I first met Sylvain Leduc, Pro ETA, during an intermission at his concert on September 29th, 2017 at Flamboro Downs. In conversation, I found him to be a gentleman in the truest sense of the word. There is a gentleness and kindness about him that is very attractive. Sylvain is a handsome man, with a fantastic voice, who looked gorgeous in the three jumpsuits that he wore during his three hour concert at Flamboro. But Sylvain’s appeal goes beyond what we see on stage. In an earlier post, I related a story about the five ladies and four scarves, and how Sylvain, with the quick action of his girlfriend, Eliane, managed to make everyone happy. Sylvain’s attention to detail in how he dresses, how he performs, and how he connects with his audience has earned him great respect as an award winning professional ETA.
I have had the pleasure of corresponding with Sylvain’s Media and Public Relations agent, Sharon Murray, over the past three weeks. As a special surprise for Sylvain, I asked Sharon to add her thoughts to this introduction. I am very grateful to Sharon for providing such an eloquently written response to my request.
“I wasn’t sure what to say, so I simply spoke with my heart.”
Sylvain is indeed a gentleman in all respects, and in my eyes he epitomizes the true meaning of Elvis Ambassadorship and Elvis Spirit. These qualities are what I admire most about Sylvain, and they are what ultimately inspired me to embark on this wonderful journey. His tribute to Elvis is done with great attention to detail and with the utmost respect for Elvis’ memory and for the fans. This, coupled with his warm demeanor and his kind disposition, make it no surprise why the fans connect so easily with him. It is a joy and a pleasure to be part of Sylvain’s team, and an even greater privilege to be his friend.
Thank you so much, Sharon, for your beautiful words.
I invite you to enjoy The Interview…
Spotlight On ETA Sylvain Leduc
Q. What were the circumstances that led to your family’s move to Massachusetts when you were 3 years old?
A. My Dad always said from a young age that he would like to move away from Valleyfield. He had bigger dreams and more job opportunities for his line of work.
Q. What was your life like as a teenager living in Massachusetts?
A. I really enjoyed my younger and teen life there, for me it became home. Of course I missed the family (grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins) since they were all in the Valleyfield area. But I believe we got a great life experience thanks to my parents.
Q. Were there other teens in your circle of friends who were also Elvis fans?
A. Maybe, but not like me :)
Q. At what age did you realize you were good at singing and moving like Elvis?
A. I always loved and listened to Elvis from the earliest age, but got into it around 14/15 years old.
Q. Did you perform as Elvis at your elementary or high school talent show?
A. Yes, it was in high school that I won 1st Place in a talent show.
Q. Do you remember the details of your first official competition? Where was the event held? What were you feeling before, during, and after the competition? Were you pleased with the results?
A. Yes, my first competition was only a couple of years ago in the Lake George Elvis Festival which I took first place in my category. Being my first competition, I was very nervous. When they called my name for 1st prize, tears just flew out of my eyes, tears of joy of course.
Q. When you sing songs that are traditionally sung in French, do you still sound like Elvis?
A. I don’t sing any other songs but Elvis songs. I don’t really enjoy French songs. I guess that is because I was brought up in the States, and never got into French songs.
Q. In what ways are audiences in Ontario different from those in Quebec?
A. I love staying in character speaking English. I am more comfortable in English too! In Quebec, I have to speak some French when I do a show, but it takes away from the Elvisy feeling to the show for me, but the audience is happy, and that’s what counts.
Q. What were the opportunities that were presented to you after you performed at the Ormstown Fair?
A. The visibility in any fair, festival, casino or show gives me the chance to meet new fans and friends.
Q. What can you tell us about Valleyfield, Quebec?
A. Very nice small township, surrounded by a beautiful lake, quiet.
Q. What charities have benefited from your performances as an ETA?
A. I have done several for Sick Children, Wish Foundation, American and Canadian Legions to raise funds for them.
Q. At what competition did you win your first professional title?
A. Professionally, it would have to be the Flaming Star Festival in 2016.
Q. What is the ‘climate’ like for ETAs in Quebec?
A. When done professionally, I believe there is a respect.
Q. What is the most difficult part of being an ETA?
A. I don’t find anything difficult about it, because for me it’s a passion. It is a lot of work when you want to be polished head to toe :)
Q. What has surprised you the most about being an ETA?
A. That since I started in the competition world, how many Elvis fans there are out there.
Q. Is there a competition that you would like to enter in the next two years?
A. As many as I can. Just to name a few, there is Niagara Falls, Lake George, Images of the King, Las Vegas, Memphis, Collingwood, Tweed, and Elvis Explosions.
Q. What Elvis song do you consider your signature song? Or what song do you feel is your best vocal?
A. I don’t believe I have a signature song. But I love the ballads in particular because of Elvis’s rich velvet voice, and I believe that I produce them well.
Q. When you aren’t performing, how do you spend your time? What do you do to relax?
A. I like to work out a bit, take long walks listening to Elvis music :) and playing a bit of guitar.
Q. If you had to choose a career other than being an ETA, what would it be?
A. I would love to just keep singing.
Q. What award or title have you won that hold special meaning for you? Why?
A. People’s Choice from the Flaming Star because I believe if I please the audience, then I guess I am doing a good job :)
Q. What special care do you have to take with your jumpsuits to ensure they are competition ready?
A. I always make sure they are well polished, so after every show I wash them myself in the bathtub with mild detergent, rinse them and hang them to dry.
Q. What Elvis costume do you think you wear the best?
A. As long as the fitting is right, I believe they are all unique and look great.
Q. What advice would you give to up and coming young ETAs?
A. Be yourself and believe in yourself and enjoy.
Q. If you could change one thing about being an ETA, what would it be?
A. I don’t think there is anything to change.
Q. Is there another professional ETA with whom you would like to tour?
A. It would be a privilege to share the stage with any professional ETA. I really like Bill Cherry and Dean Z.
Q. Do you have a favourite venue where you feel very comfortable performing?
A. All venues are great to play at. It’s the audience that makes me comfortable.
Q. Describe what you think your life will be like in 10 years?
A. If life gives me the chance to continue this path, I will be grateful; and it will be very enjoyable.
Q. Is there something about you that would surprise your fans?
A. Maybe the fact that I shave my head, and maybe my age.
Q. What is the last thing you say to yourself before you step on the stage?
A. “Enjoy”, make the crowd happy.
Q. Is there a particular encounter with a fan that stands out in your memory?
A. There are many. I guess there are too many.
Q. Describe your favourite audience.
A. Cheerful and respectful to Elvis’s memory.
Q. Do you have information about your upcoming concerts, competitions, or events that you wish to share?
A. I would like to share my website www.sylvainleducelvis.com for all the fans to enjoy and follow upcoming events, and if they would like to join our fan page on Facebook at Sylvain Leduc Elvis fan site.
Thank you, Sylvain, for providing personal photos, and thoughtful, honest answers that have allowed your fans a closer look at their favourite ETA.