Local performer and Ardmore native Ethan Stedman was recently recognized for his performing talents in an Ada theatre.
Stedman was named “Entertainer of the Year” during the annual McSwain Theatre Grands Award Show last month.
“It was surprising to me,” Stedman said. “But it was good to see that they were willing to vote for me. It’s all audience voted.”
Stedman performed covers of the songs “Don’t Close Your Eyes,” by Keith Whitley and “I Told You So,” by Randy Travis.
Talking about the different steps it took to be voted Entertainer of the Year, Stedman said there is an initial show and everyone who has been asked to perform, shows up to perform, and then the audience votes. The competition is then whittled down to the top five. The top five perform, the audience votes again and then all the performers go back for the Grand Awards Show, at which point the winners are revealed.
“There’s a female vocalist, male vocalist, gospel, group, youth and entertainer of the year,” Stedman said of the different categories.
Stedman has been performing at the McSwain for several years and performing even longer.
The theatre reached out to him a few years ago asking if he would participate in the show.
“I just appreciate that they even thought of me to come there because, you know, they contacted me about it,” he said. “They usually have me out there once a year.”
Stedman said he enjoys performing at the venue, but mostly enjoys just performing in general.
“Just love people hearing my music. I mean, those were covers over there, but you know, I play shows around town and just love getting my music out there,” he said.
He originally started out on piano as a child, but being drawn to country music, he ended up switching his instrument of choice.
“I started on piano as a kid and then I picked up a guitar at about 10 or 11 years old and left piano behind. I’ve been playing ever since,” he said. “Country music definitely fits with guitar better.”
Stedman often performs at Red Dirt Brewhouse and for different events in the area. He is currently in the process of recording a CD, which he plans to release in either December or January.