An average-looking man stands on stage in sneakers, dark washed jeans and a suit jacket. Two assistants are handing him black masking tape. The audience cringes as he wraps layers of tape over his eyes and entire head, the tape pulling the hairs from his scalp. From behind the darkness of multiple layers of masking tape, the man guesses four different images the students drew.
This average-looking man was the not-so-average Eric Dittelman from Westborough Mass. – a finalist in season seven of “America’s Got Talent” in 2012, and a recent guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Kicking off homecoming weekend, SUAB hosted this mind reader and comedian in DPAC.
SUAB Vice President Scott Shea, a junior English major, said that members of the group saw Dittleman at a yearly entertainment conference and booked him.
The first act of his FSU performance left the audience stunned in just a matter of minutes.
For the opening act, Dittelman had four students guess what number he was thinking of. The closest number to 22 would be declared the winner.
The climax of the act was when Dittelman revealed he had written on a piece of paper the characteristics of the winner before the show. The winner, who guessed 23, the paper on stage to the audience. Dittelman predicted the winner would be male, off by one number, have dark hair, be wearing a baseball cap, have a white bracelet on the left wrist and have a red 0 on the back of his shirt. The winner had all of these characteristics. The audience sat in astonishment.
This first performance was only a slice of what Dittelman could really do with his mind-reading abilities.
“Onstage my mind is going a mile a minute, but I have confidence – the more you do it, the better you get at it,” said Dittelman.
Before Dittelman performed his last act, he announced to the audience that he is a bit of a gambler, with his favorite being horse races.
One of the last acts involved a lineup of either first, second, third or fourth place during a “horse race.” Four contestants all sat in chairs onstage with given names such as “Bringing Up the Rear” and “Why the Long Face.”
Each participant was allowed to make final decisions switching their name cards or seats, hopefully gaining a better spot in the race.
In the end, the magic of the performance was that Dittelman was able to predict their exact placement with no influence on his behalf – or so they thought.
He revealed his correct predictions as he told the four contestants to open their nametags and turn over their chairs. His numbers were all correct.
Jonathan Nixon, a freshman liberal studies major, and participant of one of the performances, admitted to finally believing the act.
“I was pretty shocked,” Nixon said. “At first I thought the guy was pulling some kind of scam, then I was like ‘No, sir!’ I have been to comedy shows before, but nothing like this.”
Amanda Bonaccorso, a junior fashion major and member of SUAB, said, “I have seen him before with SUAB. … I still don’t know how he does it. My mind is blown.
“The event was pretty successful for the start of homecoming weekend,” added Bonaccorso.
Shea said was thrilled with the performance and the start of homecoming weekend.
“The show went really well,” he said. “Families and everyone who came seemed engaged, and in the audience I could see so many dropped jaws. Everyone was like ‘Wow, how did he do that?’”
Dittelman shared his amusement about the interactions with the audience.
“I do a lot of colleges and it is always a mixed bag,” he said. “FSU was a packed house and it was a great turnout and a lot of fun.”