The Society of Voice Arts and Sciences held its second annual Voice Arts Awards in Los Angeles on Nov. 15. The gala honored voiceover actors, creative directors, and advertisers in a number of different outlets including audiobook narration, video gaming, casting, animation, movie trailers, radio, and television.
Comedy writer Bruce Vilanch also gave a comedic tribute to William Shatner during the ceremony, who was presented with the highest honor of the night: the Voice Arts Icon Award.
“The 2015 Voice Arts Awards ceremony was full of excitement, and the recognition that was given to the leading talents in voiceover gathered from around the world —both the nominees and winners—was well deserved and long overdue,” said CEO of the Society of Voice Arts and Sciences and Backstage columnist Rudy Gaskins.
Presenter Ed Loh also announced that starting in 2016, the Voice Arts Awards will include special categories for automotive-related voiceover. The new categories will honor those involved in the voiceover for commercials and TV shows featuring car parts and racing.
The ceremony was preceded by the annual “That’s Voiceover!” career expo, also hosted by the Society of Voice Arts and Sciences. The expo featured a variety of tools for new and established voiceover actors, including auditions with industry executives, workshops, interactive exercises, networking opportunities, and performances.
Backstage also played an integral part in the “That’s Voiceover!” festivities, presenting the Backstage Vanguard Award for Outstanding Casting to Pixar Animation CDs Kevin Reher and Natalie Lyon. Together, the pair have cast some of Pixar Animation’s most prominent films, including “Up,” WALL-E,” and “Toy Story 3.”
This is the second year Backstage has presented the prestigious award to a respected industry professional. Last year, the Backstage Vanguard Award for Education was presented to voice actor and teacher Pat Fraley.