By Alexandra Lucas, Staff Writer
Recently, Eric Dittelman, a mind reader and contestant on season seven of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” and a guest on “The Ellen Degeneres Show”, performed a mind reading event for UMF students at Lincoln Auditorium.
The student group, Association For Campus Entertainment (ACE), arranged for the performance following their annual National Association for Campus Activities conference in Connecticut where acts from across the country were showcased. The group finally decided on Eric Dittelman as the best candidate to perform at UMF. “Eric is awesome and easy to communicate with,” said Sophomore Lindsay Toothaker, a member of ACE. “We all agreed having him come to UMF would be awesome.”
During the event, Lincoln Auditorium was close to being at full capacity; music and excited chatter filled the room. As soon as Dittelman took the stage the music died down, the crowd grew quiet in anticipation.
Dittelman drew people from the audience to participate in his act, guessing their drawings while his eyes had been duct taped shut and blindfolded, with an extra piece of duct tape all the way around his head for any skeptics in the crowd. Another volunteer held the pictures above his head while he guessed each picture with accuracy.
He chose another volunteer to come onto the stage and choose one of two books: Harry Potter or The DaVinci Code. The student picked up The DaVinci Code. He was told to open the book randomly and pick any word, specifically a complicated one. As he did so Dittelman scribbled down a word and showed it to the audience, then revealed it to the student. The word was “Absentmindedly,” and Dittelman was spot on.
Dittelman went on to play a game of Clue where he said he would predict one of the UMF participant’s murder. Three other students individually named a person who committed the murder, a weapon the person committed the murder with, and the place of the murder. In the end Dittelman took out a sealed envelope and had another student read it aloud.
To everyone’s’ astonishment, each statement made by the three students was written on the paper that had been sealed in the envelope. Sounds of disbelief and amazement erupted in the audience. Junior Rheanna Woodford, expressed her enthusiasm about the performance. “The first thing I thought of was a bazooka,” said Woodford. “And then he said it in the card and I was like ‘Holy crap, how did he do it?’”
Dittelman’s performance was filled with laughter and jokes due to his comedic talents. He said he had always enjoyed magic and card tricks as a child, a passion which followed him into adulthood. Getting to where he is now was no easy task. He went to college but found he had an interest in learning human psychology. “When I got into college I wanted to know why magic worked on people,” said Dittelman. “ [In college] I just was studying and working during the day. I was developing a show at night and kind of burning the candle at both ends, and decided to take the plunge and go for the entertainment career.”
Since then, In 2012, he blew audiences aways as a semi-finalist and judges’ favorite on season seven of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” He has also appeared as a guest on “The Ellen Degeneres Show” and was featured in “Entertainment Weekly”, “Rolling Stone”, and even “The National Enquirer”.