You may recognise her as the winner of Channel 7’s show ‘The One’ a few years back when she was crowned Australia’s best psychic. Charmaine tragically lost her brother, four-year-old daughter and beloved grandfather in the space of just five years, all before she was 23. This immense amount of grief combined with the ending of her 12-year relationship with her boys’ father sent her off the rails – enough was enough.
“Over the years you just get to the point when you give up,” she said. “So I basically went into nervous breakdown mode. I was addicted to drugs and alcohol at that point, and then I stared hearing things and thought, ‘Fantastic, now I’m insane.’”
In the middle of a custody battle for her sons, Charmaine was too fearful to admit to anyone that she was hearing voices and put it all down to the gear. After cleaning up, the voices were still around – so one day she decided to listen to them.
“I found out what they were trying to do. They were trying to help me, they were spirit people. Without me knowing, they were helping deal with the choices that I had made. It wasn’t easy but after about six to seven months, once I realised they weren’t going away, I thought the best thing to do would be just to listen to them … and let me tell you, they are very bloody bossy!” she laughs.
“So what they ended up saying to me was to … I need a job then, of course … and they said to me, ‘We want you to ring the Amberley Air Base [which is the Air Force base in Brisbane]. We want you to ask for the canteen. When you speak to the canteen, ask for Steve, he’s the manager, and then ask Steve if there is a job available. You will start working for Steve the next day. After that you will work for us’.”
Would you believe, just as predicted, Charmaine did get a job with the canteen, on the smoko van, which is where she learned to be a Medium doing odd readings for customers. And now she does work for the spirits!
“It just snowballed. I got better and better at what I did. I won Australian Psychic of the Year and Queensland Psychic of the Year as well. I came a long way in a short while.”
According to Charmaine, spirits don’t just jump out at you – that is the ‘Hollywood’ version.
“You really have to be in the zone, so to speak. It’s easier to get in the zone than you think, but as a Medium you have to accept when you are frazzled,” she said.
Charmaine won’t be giving me a reading today as she has just landed in Sydney following one of her spiritual cruises. She tells me that the ability to do a reading is all about your vibrations. Before any show she must concentrate on being completely ‘in the now’, and by the time the show comes around her vibrations will be high enough to do so properly.
“I believe that we just go to the next level, like a butterfly, caterpillar to the butterfly. I feel that we have full access and full view and full vision of this world still and I think we still have that for many reasons. I think that we do that so that we can still learn and so that we can still understand where the world is going. And I think that we have full view of our family.”
“When I’m doing a reading for someone it’s like I’m receiving memories of how they were in life, what was special between them and the person I’m talking to and what they look like,” she said.
The majority of Charmaine’s audiences are those who have recently encountered grief, or have been struggling with grief for some time. “They can expect to see validation that spirits are around, education on how to survive the grieving process and also just communication with me. I’m a very friendly person, so after the show I have a table and I’m happy to sign books, give hugs and take photos and answer questions.”
Though I am naturally sceptical, there is a certain confidence that Charmaine gives off that I find it incredibly difficult to denounce her. Every part of me wants to believe her and I am completely in awe of her ability. I look forward to meeting her in the flesh and seeing her make use of her gift … Watch this space.
When&Where: GV Hotel, Shepparton – September 10; Moama RSL – September 12; Bendigo District RSL – September 16; GPAC – September 18; and Lighthouse Theatre, Warrnambool – September 26
By Abbey King