Lisa Williams is just like you and me. Except she sees and hears dead people. A lot of them. And she’s also attracted a huge following, many of whom are high profile celebrities themselves. In fact, Lisa’s show, Lisa Williams: Life Among the Dead, scored some of the highest ratings for the Lifetime television network. Celebrity Parents Magazine sat down exclusively with Lisa and her husband, Kev Harris, to talk about spirits, their son, Charlie, and why she is truly The Sparkle Queen.
Hair/Makeup: Douglas Martucci
When did you first realize that you had this gift of seeing spirits?
Lisa: I was about three years-old when it first began. I had a very normal childhood, except that I would see dead people. At that time, it really scared me, and I would hide under the covers. I was branded with an “overactive imagination.” I thought everyone saw dead people.
Your grandmother was also a medium.
Lisa: Yes, she developed her talent after my grandfather passed away. I remember seeing tarot cards on her mantel and would want to play with them. She would say, “Don’t touch the cards; you’re not quite ready for them yet.” She would always tell me I was special and that I should embrace my gift. As I got older, a friend encouraged me to do a reading, and I’ve been doing them ever since.
Have you always done readings?
Lisa: I have had so many jobs; I always say I have lived many lifetimes in one. I have been a singer, a fitness instructor, an office manager. I love being around people.
How did the show come about?
Lisa: Kev, Charlie and I were here in the States on a 90-day visa. I fell ill, and we had to extend our stay. By chance, we were introduced to Merv Griffin, and the rest is history. Merv Griffin Entertainment produced Lisa Williams: Life Among the Dead.
What was the experience like of having your own show?
Lisa: It was amazing. The show was on for two seasons, and it did really well, as did Voices From the Other Side. I was never told who I was going to do a reading for, and if anyone had told me any information, they would have been sacked! Also, when I had to do a location reading, I had a driver take me most of the way, and then I drove two blocks or so to the location. It was of utmost importance for the integrity of the show that I never knew anything beforehand.
There are many skeptics out there.
Lisa: Believe it or not, I am a skeptic, too! I’ve had readings done by mediums that were very general. So the skeptic in me will push to get as much information as I can from the spirit to give to his or her loved ones.
It’s interesting how you can take on certain characteristics of the spirits you channel.
Lisa: I’ve woken up with a banging headache, to have a reading later that night where a spirit had been shot in the head. When we came to NY, I was limping around the airport and Kev asked me, “Is it a spirit?” He knows they can put their pain on me. Normally it goes away…after a few Tylenol.
Does it take an emotional toll as well?
Lisa: Emotionally, I try to detach myself. I can’t quantify it and put it into words. I watch myself on TV, and it’s like I’m on a different level. I call it “witchy-woo”.
Lisa: (Laughing) Normally, I’m quite shy and quiet. When I go into witchy-woo mode, it’s the Lisa Williams everyone knows. She’s very chatty and everyone can relate to her. I’m a Gemini, so I’m a split personality anyway! I always say that once I put on my eyeliner, I go from Lisa to “Lisa Williams”!
You had mentioned when you were getting your hair and makeup done that you are a big product girl.
Lisa: I am! I love makeup, and anything that shines. I am truly The Sparkle Queen!
Speaking of queens, let’s talk about King Kev. How did you meet?
Lisa: I was internet dating! I was a single mum, and wanted to have some fun. I met Kev’s friend Mike, online. We chatted a lot, but didn’t go out because Mike was always with his friend, Kev, whom I called The Hipster, because they were always attached at the hip!
One night, I was at a bar, and I bumped into Mike who was, naturally, out with Kev! We hit it off right away.
Kev: It was destined to be. A few weeks before I met Lisa, I had gone to see a medium/clairvoyant for the first time in my life. I was doing well in my career, but I didn’t feel I had any depth in my life. The medium told me amazing things. I truly believe that it helped me to understand what Lisa does, and to appreciate her gift.
Lisa: I read for Kev 2-3 times, and I told him, “The woman you’re going to marry is practically staring you in the face!”
Kev: I told Lisa, “Don’t get any ideas!”
Lisa: And I said, “Don’t flatter yourself!” But we fell in love and soon got married.
How do you keep the balance between work and family?
Lisa: It’s Kev. I recommend to any busy mother to have a good man! They used to say that behind every great man is a great woman. In this case, it’s reversed. If it weren’t for Kev — who looks after the things of the house and Charlie — I wouldn’t be able to do what I do. Our roles have reversed. We’re happy with it that way. People ask us if we’re okay with it and we are.
Kev: In the UK, my work involved a lot of pressure. I reached a point where I was earning a lot of money but not getting a lot of satisfaction. I wanted to do more charity work, but I didn’t come from that background. Then Lisa came along into my life. So it has allowed me to do what I want to do in terms of charity work. I’m looking after Charlie, the house and the business stuff, and that allows Lisa to concentrate on what she needs to do. And I’m immensely proud of what she does. I say that I take care of the domestic side while my wife goes off and works!
It takes a strong man to do that.
Lisa: Absolutely. Kev has the hardest job, taking care of the house, Charlie and me. It’s not easy at all.
Kev: I was sent from God!
Let’s talk about Charlie.
Lisa: Charlie is 8, and he’s a typical boy. He’s big on his art, and he loves Lego’s and Star Wars. He’s very creative. And he’s huge into Pokemon. There are Pokemon cards absolutely everywhere. It’s gotten to the point that my fans are buying him Pokemon cards, so they are actually feeding his addiction!
Kev: Charlie is very spiritual, too, like his mum. I’m not, so it makes for a good balance in our family.
Lisa: He’ll tell me there’s a spirit in my room. So I will go into his room, and sure enough, there’s a spirit there. Charlie will ask me to get rid of it, and I will say, “Okay, come along with me now!” Charlie also has a strong healing ability.
Kev: If Charlie asks a question about spirits, we will answer it for him. It’s better to be open about it, so he’s not scared. In fact, Lisa started a site, kidswithgifts.com, where parents and children can go to learn more about the subject.
So what do you have going on right now?
Lisa: Well, Lifetime is still running Lisa Williams: Life Among the Dead. It is seen in over 55 countries around the world. My book, Lisa Williams: Life Among the Dead, is doing extremely well. I’m also on tour performing in live shows and events throughout the United States; people can view my tour schedule on www.lisawilliams.com. I’m also writing a new book, and it’s going to be very controversial.
Lisa: It’s a book about what happens when we die. And I’m writing a children’s book about spirituality. There are lots of other projects, including a scripted series, and I’m on tour throughout the country giving readings. I’m away about 200 days a year.
That is a lot of traveling.
Lisa: I’ve learned that motherhood and quality time does not always have to happen around the dining room table. The best thing for me has been the webcam. (I’m a huge techie geek!) Technology has helped me be much more involved with my family. In my opinion, the only way a busy working mom can cope is the webcam. And I look forward to sharing that time with him.
My quality of my life has changed so much. I am able to help many people. I feel fulfilled, my family is happy, and so much of that success is due to the teamwork that Kev and I share.
What tips can you give people to help them communicate with loved ones?
Lisa: The most important thing is to continue to communicate with the spirit. You can still communicate, even though it may not be how it was when that person was alive.
People want to actually see their loved ones, but it takes so much for the spirit to do that, so it rarely happens. Just keep looking for signs; they are everywhere. It might be a butterfly, a hummingbird, or even a scent. Dreams are also key, because you can reconnect with the spirit in your dreams. When I do a reading, I strive to get into that dreamlike state, which happens twice a day; when you are just drifting off to sleep, and when you are waking. That is the closest you can get to the spiritual world. More often than not, if you feel a spirit’s presence, they are there. They are always there.