The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Psyched about her work

Actor enjoys 'chief' role in comedy

Kirsten Nelson didn’t want to go to the audition a few years ago. She figured at five months pregnant, she was unlikely to get the job anyway. But she went, didn’t tell the producers about the baby until she received a callback and was surprised to find out that they loved the idea of an expectant police chief for their new comedy-mystery cable show Psych.

As  Karen Vick, chief of police on
As Karen Vick, chief of police on Psych , Kirsten Nelson plays it straight and wryly stern as she manages her staff of law enforcement professionals, as well as the freelance “psychics” who often get the best of them.
Nelson, a member of Salem Lutheran Church, Glendale, Calif., and daughter of Dean Nelson, bishop of the ELCA Southwest California Synod, is now a regular as Chief Karen Vick. The surprise hit revolves around Shawn Spencer (James Roday), a wacky but observant loafer who finds work by pretending to be a psychic and solving crimes. His straight-laced partner is Gus Guster (Dulé Hill). Nelson portrays the no-nonsense chief whose officers receive help on cases from the duo.

“We have so much fun on the show,” said Nelson, with a slight sigh, because the one downside is having to spend time away from her son and husband while living with her baby daughter in Vancouver, Canada, where the show is filmed. “But we know it’s not forever, just for this moment in our lives,” she added.

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February issue


Embracing diversity