I’m taking a comedy writing class at the Improv Olympic, and part of our first assignment was to do something out of character for ourselves. I’ve been having trouble making decisions lately, so I decided my “out of character” thing would be to go to a psychic for advice.
I had never been to a psychic before, so I picked one at random near Hollywood and Vine, went in and asked for a tarot card reading. The sign outside said they were $20. A few minutes into it, the girl and her assistant started implying I should give them all this money to light nine candles for me. It blew me away that they thought I could afford hundreds of dollars worth of spirit candles until I remembered that I was carrying a shopping bag from BCBG, where I had just purchased a cute, but overpriced, sweater. I didn’t tell them much of anything about myself, so I guess “buys expensive clothes” was all they had to go on, and they ran with it. When it was over, I ended up giving them $60 (way more than I wanted to spend) which covered the reading and something candle related that I didn’t understand.
Aside from feeling seriously uncomfortable with the way they kept trying to get more money out of me, the reading itself was a neat experience. A few of the cards seemed weirdly appropriate to stuff I’ve been dealing with lately. But I think the main thing I learned from my first psychic reading is that strangers (even “psychic” ones) have no idea what I’m like. If I ever decide to get another tarot reading, I’m carrying a bag from the 99 cents store.
Update: I’ve now talked to two friends about this, and both of them had similar experiences at other Hollywood psychics. I guess “give us hundreds of dollars for candles” is a common line. Maybe if they say it to enough people, they get somebody to fall for it once in a while?