Apart from Drew Barrymore’s propensity for oversharing the second she’s seated across from a stranger, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve identified with a former child star. However, I fear I must now add podcaster and Even Stevens star Christy Carlson Romano to my short list.
In a new interview with Vulture, Romano got candid about aging out of Disney, being referred to as “the Walmart Drew Barrymore” (not derogatory IMO), and the importance of minding child actors’ mental health. Perhaps the most amusing bits came when she talked about how she faired when the Even Stevens royalty checks stopped coming. In short, not well.
In fact, things got so bad that Romano recalled spending much of her cash on psychics. Read it and weep (especially if you, like me, are a little too woo-woo-willing):
You made a YouTube video called “How I Lost All My Money.” What was the wildest part of this story?
Psychics. Oh my gosh. I had some relationships that ended, and when I got out of these relationships, I was looking for answers. I was Belle in Beauty and the Beast on Broadway, which was eight shows a week. I was also post-op from throat surgery. I was really burnt out. So I had a psychic approach me at the stage door — that’s your first red flag. She approached me and she’s like, “I have the answers for you. Call me.” I was the perfect person for her to lock in to because I had a struggling relationship with my family; it was very unstable, and at that time, I probably wouldn’t have respected anyone else’s opinion about this.
Honestly, props to that psychic’s business savvy. Appearing at the stage door of a child star in promise of the universe’s wisdom? Genius.
Per Romano’s recollection, said psychic then proceeded to sell her on a whole host of other things (candles, crystals, etc.) that would supposedly improve her life. That was until she declared Romano “screwed” unless she purchased a behemoth amethyst:
How much money went to the psychics?
Even to this day, I hate talking about it. It’s one of my greatest shames, if not my greatest. The first woman, it was little bits of readings and candles, and she would give me powders. It became more and more expensive. Then finally, she’s like, “Christy, you are screwed. You need to buy this crystal. It will clear out all of the negative energy in your life. You can only do it if you buy this really large amethyst.” I think she quoted me like $40,000.
While you might guffaw at all of this, I can’t help but relate. I’m not a former child star (unless you count winning the D.A.R.E. essay contest in fifth grade), nor am I even close to the tax bracket that Romano is in—even after all those trips to the shyster psychic—but I’ll be damned if a modest portion of my paychecks isn’t going to spell books and Citrine on a monthly basis. And if I ever incurred half the mouse-eared trauma Romano has, well, I too would break the bank for a stone. Thank you for this needed representation, Christy.