A Cloverdale woman has taken home some hardware from the prestigious SOVAS Awards.
Cynthia de Pando, a professional voice artist for nearly 20 years, was nominated in three categories and won in two, earning two coveted SOVAS trophies.
“I was very nervous when I got the three nominations,” recalled de Pando. “I thought, ‘here we go again,’ pretty much repeating the story.”
That “story” happened last year at the 8th annual SOVAS awards when de Pando was also nominated in three categories. She didn’t win last year, but this year, of course, her story was different.
“To win two out of three (nominations), it was just incredible!”
De Pando won awards for Spanish-language voiceover work in two categories: “Audiobook Narration - Fiction - Best Spanish Voice Over” and “Audiobook Narration - Fantasy - Best Spanish Voice Over.”
The SOVAS Awards—the Oscars for voice artists—were held Dec. 18 in Los Angeles and were the ninth annual iteration of the awards. De Pando said the ceremony was held at Warner Bros. Studios and it “was a pretty cool” event.
The SOVAS award wins offer de Pando a some peer-recognition for her hard work.
“It’s very important to be recognized, especially by my peers,” she said. “It means a lot.”
She said her profession can be subjective at times, a point she made in her acceptance speech. She said voice artists are constantly putting themselves in vulnerable positions and are, consequently, being repeatedly judge on their talents.
“We are not being judged by a client or a producer (at the SOVAS awards), we are being judged by other artists,” she explained. “They do what we do and they know what it requires, what it takes to get there, what it takes to deliver your performance.”
She said winning the trophies is like a dream come true.
“I was so grateful to be nominated and I’m so grateful to have won.”
De Pando works on about 30 projects a month. Some, such as an audiobook recording, can take up to a month while others can be shorter, a day or a week. She does books, e-learning modules, videos, dubbing, animation, commercials—radio and TV spots—audio description, and other types of work.
She said she loves recording audiobooks, though.
“You have the chance to perform a little bit more,” she said. “When you do a TV spot, you have 30 seconds to show everything, to be aligned with the brand, to do whatever the client is looking for, but with an audiobook, you get to perform more as an actress.”
Along with that chance to perform, she enjoys the challenge and the freedom of an audiobook.
“You get the chance to go a little bit deeper into the characters and the story,” she explained. “You have a lot longer to do it, so it also gives you time to think about the characters, but it’s really time consuming.”
Her voicework started when de Pando was studying communications in university. She first started volunteering at her local college radio station. After she graduated, she turned that love of radio into a professional career.
After nearly two decades of Spanish-language work, de Pando is now looking for more English-language audio work in B.C. She works out of her home studio in Cloverdale and while Spanish-language work is her bread and butter, she sees English-language work as her next big challenge.
“Locally, I’m not looking to do radio or TV, it’s more animation and video game industry (work).”
The list of this year’s SOVAS winners can be found on sovas.org.
De Pando can be reached through her website, cynthiadepando.com.