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Voice actor J. Michael Collins congratulates Brenda Robinson, winner of the THE SOVAS Academic Scholarship. Collins was this year's presenter and benefactor of the scholarship.

2015 VOICE ARTS
® AWARDS
Celebrities, Winners And All Voice Actors
'Rise Together' At Voice Arts
® Awards Gala
November 18, 2015

Story and Photos by Martha Kahn
VoiceOverXtra

The Pacific Design Center in Hollywood was filled with glitz, glamour and voice over’s finest Sunday night as the Red Carpet to the 2015 Voice Arts® Awards Gala unrolled to celebrities like William Shatner, John Amos and his son KC, Bruce Vilanch and Malcolm-Jamal Warner

But all of these celebrities, who have "voiced" themselves, had one thing in common to say about our love, our passion, our industry:
This stuff takes work and doesn’t usually happen overnight.
The prevailing theme throughout the evening was a tremendous respect for the hard work, the time, effort and study that goes into being a Voice Actor.

Hard work was also evident in the professionalism of this second annual Voice Arts® Awards competition and Gala - created and presented by the Society of Voice Arts & Sciences (SOVAS).

REVVING UP VOICE POWER

Welcoming a crowd of hundreds, Gala emcee Michael Winslow entertained with more voices than we could keep up with. 

Accompanied by the beautiful Skye and Liisi LaFontaine, daughters of the late Don LaFontaine as the Awards chaperones, the first awards were presented.

Editor in Chief of Motor Trend Magazine Ed Loh spoke of the power of the human voice and automobiles - how the "voice” is now a "driving force” in the automobile industry (pun intended), and he announced that in 2016 the Awards will introduce an Automotive category.

With award presenters like Bruce Vilanch, Chuck Duran and Stacey J. Aswad, Joe Cipriano, Robert Garson, John and KC Amos, Joan Baker (pictured), Marc Graue, Suzanne Marques, Pat Fraley, E.G. Daily, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Scott Brick, and Lori Alan, we were entertained to the nth degree, watching with both witticisms and respect fly back between them.

Dave Fennoy and Sylvia Villagran were the event's live announcers.

But alas, it was all about the awards and the oodles of winners! (See full list below, plus a link to all nominees.)

HONORING AN ICON

A highlight of the evening was presentation of the 2015 Voice Arts Icon Award to William Shatner - Captain Kirk himself - AKA TJ Hooker and Denny Crane.

Presented by the Awards' producers - the ever charming and beautiful voice talent/coach/author Joan Baker and SOVAS CEO Rudy Gaskins - Shatner graciously received the award, noting his tremendous respect for the art of Voice Over. He also shared some frustrations working with directors - even poking fun at the now infamous Internet video of his session with a challenging director.  

Malcolm-Jamal Warner - our young Theo from The Cosby Show - both a presenter and later an Award winner for Training Daze, said, "I always wanted to be a voice actor and then I learned, this #$%^ is not easy!

Beau Weaver reminded us, when accepting the award for Outstanding Body of Work, that a successful career is about constantly striving to be ever better, studying with a string of voice over’s top coaches throughout the years, and continuing to hone your craft - never sitting back on laurels.  

'WE ALL RISE TOGETHER'

And for me, Debbe Hirata (pictured with award-winner John Grove) encapsulated the theme while accepting her award for Outstanding Local TV Commercial (Chumash Casino Resort), quoting their motto: "We all rise together.” 

This is how we do it: together. As Forbes Magazine recently noted, If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. 

We in the voice over industry are one big family, rising together. When one of us wins, we all win.  

Executive Producers Joan Baker and Rudy Gaskins of SOVAS did it again! I came out of these awards so proud to be a member of this group of actors – so inspired by some of the best in the biz, knowing that we are all one.

AND A SCHOLARSHIP ...

The Gala also featured the presentation of the SOVAS Academic Scholarship by its benefactor, voice actor J. Michael Collins, to Brenda Robinson (see photo at top of article). The scholarship recipient is chosen by the SOVAS Board of Directors based on the voice actor's "potential for success, passion for the craft, and financial need," Gaskins explains.

This year's recipient received four one-on-one coaching sessions with Joan Baker; Pat Fraley's series of five online course studies to advance skills in the VO genre of his or her choice; and one Sennheiser Professional Studio head set.

2015 VOICE ARTS® AWARD WINNERS

Outstanding Audio Engineering – Audiobook
In Freedom’s Cause
Audio Engineer: Rob Jorgensen
Additional Writers: Aaron Fullan, Nick Huizenga, Bill Heid, Nick Heid
Assistant Producer: Aaron Fullan, Nick Heid
Consulting Producer: Nick Huizenga
Executive Producer: Bill Heid
London Casting Director: Philip Glassborow
Music Composer: John Campbell
Package Designer: Steve Tyrrell/Tyrrell
Creative Project Manager: Mark Drury
Recording Engineer and Voice Track Editor: Mark Drury
Sound Designer/Foley Artist: Rob Jorgensen
The Cast: A Full Cast, Skandar Keynes, Brian Blessed, Billy Boyd, James Cosmo, Joanne Froggatt Writer/Director/Producer: John Fornof


Audiobook Narration – Biography, Best Voiceover

In Search of Sir Thomas Browne
By Hugh Aldersey-Williams and read by Simon Vance
HighBridge Audio


Audiobook Narration – Science Fiction, Best Voiceover
Acceptance
By Jeff VanderMeer and read by Bronson Pinchot, Carolyn McCormick and Xe Sands
Blackstone Audio


Audiobook Narration – Mystery, Best Voiceover
Dry Bones
By Craig Johnson and read by George Guidall
Recorded Books


Audiobook Narration – Author Performance, Best Voiceover
O, What a Luxury: Verses Lyrical, Vulgar, Pathetic & Profound
By Garrison Keillor and read by Garrison Keillor
HighBridge Audio


Audiobook Narration – Crime & Thriller, Best Voiceover

Huntress Moon: The Huntress Series, Book 1
By Alexandra Sokoloff and read by R.C. Bray


Audiobook Narration – Children’s Pre-School (Infant to 12), Best Voiceover
Big Hero 6 by Disney Press Read by MacLeod Andrews
Blackstone Audio


Audiobook Narration – Teens, Best Voiceover

The Moon Dwellers: Dwellers Saga, Book 1
By David Estes and read by Julia Whelan and Will Damron
Editor: Bob Evoniuk Executive
Producer: Greg Lawrence, James Tonn
Proofer: Emily Derr
Podium Publishing


Audiobook Narration – Classics, Best Voiceover
Little Big Man
By Thomas Berger and read by Scott Sowers
Director: Rachel Pick
Producer: Claudia Howard
Recorded Books

Audiobook Narration – History, Best Voiceover

In Freedom’s Cause
By G. A. Henty
Additional Writers: Aaron Fullan, Nick Huizenga, Bill Heid, Nick Heid
Assistant Producer: Aaron Fullan, Nick Heid
Consulting Producer: Nick Huizenga
Executive Producer: Bill Heid London
Casting Director: Philip Glassborow
Music Composer: John Campbell
Package Designer: Steve Tyrrell/Tyrrell
Creative Project Manager: Mark Drury
Recording Engineer and Voice Track Editor: Mark Drury
Sound Designer/Foley Artist: Rob Jorgensen
The Cast: A Full Cast, Skandar Keynes, Brian Blessed, Billy Boyd, James Cosmo, Joanne Froggatt
Writer/Director/Producer: John Fornof
Sound Designer/Foley Artist: Todd Busteed, GAP Digital
The Cast: A Full Cast, Brian Blessed, Kelsey Lansdowne, Kirk Cameron, Chris Anthony, Sean Astin
Writer: Robert Liparulo


Audiobook Narration – Inspirational/Faith-Based Fiction, Best Voiceover

In Freedom’s Cause
Writer/Director/Producer: John Fornof
Additional Writers: Aaron Fullan, Nick Huizenga, Bill Heid, Nick Heid
Assistant Producer: Aaron Fullan, Nick Heid
Consulting Producer: Nick Huizenga
Executive Producer: Bill Heid London
Casting Director: Philip Glassborow
Music Composer: John Campbell
Package Designer: Steve Tyrrell/Tyrrell
Creative Project Manager: Mark Drury
Recording Engineer and Voice Track Editor: Mark Drury
Sound Designer/Foley Artist: Rob Jorgensen
The Cast: A Full Cast, Skandar Keynes, Brian Blessed, Billy Boyd, James Cosmo, Joanne Froggatt

Audiobook Narration – Non-Fiction, Best Voiceover
How to Bake Pi: An Edible Exploration of the Mathematics of Mathematics
By Eugenia Cheng and read by Tavia Gilbert
HighBridge Audio


Audiobook Narration – Metaphysical, Best Voiceover

Human Plus: Post-Human Series, Book 4
By David Simpson and read by Ray Chase
Executive Producers: James Tonn and Greg Lawrence
Producer and Editor: Greg Lawrence
Proofer: Travis Chaney Podium Publishing


Audiobook Narration – Self Help, Best Voiceover
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
By Marie Kondo and read by Emily Woo Zeller
Sound Editing: Diane Kozlowski, Melanie Bodin


Audiobook Narration – Romance, Best Voiceover
The Tempting of Thomas Carrick
By Stephanie Laurens and read by Matthew Brenher
Blackstone Audio


Audiobook Narration – Short Story Anthology, Best Voiceover

Leaving the Sea
By Ben Marcus and read by Andrew Garman, Andy Paris, Brian Hutchinson and George Guidall
Recorded Books


Audiobook Narration – Fiction, Best Voiceover

Written in My Own Heart’s Blood
By Diana Gabaldon and read by Davina Porter
Recorded Books

Audiobook Narration – Fantasy, Best Voiceover
Euphoria by Lily King
Read by Simon Vance and Xe Sands
Blackstone Audio


Audiobook Narration – Business or Education, Best Voiceover

StorySelling
By JW Dicks and Nick Nanton
Read by: Ray Porter Editor: Jonathan Yen
Executive Producer: James Tonn and Greg Lawrence
Producer: Greg Lawrence
Proofer: Travis Chaney Podium Publishing


------------------------------
Spanish


Outstanding Commercial Demo Reel, Best Spanish Voiceover
Roberto Sanchez, Voice Actor

Outstanding TV Commercial, Best Spanish Voiceover
Hyundai Puerto Rico
Fabian Toro, Voice Actor
Account executive: Iralis Jiménez Sojitz de Puerto Rico Corporation: Pablo Martínez


Outstanding Spoken Word or Storytelling – Best Spanish Performance

Poema: Renunciamiento/Poem: renunciation
Fabián Toro, Voice Actor
Composer: Brian Crain
Production Director: Oswaldo Laverde
Sound Engineer: Claudio Durán Rey

------------------------------------

Outstanding Spoken Word or Storytelling – Best Performance

Training Daze
Malcolm-Jamal Warner


Outstanding National TV Commercial, Best Voiceover

Wendy’s – Fancy – ish
Robert Garson, Voice Actor
Agent: Access Talent
Producer: Kaplan Thayler
Client: Wendy’s


Outstanding TV Program Narration – Documentary, Best Voiceover

ESPN Draft Academy 2015
Diriki Mack
Coordinating Producer: Jose Morales
Producers : Luis Aldea and Kristen Lappas


Outstanding Local TV Commercial, Best Voiceover
Chumash Casino Resort
Debbe Hirata, Voice Actor
Agent: Nate Tico
Animation Supervisor: Szymon Weglarski, Jonathan Dorfman
Art Director: Karl Wolf
Client: Jason Lavan
Composer: Erik Appelwick for Egg-Music
Copywriter: Eric Luoma
Creative Director – Music: John Hermanson
Creative Director/Strategist: Bruce Tait
Director: Lutz Vogel, Zoe Wishart
Executive Producer: Judy Brink, Andrew Linsk
Executive Producer – Music: Eric Fawcett
Producer: Alexander Linsk
Project Manager: Heidi Anderson
Voice Over Actor: Debbe Hirata
Voice Over Casting/Coaching: Nancy Wolfson
Voice Over Recording Engineer: Dave Howe


Outstanding Local TV Promo, Best Voiceover

KOVR Sacramento Sad Weather Lab #1
Beau Weaver, Voice Actor
Ready Detroit: Your Guide to Being Prepared
CBS Detroit WWJ-TV
Producer: Paul Pytlowany


Outstanding Radio Commercial, Best Voiceover
Las Vegas
Chris Fries


Outstanding Movie Trailer, Best Voiceover
Nightcrawler
John Armstrong


Outstanding National TV Promo, Best Voiceover

Dateline NBC Mystery Man
Lisa Flanagan
Writer/Producer: Miranda Patterson


Outstanding Consumer Sales Video, Best Voiceover

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3
Mike Carlucci, Voice Actor


Outstanding Body of Work, Voiceover

Beau Weaver (pictured)
  • Theatrical Trailer: Into The Wild, Paramount Vantage, Craig Murray Productions EVP of Marketing: Guy Endore-Kaiser Producer: Scott Walls
  • Network TV Promo: FOX Broadcasting, New Girl "A butterfly dies” February 2013 FBC New Girl "30 "Butterfly” Producer, Tommy Kim
  • Animated TV Series: Superman Ruby-Spears / Hanna Barbera 1988 Ginny McSwain, Drector
  • National Television Campaign: Maxwell House January 2013 Sylvia Sanchez at McGarry Bowen
  • Documentary Television Series: Myth Hunters Discovery, AHC, 2015 "The Lost Jewels of Helen of Troy”
  • Feature Film Trailer TV spot: Revolutionary Road Create Advertising, 2008 , Producer: Joshua Weber
  • Television Promo Syndicated Series Off Net : American Dad /Family Guy  2012, Beantown Productions
  • Television Promo Syndicated Original Series: Ellen "The Games: Olympics Pre-emption” 2014 Studio City Productions, Stu Weiss, Producer
  • Animated Series Marvel Action Hour: Fantastic Four, Marvel Productions 1995 Stan Lee, Ron Friedman, Tom Tataranowicz, producers
  • Local Television Special segment: "Ready Detroit Your Guide to Being Prepared, "CBS Detroit WWJ-TV , Producer: Paul Pytlowany
  • Myth Hunters Discovery AHC, 2015 The Lost Jewels of Helen of Troy Executive Producer: Alex Maldini Associate producer: Jon Dorsey
  • Executive Creative Directors: Mark Hendy, Neil Elliot Producer: Carlo Magistrelli, Andrea Pavarotti
Outstanding TV Promo Campaign, Best Voiceover
Discovery Networks
Fabian Toro
Creative Director: Andrew Heckel
Creative Director Discovery US Hispanic: Luis Duarte International
Creative Director: Danilo Alvarez
Manager U.S. Hispanic Integration: Rekha Patricio


Outstanding Video Game Character, Best Voiceover
Tahm Kench – The River King-League of Legends
Pat Duke, Voice Actor


Outstanding Narration – TV or Film, Best Voiceover

Jane the Virgin
Narrated by Anthony Mendez
Director: Brad Silberling
Executive Producer/Writer: Jennie Snyder Urman
Producer: Gina Lamar
Writer: Paul Sciarrotta


Outstanding TV Animation, Best Voiceover
Chumash Casino Resort Animation
Debbe Hirata, Voice Actor
Agent: Nate Tico
Animation Supervisor: Szymon Weglarski and Jonathan Dorfman
Art Director: Karl Wolf
Composer: Erik Appelwick for Egg Music
Copywriter: Eric Luoma
Creative Director – Music: John Hermanson
Creative Director/Strategist: Bruce Tait
Director: Zoe Wishart and Lutz Vogel
Executive Producer: Andrew Linsk and Judy Brink
Executive Producer – Music: Eric Fawcett
Producer: Alexander Unick
Project Manager: Heidi Anderson
Senior Brand Manager – Chumash Casino Resort: Jason Lavan
Voice Over Actor: Debbie Hirata
Voice Over Casting/Coaching: Nancy Wolfson
Voice Over Recording Engineer: Dave Howe


Outstanding Casting – Audiobook
In Freedom’s Cause
Philip Glassborow
Additional Writers: Aaron Fullan, Nick Huizenga, Bill Heid and Nick Heid
Assistant Producer: Aaron Fullan and Nick Heid
Consulting Producer: Nick Huizenga
Executive Producer: Bill Heid
London Casting Director: Philip Glassborow
Music Composer: John Campbell
Package Designer: Steve Tyrrell/Tyrrell
Creative Project Manager: Mark Drury
Recording Engineer and Voice Track Editor: Mark Drury
Sound Designer/Foley Artist: Rob Jorgensen T
he Cast: A Full Cast, Skandar Keynes, Brian Blessed, Billy Boyd, James Cosmo and Joanne Froggatt
Writer/Director/Producer: John Fornof


Outstanding Copywriting
Nightcrawler
Jack Teed, Daphne Peponides and Shawn Ferjanec


Outstanding Commercial Demo Reel, Best Voiceover
Mike Brang
Copy Writer: Stacey J Aswad
Producer: Chuck Duran

Outstanding Narration Demo Reel,
Best Voiceover

Pat Duke (pictured right, with pal and coach Pat Fraley)

Outstanding Production – Audiobook
In Freedom’s Cause
Bill Heid
Additional Writers: Aaron Fullan, Nick Huizenga, Bill Heid, Nick Heid
Assistant Producer: Aaron Fullan, Nick Heid
Consulting Producer: Nick Huizenga
Executive Producer: Bill Heid London
Casting Director: Philip Glassborow
Music Composer: John Campbell
Package Designer: Steve Tyrrell/Tyrrell
Creative Project Manager: Mark Drury
Recording Engineer and Voice Track Editor: Mark Drury
Sound Designer/Foley Artist: Rob Jorgensen
The Cast: A Full Cast, Skandar Keynes, Brian Blessed, Billy Boyd, James Cosmo, Joanne Froggatt
Writer/Director/Producer: John Fornof


Outstanding Voiceover Podcast
VO Buzz Weekly
Chuck Duran and Stacey J. Aswad (pictured)
Editor: Jeff Castelluccio
Editor, Cameras and Graphics: Eric Fashingbauer, Jory Federighi
Guest: Andrea Romano
Talent Coordinator: Denise Chamberlain


Outstanding Promo Demo Reel, Best Voiceover

John Grove
Producer/Director: Chuck Duran





Outstanding Animation Demo Reel, Best Voiceover

Dave Fennoy (pictured)

See all 2015 Voice Arts® Awards nominees!

For more about the Voice Arts® Awards, please visit www.SOVAS.org.





------------------------------------------------------
ABOUT MARTHA
Martha Kahn is a voice actor based in Southern California who is also well known in the voice over industry for her participation in numerous groups and activities, and also as the Marketing and Sales Director for VoiceOverXtra.

Email: martha@VoiceOverXtra.com and martha@MarthaKahn.com

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Comments (4)
Philip Banks
11/21/2015 at 6:43 AM
In the category Best TV promo Voice Over named Philip Banks I came an honourable joint 7th place with Nkojura Tomashta from Ohio. She's VERY good by the way.
Larry Ocean
11/19/2015 at 11:57 PM
This was an absolutely stellar event. This was my 4th time attending That's Voiceover and 2nd time attending the Voice Arts Awards. I hope I never have to miss it. This article makes me feel as though I'm still right there in it. I like that. Joan Baker and Rudy have proven that they will always step it up and lift us all up in the process. Martha, I will be friending you directly. Great reporting.

LO
Brent Abdulla
11/18/2015 at 11:34 PM
Excellent work Martha! Thank you for the wonderfully written recap. Congratulations to all the winners and participants.
Rudy Gaskins
11/18/2015 at 12:53 AM
You said. it all, Martha! Thank you for you for your eagle eye and keen sensibility to expressing the "community" experience. Well done! Absolutely marvellous!
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