Monica the Medium: Juggling a Sixth Sense for Spirits and College Classes

Aubry D'Arminio
monica the medium
ABC

College is difficult, whether you’re struggling with New Media 101 or just trying to throw an epic kegger. Now imagine doing both with a bunch of dead people gabbing in your ear. That’s the premise behind ABC Family’s reality show Monica the Medium, about Penn State junior and “Spirit Medium” Monica Ten-Kate, who started hearing the dearly departed as a teenager. When she’s not studying for exams, she’s helping the bereft communicate with their deceased loved ones. In tonight’s episode, Monica goes looking for a new job, but not every employer is thrilled with her talent. We talked to the 21-year-old about her gift and more.

How did you discover you were a medium?
When I was in high school, my friends would tell stories about their childhood and I would see or hear or feel the ending before they told it, especially if it was about someone they lost. Once it started happening with strangers, I knew that there was no going back.

Your roommate Ann is a bit of a skeptic. Will you change her mind over the course of the season?
It’s not that she thinks I’m a con, but she’s just not sure she believes [my abilities] are possible. But after living with me and witnessing me do what I do so many times, she starts coming to terms with it. My other roommate, Lea, and I are the ones who get on each other’s nerves. I like to have a clean kitchen, and she doesn’t care as much.

What’s the biggest misconception about mediums?
People automatically assume when I say I’m a medium that I can predict the future or that I’m a mind reader. I’m very clear that I’m a spirit medium and only connect to those in heaven.

What is the hardest thing about being a student and doing what you do?
Finding the motivation that I should have for my schoolwork when I’m doing a reading with someone who really needs the message. It’s really hard to be like, “OK, I’m going to head off, spirit, because I have to go write a paper or do a math problem!”

Monica the Medium, 8/7c, ABC Family