"You think about how much it would cost to get four nationally televised broadcasts. You can't beat that," said Dittelman, who moved to Grafton in 2009 after teaching chorus in upstate New York. "I felt like I won after the Austin auditions. Going to Vegas and getting that much airtime in the first round."
Dittelman said the support evidenced by the unending stream on his Facebook fan page was "amazing."
"It's been surreal to see the reaction and the support coming from all over," Dittelman said.
But if Dittelman had listened to his friends in the industry, he may never have gotten his shot. He said he was warned about trying out for the show and never hearing back. Or worse yet, the producers can edit the footage any way they choose, potentially into one of the "joke" acts.
"I decided the rewards outweighed the risks," he said.
After his March audition, Dittelman received a call asking if he could make the first round in Austin, Texas. Dittelman wowed the judges as the first contestant to be billed as a "mind reader." He admitted that being on national television forced him to choose performances with high rates of success, but that didn't seem to bother judges Howie Mandel, Sharon Osbourne or Howard Stern.
"It's interesting because mind reading isn't 100 percent," Dittelman said. "For the routines I did on television, I tried to make them more foolproof. Of course, there are occasions where things have gone horribly wrong."
Dittelman said he had his biggest plans yet for the final round, but declined to reveal them.
"It [the final round performance] would've been designed just for that specific occasion," said Dittelman, whose acts included guessing drawings while blindfolded, turning "Deal Or No Deal" around on Howie Mandel and guessing Sharon Osborn's high school crush.
Now, it's back to business as usual for the 27-year-old mentalist. Having just returned from a show in New Mexico, Dittelman is working on booking shows and leveraging his popularity. He said people have begun to seek him out, as opposed to his cold calling, which is "the way it's supposed to be."
"It's been a little weird adjusting to people recognizing you on the street randomly," said Dittelman. "A lot more gigs and opportunities have been coming in, which is good because that's exactly why I did the show in the first place."