The One aims to inspire, heal
ONE thing is for sure; I never in my wildest dreams expected to be given such a life-affirming revelation during my interview with spirit medium Charmaine Wilson.
And quite frankly, I no longer doubt her ability of tapping into the spirit world. Charmaine is good. Really good.
She already proved that to Australia when she won Channel 7's inaugural season of The One in 2008.
As I write this I am still blown away by Charmaine's accurate reading for me through the phone line, but the reason for my call was to help publicise her upcoming show at the Gympie Heritage Theatre on April 18.
"I'm not a psychic, I can't tell the future, I don't find missing people or work with police," she said.
"I am purely and solely a spirit medium."
Winning The One was public validation for a gift not of this world and for that reason is mostly treated with scepticism.
Communicating with dead people is not something Charmaine actively sought out. Bombarded by voices of unseen spirits, Charmaine at first thought she was losing her mind.
At the time she was caught up in the cycle of substance abuse and the episodes were enough reason to straighten her up. She thought the voices would go away when sober, but they stayed.
"When I started to hear voices I didn't have a clue what was going on. It took me three years to find out."
Charmaine literally graduated a medium from the school of hard knocks. She lost her brother when she was 17 and four years later her daughter died at age four in an horrific car crash.
A year later her grandfather, whom she was very close to, passed away.
"That was a big hit in five years," Charmaine said.
"Then years went by and in 1999 my father passed away and I was battling with an addiction. I thought I was hearing the voices because I was crook.
"I had a lot of grief and a really bad ending to marriage, and I'd lost my kids.
"Well life went on and eventually the voices convinced me to go straight."
Then they asked her if she wanted a job.
Her answer was yes, and Charmaine was given directions to ring the canteen at an air force base and to specifically ask to speak to Steve about a job going. The voices told her she would get the job and that it would give her all the training she needed to work for the spirit realm.
Well, low and behold, Steve was the manager of the canteen and a job vacancy as smoko van driver had come up just half an hour earlier.
She scored the job and soon discovered that wherever she would go, as soon as she got near people there would be more voices fighting to be heard.
Then one day Charmaine pulled up at a work site where there was just one person.
A single voice told her his name was Tom and she followed her initial greeting to him by telling him his birth date and that his mother was trying to get through, having died of a heart attack.
"He just about dropped his Chiko roll, I can tell you," Charmaine laughed.
"Basically when it started, word got around and the smoko van line got longer. People were lining up to buy a packet of (chewing gum) just to ask if their mother was around.
"That's how I became a medium, so it was quite a different start. I don't go too much into the airy fairy side of it."
Charmaine specialises in helping people overcome grief. With her personal experience and abilities combined, she has helped hundreds of Australian's move on from the pain of losing a loved one, and as a result, gives peace to those who have passed.
"I could have easily slipped over to the dark side - if I wasn't a positive person. There is a very fine line between medium and madness.
Before the psychic reality show, Charmaine was recognised as the 2005 Australian Psychic of the Year and Queensland Psychic of the Year. As she had already cemented her reputation as a highly regarded spirit medium, Channel 7's casting crew sent her an audition form.
"As soon as I sent this I knew I had it won."
One of her proudest moments during the show was the challenge to find the owner of a piece of jewellery among 150 audience members and give them an accurate reading.
"I do crow about this because I blew myself away.
"I picked up a ring and went straight to the woman I thought it belonged to and gave her a reading.
"Right at end of it, my guide told me I was an idiot and that the ring belonged to a woman two rows back. I was doing the reading on the woman in front of me but the ring belonged to the lady in black."
Charmaine said the Gympie audience can expect a heart-warming, spiritual experience that will lift their spirits. I do a talk at the end that helps inspire people and gets them thinking.
When: April 18. Cost: $40. Bookings to 5408 2556.