Stand-up comedians often complain about having to prove they're good at their job whenever they meet someone. ("Say something funny! Make me laugh!") Denver-based psychic Rebecca Rosen knows how they feel.
"People will say, 'You should know my name,' or 'What are the winning lotto numbers?'" she notes, adding, "It gets old after a while."
She'd better get used to it. On Tuesday, she released Spirited: Connect to the Guides All Around You, a new book intended to make talking to dead people seem perfectly normal -- and that same night, she starred in an extended segment on ABC's Nightline that served as a virtual blueprint for a reality-TV show. Since then, confirms the mother of two kids just as telegenic as she is, she's been bombarded with pitches to launch just such a project.
"A lot of things are coming at me," she says from an airport in New York City. "I'm hearing from a lot of production companies."
This isn't the first time she's dipped her toe into these waters.
"In the past, we've worked with several different production companies and done some pilots and demos," she allows. "Most recently, we worked with the producers of Hell's Kitchen," a successful program on Fox.
Rosen confirms that "I'm definitely open to doing TV, but I'm not pushing it. I believe it will happen when and if it's meant to."
As for what kind of show she envisions, she's expects it would utilize some variation on the slice-of-life model -- "reality-show people following me and my family around, showing that we're down-to-earth, everyday people with a very unique profession."
Of course, striking this balance is what makes Rosen commercial. When she talks to clients about messages she says she's receiving from their loved ones beyond the graves, she doesn't go in for dramatic lighting, bugged-out eyes and other flim-flam trappings. Instead, she seems more like a psychiatrist or counselor who just happens to have inside information, which she generally conveys in warm, self-help-style language.
"I'm trying to empower people to start recognizing their own ability," she says. "To tap into their own intuition, to start healing their lives and stop looking outside of themselves for other answers, or going to other psychics for every question that comes up. To start trusting their own guidance."
That sort of advice sounds as if it might cost her business -- and she insists "that's definitely okay with me" if it does. "But there are always going to be those people who need my assistance in terms of getting there. My goal is becoming more of a teacher to empower people versus just giving out psychic information."
This approach has lured a number of celebrities into her psychic practice, including Jennifer Aniston and Courtney Cox-Arquette. How did they hear about her?
"Well, Vanna White is a client," Rosen explains. "She had a reading, and then she told her massage therapist, who had a reading, too. And the massage therapist referred Jennifer, who referred Courtney. They're all word-of-mouth referrals."
Still, she says her average client is "working class, middle America. Just everyday people. A lot of them are people who aren't necessarily or usually into paranormal stuff, but they've heard about me through a friend who had an experience."
The number of such folks is rapidly growing beyond those she sees in what she calls her "practice." During her book promotion tour, she stars in both standard book-signings and group appearances that "educate people about the book and about how we all have access to spirit, energy and intuition," she says. At the latter, "I do a talk, and then I do a guided meditation, and then focus on audience readings for an hour-and-a-half or so. It's me standing before groups of 200 people, on average, giving random messages and validations -- very specific evidence that this is indeed a message from a person who died. Things only they would know, that you can't read on the Internet. That's why people come to me. What they are in need of hearing at the time, and the most powerful part of anything I do, serves to validate the existence of life after death."
Today and tomorrow, Rosen will be hosting events like these in Miami -- but after that, she's on her way back to Colorado. On Monday, February 8, she's the main attraction at a book-signing event at the Highlands Ranch Tattered Cover -- and she'll repeat this feat on Monday, February 22, at a Littleton Barnes and Noble. In addition, she'll be at the center of a group session at the Denver Marriott Tech Center on Wednesday, February 23. Click here for details on all these happenings.
You'll have to wait a little longer to see her in a regular TV show -- but probably not that much longer. Here's her Nightline appearance.
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