Tuesday, November 26, 2013

An Evening with Theresa Caputo

My ticket from Theresa's Show

Greetings All:

Two weeks ago, I attended Theresa Caputo live at the historic Adler Theatre in downtown Davenport.  I went with my wife and a few of her friends.  For those of you who do not know who Ms. Caputo is, she is a Medium.  If you watch TV, you may have seen her show, "The Long Island Medium" over on TLC.  Although I do not watch a ton of TV, I do enjoy her show.  So long as my beloved Green Bay Packers are not playing over on NBC (and please, Aaron, get well!) I'll often check it out with my wife.  She's a fan and I'll put myself in that camp as well.

So what is a "medium?"  According to our friends over at Wikipedia, mediums are individuals who can, "...mediate communication between spirits of the dead and other human beings."  Here's another definition from James Van Praagh:

"A medium is a psychic who has fine-tuned his or her extrasensory perception and can interface with the spirits in other dimensions. They are able to feel and/or hear thoughts, voices, or mental impressions from the spirit world. A medium is able to become completely receptive to the higher frequency or energies on which spirit people vibrate."

That's the theory, how's it work in practice?  Basically, the medium will receive a message from someone who has crossed over to the other side (yes, I mean, that other side).  I do not claim to understand a lot about the process but I've seen other mediums work prior to seeing Theresa so I can talk about the process in layman's terms.  The medium will first connect with a spirit and then will ask the audience (it can be one person or an auditorium) a series of questions.  Such as, "I am feeling a father figure presence."  Or, "Whose mother has passed?"  The medium will then ask a series of follow up questions to "validate" the spirit.  One example of such validation is the medium will ask, "What is the connection with roses?"  Or, "Is there something unusual on your loved one's headstone?"  Sometimes connections are made, sometimes not.

Before I discuss the show, a nod to any skeptics out there reading this.  I respect the right of people to believe what they wish on this subject.  I believe, strike that, I know that people of good will can have honest and passionate opinions and disagreements.  This is also a subject that can, understandably, generate a LOT of emotion.  As someone who has lost my Mom, I take comfort in my belief she's on the other side, and doing great.  I mention this for if you are someone who elects to not believe mediumship exists, then you may not want to read the rest of this post.  I have no delusions that my free blog post is going to change anyone's opinion.  Then again, perhaps you'll find the post amusing.  In any event, with that bit of housekeeping out of the way, let's go back to the Adler Theatre.

We arrived plenty early, or at least I thought.  I was way wrong.  It was a mob scene.  I have not seen this kind of crowd since the Bix 7 run back in July.  I found a place to park in the ramp, the top level.  I was skeptical that the event was sold out.  Not anymore.

The lobby of the theatre was jammed with people eager to both get close to the action and out of the cold.  To say the crowd was mostly ladies would be correct.  I became acutely aware of just how many women were there when I went into the men's room and there was a line of ladies waiting.  When I asked one of ushers if I could leave to use a bathroom in the hallway by the convention center, here's the discussion:

Usher:  "They're women in the mens' room?"
Me:  "Yeah."
Usher:  "Oh, but there's a restroom downstairs."
Me: "That's where I was."
Usher:  (Pausing to do the math in his head that this was likely both against city code and certainly unstoppable) "Fine, show starts in 10 min."

We got to our seats shortly before the show started.  I thought it was a class act that before we started the announcer asked us to rise for the National Anthem.  The video screen on stage flashed with the American Flag and Theresa's assistant sang the national anthem, and quite well, I might add.

Then, it was show-time.  The lights dimmed and the audience roared its approval.  To a thunderous round of applause out came Theresa.  For those of you who have not seen her, she is a self-described Long Island housewife.  About five feet, adorned with her signature shoes and her blond hair styled high, she makes an impressive appearance.  The other thing about her are her finger nails.  They are done with precision and are long, but not over-done.  (Like I know anything about nails.)

With Theresa, what you see is what you get.  She is someone who cares, simply put.  Being genuine matters, especially in her line of work.  I also like the fact that she is someone who is utterly comfortable in her own skin.  She does not hide who she is, she embraces it.

This matters.  Here she is in the middle of the country, a time zone away from home.  She is talking to an audience of about as Midwest as they come (and I say that with affection) so there was not that natural connection.  Yet she made one.  At one point, she came up to our section and she was a few feet away from me.  I was so impressed with how someone could be celebrating who she was and yet connecting with folks she had never met before as if they lived down the street.  It was fun to watch.

I have no doubt that several people came away from that evening lighter, much lighter than the evening began.  One person in particular had been grieving a son's loss for nine years.  In that almost decade of a time, she had been wracked with grief.  How could she not?  The loss of a child is something I can intellectually understand but emotionally, I am utterly incapable of feeling.  However, I could see this person's burden lifted, albeit only partially, when Theresa passed on a message that her son was just fine on that other side. 

Is it possible this was all a set-up?  Sure, anything is possible.  But realistically, nah, not a chance.  For Theresa to have set up something this elaborate it would have taken more time and money than it would be worth.  (After all, we're talking about Davenport, Iowa, after all.)  From what I saw and experienced, I conclude that Theresa Caputo has a gift.  She chooses to share her gift in her wonderfully funny, caring way. 

Richard Bach wrote Illusions, the Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah in 1977 as a follow-up to Jonathan Livingston Seagull.  Here's one of my favorite lines, "Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself." (p. 47).   Theresa, in my opinion, is someone who meets that obligation.

Mr. Caputo (Larry) and me at the Alder 

Prior to the show, I got to meet Theresa's husband, Larry, or "Big Larry."  Theresa and Larry have a son, Larry, Jr., thus Larry is the senior, a/k/a "Big Larry."  I was very glad I had the chance to meet him.  He was gracious enough to pose for a photo.  There is no doubt that Theresa is the show.  But let's give Larry his due.  He is a wonderful supporter of his wife and may be a silent partner, but is a partner nonetheless.  If you have watched the show, you quickly come the conclusion (at least I do) that these are two people who are very much in love and their collective lives are so much better with each other.  In a world where "Reality TV" common plot line is self-destruction and betrayal, Larry and Theresa's story is a welcome change.

So that's my story of the evening with Theresa Caputo.  I enjoyed the whole experience.  Oh, and by the way, Theresa had no message for me.  That was fine with me.  She could not get to everyone, or even a fraction of the audience.  For the people that she did pass on messages to, they were genuinely moved.  One woman who did have a connection said, "This is my third time seeing you."  I guess sometimes the third time is the charm.

Be well my friends,

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