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Audio Description Is Going To The Voice Arts Awards

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Cane EnAbled | Audio Description


Editor’s Note:

BREAKING NEWS: Audio Description (AD) is Headed To The Voice Arts Awards! We first learned this exciting news in our June podcast episode. Today, we are over the moon that award-winning voice-over artists, Joe Cipriano and Pete Gustin tell us how audio description narrators can enter the 2021 Voice Arts Awards.

As always, included in this post is both the YouTube video and the transcription for those who prefer to read. Please share this post to help us get the word out. Enjoy! ~Steph

microphone and pop filter atop a round base against a black background. Text on the cover reads June 2021: Audio Description Is Going To The Voice Arts Awards.

YouTube Video

Introducing Joe Cipriano & Pete Gustin

Audio Description (AD)  

A gleaming trophy depicts a reading stand beneath an inverted microphone 8th Voice Arts Awards. 

Joe Cipriano 

Hi, my name is Joe Cipriano. I’m a voice actor, author, voice acting coach, and a board director for SOVAS, the Society of Voice Arts and Sciences. SOVAS is a nonprofit organization doing some really great things in the world of arts and entertainment, most notably, the inclusion of new categories for audio description narrators. Good Morning America called the Voice Arts Awards, the Oscars of voiceover acting, and I’m thrilled to bring you this good news today, along with my new best friend, and a multiple voice arts-winning voice actor, himself, producer, world-class surfer, and all-around great guy. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Mr. Pete Gustin. 


Pete takes a bow.

Pete Gustin  

Thanks, Joe. I’m Pete Gustin, and I’m honored to work with the legendary Joe Cipriano and SOVAS. The goal is accessibility, inclusion, and representation for people with disabilities. As Joe said, I too am a voice actor. What he didn’t tell you is that I’m also blind. 

So the fact that the Voice Arts Awards is including audio description narrators is obviously meaningful to me personally, but it’s also a symptom of a new beginning and how we include and respect each other as human beings. But I can’t let Joe get away with so much modesty. He too is a multiple Voice Arts Award-winning actor whose voice has brought you some of the most iconic entertainment shows in America: The Simpsons, Deal Or No Deal, The Emmy Awards, Food Network, Iron Chef America, The Fox TV Network, The CBS TV Network, and the list goes on. In fact, I happen to have a brief clip so that you can hear the quality of Joe’s genius at work. Check it out. 

Samples Of Joe & Pete’s Work

Joe’s Sample Clip (including AD)  

The CBS logo. You probably wouldn’t recognize Joe Cipriano on the street unless he starts talking. His voice is one of the best known in America. Joe stands at a mic. 

Make a resolution to watch TVs number one comedy. What’s going on out here? Two and a Half Men. Next time. Anybody here a doctor? House is in the house. What’s the buzz on TVs number one show? Gordon Ramsay and the producers of The Biggest Loser present Master Chef, The Simpsons, it’s a Mike and Molly’s scandal. What is it? Come on, you think we’d tell you in the promo? Animation Domination presents a quadruple feature on FOX. 


Joe raises his eyebrows.


Okay. All right, Pete, you got me there. Thank you very much. You’re very kind. But I’m gonna have to one up you here because you, my friend, are among the brightest stars in the world of movie trailers, radio, imaging, and many other genres. And you’ve done all of this and so much more while actually being blind. Your story is one that shows that anything is possible and that being disabled doesn’t have to mean being unable. So here you go right back at you. A little sample of your vocal magic

Pete’s Sample Clip (including AD)  

Summit Entertainment, a basketball court. Throughout time, our greatest legends have passed on words of wisdom. A paper bag. Hold my nuts. Hold your nuts? It’s a soul crushing. She betrayed me again. Epic Super Bowl Week. Cartoon Network. Good Morning Belwood, our top story, the city is under siege. 

When it comes to great American families, smashing a garage door, they’re not it. Puppy Bowl  Only one thing can make a massage, even better, fuzzy paws reach right, a puppy. Rob Lowe hosts Mental Samurai February 26 on FOX. 

Lion King Audio Description Sample


Pete polishes a trophy.


Did you hear that babe? We just got introduced by Joe Cipriano, the legend. How cool is that? Now what you heard me and Joe doing is not audio description, but it belongs to the many voice acting genres of which audio description is an important part. So to give you a demonstration of one type of audio description, also known as AD for short, let’s take a look at a clip from The Lion King. And for all my 2020 friends, you might want to close your eyes to get the full impact.

The Lion King Sample Audio Description Clip  

Hundreds of animals gather at the bottom of Pride Rock a tall flat ledge that towers over the rest of the Savannah. Zazu a small blue bird with a large beak flaps to the ledge. He bows to Mufasa a powerful, dignified lion with a thick red mane.

Rafiki, an elderly baboon with white hair slowly climbs up to the ledge and hugs Mufasa warmly. They walk back to a cave where Mufasa’s wife, Sarabi, cuddles a tiny lion cub in her paws. Smiling, Rafiki bends over Simba, the baby lion and shakes his walking stick which has two melons tied to it. Simba swats his paws with the melons playfully.

Joe Cipriano  

That is truly fascinating work. It’s really a completely different way of writing, narrating and seeing. And more importantly, it provides a way for blind and low vision people to enjoy a richer experience of the world. And that’s what we mean by accessibility, inclusion and representation. 

Excuse me for a moment.

New Audio Description Award Categories

A teardrop-shaped golden statue — an artistic rendition of a microphone and pop filter atop a round base against a black background.


Joe appears in a suit. 


Ladies and gentlemen, the three new audio description categories in the 2021 Voice Arts Awards are…


He reaches to the right. Joe holds up an envelope marked SOVAS. Joe looks at a card.


  • Outstanding Audio Description for TV and Film Best Voiceover,
  • Outstanding Audio Description for Museums and Cultural Sites Best Voiceover,
  • Outstanding Audio Description for Theater and Live Events Best Voiceover.


Smirking. Joe mouths the words Thank you.

How To Enter Voice Arts Awards


Audio description is among the most fascinating and unique forms of voice acting and it takes a completely different set of skills to achieve a great performance. With millions of people clamoring for this accessibility traditional networks, cable networks and streaming services are taking note. 

SOVAS is taking note too by acknowledging audio description narrators on voice acting’s biggest stage The Voice Arts Awards. To enter go to and click enter 2021 Awards. Catch the super early bird pricing if you can, and newsflash is offering a special 20% discount for all audio description categories.


Pete appears in a suit.


In the category of Best Discount Code for an Audio Description Performance. The winner is… 


Pete pulls a card out of a SOVAS envelope, then sets down the envelope and turns the card toward us. 

Pete Gustin  

Bold Blind Beauty 


20% discount 


And don’t worry, it’s not case sensitive, just BoldBlindBeauty all one word.


You can learn more about Bold Blind Beauty and the great work they’re doing for blind and low vision people at Now when you enter the Voice Arts Awards contest, 



Just enter the discount code BoldBlindBeauty during checkout to get your additional 20% off the entry price. The Society of Voice Arts and Sciences is helping to forge inclusiveness and accessibility for the visually impaired. And that’s a population of 161 million people worldwide. And of those 37 million are blind, and it’s expected that these numbers will more than double by 2050. 


The need is clear. The appreciation for this work is even clear. And the opportunity to celebrate this work has arrived in a big way. If you’re an audio description narrator or you know someone who is, invite them to enter the Voice Arts Awards. All work is scored by experts in the field of audio description. Six judges will score each entry in each category. Their scores determine which entries become the five nominees and from there, one winner will emerge unless there’s a tie, it happens. 


Enter your work and then join us via Livestream or in person for the Voice Arts Awards Red Carpet Gala, where the winners will be announced live from the Guggenheim Museum in New York City on December 19 2021.


To enter, and we hope you will, log on to choose Enter 2021 Awards, create your account and let your voice be heard. And good luck.


Voice Arts Awards 2021. From a podium Lily Tomlin blows a kiss. We hear you enter here

Transcribed by

Don’t Forget:

Please share this post to help us get the word out. Thank you!!

Connecting With SOVAS

Special Thanks To:

Thank you to all of you who collaborated with Bold Blind Beauty to spread the word on Audio Description making it to the Voice Arts Awards. We are so grateful to be included in this effort. ~Steph

  • Joe Cipriano, Voice Over Artist
  • Pete Gustin, Voice Over Artist
  • Joel Snyder, President, Audio Description Associates LLC
  • Elisa Jansen, Voice Over Artist
  • Rudy Gaskins, SOVAS

Image Descriptions:

  • The Header is a genderless bust wearing gold and dark gray headphones faces a teardrop-shaped golden statue — an artistic rendition of a microphone and pop filter atop a round base. Below, the text “New Categories Open For Entries. WE HEAR YOU”
  • Beyond Sight Magazine Cover has A teardrop-shaped golden statue — an artistic rendition of a microphone and pop filter atop a round base against a black background. Text on the cover reads June 2021: Audio Description Is Going To The Voice Arts Awards.
  • Identical teardrop-shaped golden statue image on the cover in the second bullet.

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