact that more serious topics will come up, telling Cosmopolitan that while it's inevitable that this will happen, he doesn't necessarily feel that he is responsible when it does.

Henry explained, "I don't dictate what I deliver — I am just the messenger. Most people come [into a reading] with certain expectations, and they'll want to focus on certain things, but I find that really when I connect, I deliver what they are meant to hear." On top of that, while Henry strives to approach each session with an appropriate degree of sensitivity, he ultimately has a responsibility to both his subject and his gift to try to help as much as possible. In that vein, even when he and a subject are discussing something serious, the subject can experience "personal growth in a way that would be helpful to a person." The end results in an often-moving segment in which participants feel a deeper connection to the ether. 

Tyler Henry's abilities have not been proven by science

While Tyler Henry has a lot of supporters of his show "Hollywood Medium," it's worth noting that there is no scientific evidence that backs up his claims and abilities. There have definitely been those who question Henry's abilities entirely, such as Carrie Poppy, the host of the podcast "Oh No Ross and Carrie." According to The Outline, the podcast looks into claims of paranormal behavior and other fringe sciences — such as psychics. Poppy has admitted her own skepticism regarding what Henry claims to be able to do.

Poppy spoke to The Outline about one of Henry's colleagues, Theresa Caputo, who goes by the name the Long Island Medium. She pointed out that during one of her shows, Caputo made a lot of commotion about feeling like someone in a specific row had a tattoo of an angel. Poppy was curious, and she took to Facebook to investigate after the event. She said, "That night, I went to her Facebook page, and he had, eight or nine hours earlier before the show, written, 'So excited to see you. Hoping to hear from my aunt who was like a mother to me.'" When she clicked on the man's profile, she saw a photo of his angel tattoo.

It's not possible to get a good reading on Hollywood Medium if Tyler Henry's mind isn't clear

Since so much of Tyler Henry's work is really centered on what is going on in his mind, it makes sense that he can't always get a good reading for a client if his mind isn't clear. Henry explained to Out in Jersey that whether he is trying to read for others or read for himself, he has to make sure he can tap into his most authentic, intuitive state; he needs to have an ultra-clear mind.

Henry explained that this is precisely what makes it difficult for him to read himself. As he put it, "When it comes to trying to read myself, there are so many emotions and baggage that come with it, which make it very hard for me to speak clearly on an intuitive level. It is a lot easier to read a stranger who I really have no emotional investment in versus reading myself." 

Ultimately, Henry says that his emphasis is on reading other people and not himself in the first place. So while he is interested in his own future just like anyone else would be, that's not his focus.

Tyler Henry meditates before Hollywood Medium readings

One way that Tyler Henry ensures that he is in the right mental space ahead of a reading on "Hollywood Medium" is making sure he meditates ahead of the experience. Henry told Out that he likes to give himself the gift of having the hour before a reading just to settle in and tune in with what might happen next, and meditation is an invaluable part of that experience. 

Henry told the publication that this period of reflection is often what helps him connect with his subjects in the first place. As he put it, "Sometimes before I even meet the person I'm going to read, I already know who's on the other side, what their message is, and specific details about them." Since Henry prefers to go into sessions without a lot of direct knowledge about his subjects, meditating about what he might be able to expect appears to help guide him toward what the reading might end up being about. 

Hollywood Medium has had a negative impact on Tyler Henry's health

While it might seem like the work being done on "Hollywood Medium" isn't strenuous, it seems that the mental strain required to pull off readings such as those Tyler Henry provides can have consequences for the medium's health. In the docuseries "Life After Death with Tyler Henry," the psychic opens up about the very real physical toll that his work takes on his body.

As reported by Netflix, Henry admits to suffering from anxiety and even says he had a collapsed lung before a live show. The result was that he was reportedly in the hospital for "months." As a result, while Henry admitted that he plans to have a long life, he also acknowledged that it might not be possible due to the draining nature of his work and performances. He said, "I feel old, though, that's the thing — like on the inside. And readings make me feel older, and because of that, I can't envision myself as a 70-year-old because I'm already so tired."

Henry was born three months early and has experienced health issues since arriving prematurely. But when he was 18, he had emergency surgery through to a brain cyst, which Henry appears to chalk up to his experiences as a psychic. These days, he makes sure to attend all his check-ups and prioritize his health, as he frequently encounters death and ill health as topics while reading.

Tyler Henry says Monica Potter had the most interesting reading on Hollywood Medium

As a psychic to celebrities and people who work in Hollywood, it's fair to assume that Tyler Henry has encountered quite a few fascinating stories while working on "Hollywood Medium." As such, plenty of people have wanted to know who offered the most interesting reading and why, and Henry was only too happy to answer that question in an interview with Out in December 2015.

To that point, Henry explained that Monica Potter's reading was by far the most interesting one he had conducted. There are a few reasons for this, and Henry explained that one of the most profound is because the pair were able to visit Potter's childhood home and engage with the stories from her time there. As Henry put it, "I was able to do the reading for her and meet her family. I brought through a very close family member, and it really resonated." On top of that, he claimed that Potter's energy was truly special, telling the magazine simply, "She has one of the most incredible energies of [any] human being I've ever met. Like she's exceptional."

Hollywood Medium always works as a successful live act

When "Hollywood Medium" debuted on TV, it was immediately a major hit. Tyler Henry told The Hanover Theatre & Conservatory that the first season of the show was wildly successful and amassed over 175,000 requests for private readings, so he immediately understood that the TV show could work as a live event. But, as he explained, the live show differs from what you see on TV.

For starters, Henry spends the first part of his live shows telling the audience more about himself than they usually get when the show is watched on TV. The second part is interactive, and audience members have the opportunity to ask questions live. Henry himself goes into the audience to conduct as many readings as possible in the time period he has available. As he put it, this is usually a critical point in the show because it is unpredictable. He said, "It's fascinating every time because you never know what's going to happen."