My first today marked the end of the wonderful entertainers and performers brought to Joplin by Missouri Southern State University’s Campus Activities Board. At least for this semester. I’ve really enjoyed the quality and variety of the shows and you can’t beat the free admission. These events have been wonderful opportunities for firsts for me, but beyond that, they are fun, entertaining productions. I’m so glad I got to see each one.
Tonight my mom and I enjoyed watching Eric Dittelman, Mind Reader. I attended this program with the same open mind that accompanied me to the hypnotist’s show. I decided to observe carefully, suspend skepticism, and have fun. As with the previous entertainers, Eric possessed a quirky, playful sense of humor that enhanced his mind reader performance. He was very serious, however, about his craft.
Eric Dittelman has been entertaining audiences around the US at colleges, comedy clubs and private events with his unique blend of mind reading, stand-up and improv comedy. In 2012 he was a semi-finalist on Season 7 of “America’s Got Talent”. Last year he appeared as a headline guest on the Ellen Degeneres Show.
Growing up in central Massachusetts, Eric began his entertainment career with stand-up comedy, which he continued to develop during his college years. After graduation Eric became more and more interested in combining his comedic abilities with his lifelong passion for mystery performance. Traveling to Las Vegas, Eric studied with some of the top mind readers in the world and has performed at the Palazzo and the Tropicana there.
I was impressed with this guy. He’s not flashy or over the top with his humor. He begins right away with random audience involvement and proceeds to not only read minds, but blow them! He admitted to being an excellent reader of character, body language and subtle clues given off by the one being read. He told us frankly that he’s influencing the decisions his participants make, but I can’t tell you how he does it. From revealing what costume a young man wore for Halloween when he was in second grade, to writing down the correct name of another guy’s first crush, Eric amazed. He wasn’t vague, nor did he use guesses to narrow down to the correct answer, he was very, very specific, and always correct.
My favorite routine was his version of Pictionary. After picking three members of the audience to draw pictures, Eric had two helpers come up on stage to tape half dollars over his eyes and then wrap his head with duct tape, covering his eyes completely. He then affixed a blindfold over his taped eyes and had the assistants check his ears for any type of hearing device. None were detected. The drawings were collected and one by one, held above Eric’s head. Each impromptu artist stood, saying his or her name, as Eric then began to accurately describe what each one had drawn. He was absolutely correct, down to the smallest details. On the last drawing, which was of a doghouse, the man had even written his dog’s name across the front. While the audience applauded Eric’s description of the doghouse, Eric shushed everyone and said “Wait, he has a name written on the house and he wants me to say the name.” The man laughed and answered that yes, he did. Without any hesitation, Eric called out, “Rover….the dog’s name is Rover.” The applause was wild after that!
I really enjoyed this show. With his rather low key sense of humor and uncanny ability to perceive exactly what people were thinking, he made a believer and a fan out of me. I can’t wait to see what MSSU’s Campus Activities Board has lined up for the fall semester! I’ll be there.