Fortune teller wasn’t Cheryl Rosolowsky’s first career choice.
It’s one thing that the former medical laboratory assistant turned card reader admits that she didn’t see coming.
"It is really weird," Rosolowsky says, adding her own story serves as proof to any client who may doubt the predictions she provides them.
"People are like, ‘That will never happen. I will never see that happen.’ I’m like, ‘Well you could have told me that I was going to be a card reader and travel across Canada? I would have said you’re full of s--t. So there you go.’"
Rosolowsky, who is originally from Gilbert Plains, is among the psychics who are offering their services at the ESP Psychic Fair, which started on Tuesday and continues today at the Trails West Inn.
The show has come to Brandon annually for the last 28 years.
Organizer David John said it attracts believers, the curious and skeptics from all walks of life — from homemakers to business people. An estimated 200 to 300 people will attend the three-day event.
They come seeking guidance, whether it’s in love, money, their careers or their health.
Psychics and clairvoyants peer into crystal balls, and read palms and tarot cards in an effort to offer insight.
Twenty-six-year-old Rosolowsky said that, even as a little girl, she’d always been interested in spiritualism and Tarot cards. In high school, she’d interpret the other students’ dreams.
At first, though, her career aspirations were more conventional.
She studied nursing at Brandon University but didn’t like it, then studied to be a medical laboratory assistant and worked in Vancouver and Calgary.
Unhappy, Rosolowsky quit and took a waitressing job in Red Deer, Alta., and then moved to Edmonton as she awaited the right opportunity.
A self-taught card-reader who follows her instincts, it took a while for her to trust in her psychic ability.
"I always thought it was cool, but I just never believed I could do it," she said.
But within the last few years, she gained confidence by reading cards for family and friends.
In March, another reader encouraged her to pursue card-reading at shows.
The next month, Rosolowsky began touring and reading professionally. She did three shows and faced a choice.
"I had the chance to either go back to what I was doing regularly or stick with this, so I thought, OK I’m going to stick with this."
As a medical lab assistant she’d earned $40,000 per year, and had a pension and benefits.
While it’s early in her new line of work, at $80 per reading, Rosolowsky says she’s doing OK pursuing her passion. She figures she’s making about the same money as she did as a lab assistant.
Plus, she gets to be her own boss and, having read at shows across Western Canada, she gets to travel and meet people.
Her clients come to her seeking help with major decisions.
Rosolowsky uses an astromythological foretelling deck — each card printed with images of playing cards, letters, astrological symbols and pictures — as she guides a client through their past, present and future, and identifies areas of concern.
But she says her role isn’t to tell clients what to do. She foresees events and it’s up to her customers to decide how to handle the situation.
"Just because I see it, I don’t make things happen. I just see what I see," Rosolowsky said. "I don’t have this ability to make your relationship work — or make it, break it — we all have free will."
Rosolowsky admits that she’s had moments of uncertainty about her new path in life.
"It’s scary … I get freaked out sometimes," she admits, adding she works her way through any doubt with meditation.
Her family had doubts, too.
Rosolowsky’s sister, Amanda Scott, travelled from Grandview with her two young children to pay a visit at the Brandon show.
When asked what she thought of her sister when she chose to pursue work as a psychic, Rosolowsky playfully answers the question herself, points to her own head and twirls her finger.
"Crazy!" she says laughing.
Scott laughs and admits she thought that, initially. But then she says she wasn’t surprised, because of her sister’s interest in card-reading as a teen. She’s now pleased Rosolowsky has found her place in life.
"I am happy for her because she’s happy," Scott says, adding with a laugh, "Would it be my lifestyle choice? No. But she seems to be really good at it."
Rosolowsky says she finds satisfaction in offering her clients clarity, relief and reassurance with her cards.
"You do get those really good moments where, you know, you read someone and you really connect and you help them out with the situation, or you see things that are coming up and you have that good bond."
The Psychic Fair continues from noon to 7 p.m. today.
» Twitter: @IanHitchen