When it comes to "Theresa Caputo Live! The Experience," the famous medium says one thing's for certain — "Spirit" runs the show.

"Spirit" is how Caputo refers collectively to the souls of the departed who reach out or "come forward" to her during her appearances, private readings, TV series and pandemic-born podcasts aptly titled "Hey Spirit." Yes, "Spirit" is on Zoom, according to the 54-year-old psychic/celebrity.

The "Theresa Caputo Live!" tour lands in Louisiana next weekend, with a show on Saturday night in Baton Rouge and Sunday afternoon in New Orleans.

Don't fret if you've never seen the bubbly Long Islander with the blonde bouffant on TLC's "Long Island Medium" (2011-19) or, of late, on Discovery Plus' "Long Island Medium: There in Spirit." There'll be a sizzle reel played at the beginning of the evening to catch you up.

Caputo concedes many attending "The Experience" don't have a clue what to expect, as they're just tagging along with a friend or loved one. 

When Caputo arrives on stage, she'll give a quick speech on how she reads and communicates with the souls of the departed, she says, and then it's "Spirit's" turn.

"Once I start feeling and sensing them, I come off the stage," she explains. "We have cameras that follow me around, and there's a big screen set up, so no matter where you're seated you can feel and be a part of this amazing experience."

Fans of the TV series accustomed to her one-on-one readings may wonder if the huge audience presents more of a challenge for Caputo.

"No, because it has nothing to do with me; it has to do with 'Spirit,'" she says emphatically. "The souls of the departed are the ones that stand together. It's almost like I'm not a part of my physical body when I read.

"It's almost like I leave and I allow 'Spirit' to take over my physical body. They will guide me around the theater and have me stop in front of someone. So even if someone is claiming the information clear across the theater, I will literally feel like I can't move so that's my sign from 'Spirit' that I need to stay right there and just continue to deliver the messages."

And it's those messages targeted to loved ones still in the physical world that are the reason Caputo has been sharing her abilities as a medium since just after 9/11.

She first realized she could communicate with deceased relatives when she was just 4 years old, but it wasn't until she was around 28 that Caputo says she discovered that she was not only able to connect with her departed loved ones, but also everyone else's.

"I struggled with my gift for five years. After 9/11, I knew that this is what I needed to do because people didn't know what happened to their loved ones," Caputo says. "A lot of them weren't able to recover their physical bodies. These people deserved peace and needed healing. …

"I put my gift in God's hands and I said if this is my soul's journey, then I want to use my gift for healing, to help people embrace life after the loss of a loved one with as much happiness and joy that they can find. And here I am, over 20 years later."

Ironically, the divorced mother of two's recent TLC special, "Long Island Medium: In Memory of 9/11," timed to the two-decade anniversary of the terrorist attacks, was criticized as tone deaf.

"I didn't understand the criticism, and there were some comments made that I was insensitive. I thought about it, and from doing these readings and meeting with these families, how insensitive is it that every year for 20 years these families had to relive their loved one's passing minute by minute, detail by detail, for the entire day?

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"To me, the 9/11 special, besides having had my children, will probably be one of the most important things I've ever done with my gift and with my life. … I can't talk about it without getting emotional."

Expect moving moments at "The Experience" shows, too.

"Everyone that comes to the show walks in that theater expecting to hear from their departed loved ones and when that moment happens, it's so emotional because then you can't believe it's really happening," Caputo says. "And then, 'Spirit' has me talk about things that they're like, 'Wait a minute, how does she know that?'"

Whether it's a phrase their loved one used frequently, a treasured object known only to the family or an event that's happened since their loved one's departure, many are taken aback by the messages Caputo relates to them. 

Years of readings have taught Caputo that there are common burdens and guilt carried by many survivors.

"Unfortunately, when we lose a loved one, no matter how they died — young or old, tragic, we watched suffer for years with an illness — we sometimes are left with a burden and guilt.

"We might be left with a would've, should've, could've, only if. At the end of the day, all these negative emotions that we place on ourselves after the loss of a loved one does not give us the ability to heal. So if you come to the live experience, it is about healing."

Theresa Caputo Live! The Experience

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16

WHERE: Raising Cane's River Center Arena, 275 S. River Road, Baton Rouge

TICKETS: $49-$99 at ticketmaster.com

Theresa Caputo Live! The Experience

WHEN: 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 17

WHERE: Saenger Theatre, 1111 Canal St., New Orleans

TICKETS: $49-$99 at ticketmaster.com


Email Judy Bergeron at jbergeron@theadvocate.com.