Trapped in his own 'Truman Show'

  • Article by: LORI BASHEDA , Orange County Register
  • Updated: November 2, 2013 - 6:18 PM

Student spent 4 years under the delusion that he was on a reality show from which he couldn’t escape.


Nick Lotz, who hopes to help others, thought that even his stint in rehab and his marathon race were part of a reality TV show.

Photo: Bill Alkofer • Orange County Register,

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Nick Lotz was at a music festival in Michigan when it all went sideways on him.

Sure, there had been a bit of weirdness leading up to that day. Like the time he blacked out at a party and woke up in a hospital. While some other college kid might’ve sworn off booze, Lotz thought he might be part of some small town hazing ritual, or maybe a cult.

But it wasn’t until Dave Matthews took the stage at the Rothbury Music Festival that his brain officially went haywire.

It should be noted that Lotz doesn’t even like Dave Matthews. But that night, as Dave jammed, this idea came to Lotz in an epiphany: Oh my God. I’m on the “Dave Matthews Band Reality TV Show.”

A nightmare had started.

Every time Dave came back on stage to do another encore, Lotz thought the singer was, through guitar licks and stage lights, trying to give him another chance to crack the code, another chance to get off the show. Lotz couldn’t crack the code.

Dave Matthews ‘has a reality TV show?’

It should be said that Lotz had taken LSD that night, in the summer of 2008. And Ecstasy. And Adderall. Not a good combo for anyone, and in particular, apparently, Lotz.

Back home, he nervously told friends that he was the star of the “Dave Matthews Band Reality TV Show,” and that he wanted off the show.

“Dave Matthews Band has a reality TV show?” they would invariably ask.

That must be the show’s catch phrase, he thought. Something people were supposed to say when the cameras were on.

It would be years later — in 2011 — that Lotz saw a story about brothers Joel and Ian Gold, doctors who are writing a book about a small but growing number of people suffering from what they have coined the Truman Show Delusion.

In the 1998 film “The Truman Show,” Jim Carrey plays a man whose entire life, from the cradle, has been filmed with hidden cameras for the entertainment of TV viewers. Everyone is in on it, except him. Eventually he escapes the show.

Lotz couldn’t believe it. They were playing his song.

How could he get off the show?

But the song in 2008 was still one being played by Dave Matthews.

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