Monica Ten-Kate is your average college student who is busy hanging out with roommates, taking classes and trying to find a cute guy. And… she talks to dead people. Ten-Kate is a medium, who discovered her gift in high school, but who kept it a secret until college. Monica’s journey as a normal woman with an extraordinary ability is chronicled In ABC Family’s new reality series, Monica the Medium.
Monica generously answered my questions for a revealing profile and she is incredibly honest about the incredible life she leads. I an interested to learn more about Monica and see for myself what her gift entails. I am not sure if I believe in the ability to communicate with the dead, but I have an open mind, and am willing to let Monica’s actions serve as proof.
So let’s get started and dive into Monica’s world.
From the get-go, Monica looks like your normal young woman. She’s a student at Penn State, and has a group of nice-seeming friends: Krista, her high school BFF and resident “Social Butterfly;” new roomie Ann, “The Thinker” aka “The Skeptic;” and Julie, “The Free Spirit.”
The four friends plan a Back-to-school BBQ at their house, which is waaaay nicer than any college pad my friends had. We also meet Monica’s two sisters, who share Monica’s gorgeous tresses. I’m close with my sisters, and I know from experience, if you want to get the honest scoop, ask someone’s sisters. I hope they are frequent visitor to State College because they reveal Monica’s silly side.
At the party, “I spend most of my time with dead people, and dead people don’t play flip cup.” While Monica learns the fine art of flip cup, her attention is drawn to a handsome hunk, and a fatherly energy around him. She asks if she can deliver a message from his father who had passed away, and gives him insanely accurate information about the passing of his father. The events surrounding his death are so intimate and exact that there is no other explanation but that the information was being fed to her by something supernatural.
The guy, named Corey, is visibly shaken, especially when Monica reveals that Corey tried valiantly to save his father’s life by not only rescuing him from the water in Panama, but also doing CPR on him for an hour. You simply cannot make this up! Monica’s message to Corey from his father is that he did everything possible to save him, and that his father is okay and at peace. Cory cries tears of relief. The hair on my arms is standing straight up, and I’m completely in tears. Corey summed it up best, saying “#Shocking.” Ditto.
The party guests are gobsmacked. It’s amazing that despite the number of eyes on them, Monica is only aware of the person in front of her, breaking her focus only to ask about the name of a lake that she can’t place. The exact lake where the young man lives!
Monica reveals that when she first started communicating with Spirit (her term for the spiritual realm), she thought she was crazy. Her first connection was with the deceased mother of a friend. (I wonder if the friend is her long-time bestie, Krista.) Since then, Monica has honed her gift and has gotten more adept at deciphering the clues, images and sounds presented by the spirit world.
The next morning, Monica and her sisters fill roomie Julie in on the party… and cute Corey. Monica says it’ d be a little weird to date someone that she’s given a reading to. It could get a little busy in a relationship if someone’s dead Grammy was always offering an opinion. And she reveals that some guys are freaked out by her gift, or rather, what they think her gift means. She can’t read minds or predict the future. “It’s hard to meet a guy when you’re a medium,” says Monica, so Krista offers to set her up on a blind date.
Off they head to pick out a cute outfit for the date, because hey — worst-case scenario — if the date is a dud, at least she’ll have something pretty to wear. She finds the perfect dress, but before she can check out, she gets a message from Spirit. A store employee receives a message from an uncle who died from a gunshot. The poor woman witnessed the tragic death, and it still a hunts her! Another woman gets a message from a grandmother who died from lung cancer, but who is still able to celebrate the family’s big moments. A third employee is told by beloved grandfather, that she needs to walk away from an on-again-off-again relationship, and she also gets encouragement to stay the course with a difficult linguistic course. All of these details Whoa! Time after time, Monica pulls out specific information about each of the loved ones, favorite activities, names, dates, she even describes the hat one of the departed wore. How can Monica sift through the number of people who want to communicate through her? It must be exhausting!
Later, Monica sits down with her roommates for a girl’s night in, and Krista reveals how Monica told her that she was a medium that the reading that convinced her. Monica’s sisters also talk about their own struggles when their sister revealed her gift and reveal that their devoutly Catholic mother thinks that Monica’s ability is a bad thing. She and her sisters can laugh about it, but I’m sure it’s something painful for Monica to deal with.
The next morning, Monica even Skypes with her Dad, a contractor who lives and works overseas. He is also wary of her gift; he and her mom have been divorced since Monica embraced her ability, but accepts Monica’s offer to witness a future reading. How would your parents react if you told them that you were a medium? It’s got to be a shock for any parent to wrap their head around; because who expects their child to come out as a medium?!?
The day of her blind date, Monica and Kirsta get their nails done. Monica gets a message “For Anita” and gives the thrilled woman messages from her mother and a close friend who died of cancer. The woman is overjoyed and overwhelmed, especially when her friend sends a message of peace and loved and revealed that she came through to Anita in a parking garage, shortly after her death. The look on the woman’s face is a smile of relief and peace. It must be nice to be able to give that comfort to strangers.
Monica says, “Spirit comes through for who needs the most, not who wants it the most.”
Monica heads to her blind date with “Andrew.” After half an hour, he’s a no-show. Then Krista calls, and it’s bad news. The jerk Googled her, and bailed once he learned that she was a medium. What a tool! Isn’t one of the blind date ground-rules that Google is off-limits? Monica is humiliated, but her friend comes to her rescue and they have a fun night of putt-putt. (And, Monica looks adorable in her new dress.) Thankfully she has friends to support her when life and love gets her down.
So what did you think of the first episode of Monica the Medium? Are you obsessed yet? Do you believe in communication with the afterlife? Would you want Monica to approach you with a message from a deceased loved one? Have you ever had an experience that you describe as communication from the other side?
From left: Julie, Krista, Ann and Monica Image: ABC Family/Donald Rager