Monica the Medium is more than halfway through its freshman year on ABC Family and it keeps getting better week to week. The show’s star, Monica Ten-Kate, recently agreed to answer some of our questions and she is honestly one of the most down-to-earth, real people we have ever met.
SheKnows: How is school going? Have you gotten into a routine with your schoolwork and readings that allows you to be successful at both?
Monica Ten-Kate: I am still struggling. You will definitely see more of the struggle and what I am doing with all of that as the season progresses. I don’t want to give anything away, but I am still struggling to find that balance. It is definitely one of those things where I want to be able to do both, not just for me, but so I can make my family proud. My mom, particularly, wants me to finish school, but it is definitely a struggle to find that motivation for school when you have already found what makes you passionate and gives you so much joy in life.
SK: Has your mom come around yet to your gift of talking to spirits?
MT: That is another thing that progresses throughout the season — the way my family views me and what I do. My mom has come a long way from when I first told her that I was a medium. Every time I would tell her what I was doing, she would break down in tears. Now she is very nice about it and no longer cries.
SK: Where do you see yourself in the future?
MT: I don’t know. I honestly have no idea. I don’t know where or what I will be doing 5-10 years from now, but I do know I will still be sharing my gift until the day I die, whether I am doing it publicly or not. Maybe 10 years from now things will calm down a bit so I can have a family, but still be a medium on the side.
SK: Have you ever had a message for someone who was not open to hearing it? And, if so, what do you do in that situation?
MT: In the hundreds of times I have done this in my everyday routine, spirit has never brought me up to someone randomly who is not open to it. Spirit is the one leading me to people. Even though I am only led to people who are open to it, I always ask permission to make sure the person is willing to listen and be open to the process of hearing from their loved ones.
SK: Let’s say you are doing a scheduled meeting and no spirit shows, what do you do?
MT: It is very rare for that to happen, but if it does happen, I have a policy for my scheduled readings that if in the first 15 minutes the client is not happy with what they are hearing or if the spirit is not coming through, that either of us can cancel the reading with a full refund. However, no one has ever asked for that. For me, I have only had to stop three times and I didn’t need to refund it. We just rescheduled. When that does happen, I have been able to figure out why the spirit wasn’t coming through. Usually what occurs is that the spirit didn’t come through because I needed to reserve my energy for another very hard, emotional reading later in the day. When I would meet with the client whose meeting was rescheduled again, the reading would go great.
SK: Do spirits only come when you are face to face with people?
MT: Spirits will usually come only if I am turned “on”. For instance, I am turned “off” right now. I am not wanting to connect to spirit. If I am not really thinking about it or if I am open to connecting, then that is when spirit will pop in. I have had customer service calls with my cable provider and ended up giving them a reading. However, I am always getting tweets from people asking me if I am hearing anything. That is where I draw the line. I don’t do readings over social media.
SK: On the show, we saw the difficulty you had when spirit came through while you were out with your sisters. If you can sort of turn it off, why can’t you do that when you are out with your friends and family?
MT: Over the years, I have learned how to strengthen the ability to turn it off, but it is not a full-strength off button. There have been times when I need to be off and am supposed to turn it off and I tell spirit to go away, like a press day. I have done pretty good keeping it at bay even though I felt an urge to do a reading. However, I still end up doing a couple of readings sometimes. At a recent press event, I ended up doing a reading for a makeup artist who was touching my face and another one for somebody’s manager where it was just meant to be and the timing was right. Even when I am off, sometimes spirit will ignore me, but only when it is so necessary and the person really, really needs it. When it is important for the person to get a message, like at a restaurant when I will never have the opportunity to cross someone’s path again, I try to listen to spirit even if I am off. My sisters understand that this is part of my life.
SK: Have you figured out a way to get more quality time with your sisters?
MT: Oh, absolutely. I got a lot of hate in that episode. People were saying, “You are terrible. Your sisters are going to be dead before you appreciate them.” I appreciate my sisters more than anyone knows and realizes. We love each other so much. Honestly, yes, it was rude of me to get up from the table. Watching it back is also a learning experience for me. I am growing and learning as a medium. I shouldn’t have made my sisters get up and go to a different table. That is really rude. Watching it back makes me appreciate them more and spend more time in the moment with them.
People have to realize, too, that the TV show is only an hour and there are things that have to be taken out because there just isn’t time to show it all. Yes, it was rude of me to kick out my sisters, but in my defense, I had been sitting with them for an hour. They made it look like we had been there for three minutes.
SK: Did you ever hear from your tutor again or did you scare him away?
MT: I don’t know if I scared him away. He was actually a very nice guy, but I think he wanted to keep things professional. He didn’t want to get fired from his job. He was a really smart, nice, kind kid who was working really hard at his job. He is not my tutor anymore because after I got the hang of things I didn’t want to spend more time and money. Tutors are expensive!
SK: What is your favorite avocado, egg and cheese meal?
MT: If there is egg in it then it is going to be a scrambled egg with pepper jack cheese and cut-up avocado. Or toast with a sunny side-up egg, a slice of cheese and sliced avocado. I also like just eating an avocado with balls of mozzarella cheese and cherry tomatoes. I had avocado for dinner last night. It is a constant in my life. I sometimes eat avocado with just fresh ground pepper. Mmmm… I am getting hungry.
SK: Previews show that you think one of your friends is having a baby. Did you find out if someone is pregnant?
MT: I can’t tell you who, but yes.
SK: Is it you?
MT: It is definitely not me. I am not Monica the pregnant medium.
SK: Is seeing or feeling things about the future something you normally experience in addition to spirits talking to you?
MT: It is not really normal, but it does happen occasionally. I want to make this clear since people will probably ask me when they watch the episode: I am not a psychic or a fortune-teller. I can’t predict the future. The only time that me as a medium will get information from spirit is when upcoming events are already in motion. That is why in my everyday readings spirit can tell me when my client is pregnant because they can tell me that they are already with the soul of that child in heaven. I can get the information because the life has already started. It was only because someone in my circle was already pregnant that I was having that feeling.
SK: Did the person already know they were pregnant?
MT: What is funny is that two things happened. I knew before that person knew, before they had taken the test. I also knew after the person knew, but before she had told anyone. That was crazy and that is a first. It doesn’t normally happen that way.
SK: Has the show been picked up for Season 2 yet?
MT: We are hoping. Crossing my fingers.