WHS graduate brings mind-reading performance home
By Molly McCarthy, Contributing Writer
Westborough – Eric Dittelman, 27, now of Grafton, is a professional performer who combines a unique blend of mind-reading, comedy, and magic to mystify his audience. Eric's interest in magic began when he was in fifth grade.
“Ever since I was little, as far back as I can remember, I remember watching David Copperfield specials on TV and just trying to figure out how he did that,” Eric said.
Eric grew up in Westborough and is a 2003 graduate of Westborough High School (WHS). Eric's time at WHS is when he became serious about pursuing magic and performed as often as possible. Eric was the improv captain at WHS for three years. He explained he followed in his brother's footsteps. His brother, Mark, is a 1999 graduate of WHS and was also the improv captain during his time at WHS.
“He has been someone for me to look up to, especially when I was growing up. He was the cool kid I wanted to be like. A lot of our interests were very similar, but it was interesting because magic was always kind of unique to me and kind of helped me define my own path as well,” Eric said.
Eric went on to Ithaca College and worked as a music teacher before becoming a full-time performer. While at Ithaca, Eric got involved in comedy clubs, improvisational comedy and standup comedy.
“That's also when I switched from magic into mentalism and the mind reading side of things,” Eric said. “It was kind of a natural progression for me to combine the two because they were both part of who I was.”
Eric believes that mind reading is not supernatural or psychic. It is a combination of several techniques including magic and psychology.
“Getting inside people's heads to figure out what they are thinking, it's not as invasive as some people may think. There are a lot of TV shows that allude to how it could be done, including the Mentalist and shows like Lie To Me, but there's a lot going on, all just working together to create that performance of mind reading,” Eric explained.
His first and primary goal is to entertain and make sure people are having a good time.
He performed his mind-reading act for his largest audience on the 2012 season of NBC's “America's Got Talent.” Eric auditioned for the producers of the show in Boston, not expecting to hear back from them.
Even after the producers contacted Eric to audition for the judges, he was skeptical. He went on to audition for judges Sharon Osbourne, Howie Mandel and Howard Stern.
“It went way better than I ever expected it to – they gave me plenty of TV time and the judges put me through and gave me great comments,” he said. “I had already felt like I had won at that point and it was just about how to keep it going as long as possible.”
Eric kept it going all the way to the semi-finals.
He now tours in and out of the country. His future career plans are to continue to do what he loves to do, perform. He is happy being on the road and seeing what opportunities arise.
“That's been the best part of this, because you don's know what else is going to necessarily come down the line, and it's kind of exciting to just see what happens,” he said.
Dittelman performs at a fundraiser for the WHS class of 2014 Dec. 12 at the Westborough High School Auditorium. He has had an interest in doing a local performance for quite a long time.
“I haven's really done my full mind-reading show in my hometown, so this [fundraiser] would be a great opportunity,” said Dittelman.
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