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Talent Spotlight: Sheldon Elter

Photo by Kevin Clark Studios

Actor, writer, comedian, musician, Canadian Idol contestant—Sheldon Elter has worn many hats over the course of his career. His true love, though, is the stage. “That’s where my heart and soul are at,” explains Elter. “Your art lives and dies in one performance. It feels more magical to me to be a part of that.”

One of Elter’s upcoming shows, Métis Mutt, began as a classroom project in 2001 and has been workshopped and performed across the country. The multi-layered theatrical version of Elter’s life story discusses his family and racial issues. “I’ve learned that the more you try to tell the truth, the more human you become,” he says. “[The play] transcends race and gender and just becomes a human experience.”

Writing such works is particularly important to Elter, and he’s thankful for the supportive and welcoming artistic community in Edmonton. “It’s really cool to be a part of contemporary Canadian work. I’ve been very lucky to have my own work produced, and patrons will actually go and see independent work,” he says. Elter avidly recommends that visitors venture out of their comfort zone and watch a play from the numerous independent companies in the city. “There’s always a chance to see a great show.”

If you can’t see him live, watch out for the fourth season of CAUTION: May Contain Nuts. The award-winning sketch-comedy series is due back on Canadian airwaves in the spring after being cancelled for several years. “When the network asked to bring it back, it was a bit of a shock,” says Elter, who both writes and stars in the show. “What’s so cool is that you’re working with your pals, and it’s all shot here so it’s all local talent. I think it’s some of our best writing.”

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