Today is the last day of APAC, the premier event in the audiobooks industry designed to address industry trends share ideas and provide networking opportunities for industry leaders. The day of the the APAC seminars, the Listening Lounge, the Audies and the Naudies (sort of an after-party for APAC attendees and narrators of audiobooks) in New York City. My friend, Vanessa Hart and I attended last year. We had rented our very cool apartment on 45th Street which made life so easy throughout the conference.
I’m especially missing my friend Vanessa Hart today, the very talented female voice of some 50+ audiobooks. My friend,and consummate fan of all things audiobooks, who passed away unexpectedly in February will not be there. But she’s here with me. In my heart and mind, and hopefully lingering just a bit longer in the hearts and minds of those attending the APAC audiobooks Audie Awards Gala this evening.
Here is the “In Memoriam” tribute I wrote for Vanessa Hart which appears in this evening’s program for the APAC finale in the Audie Awards.
Voice over artist, Audie nominated audiobook narrator and vocal coach, Vanessa Hart, 54, of Los Angeles, died Feb. 11 at her home after a short illness.
Vanessa’s work as a successful voice actor was recognized with numerous nominations and awards, including an Earphone award in 2012 for her work in Kurt Andersen’s “True Believers”. Vanessa was a long standing and active member of SAG-AFTRA. Vanessa is survived by her younger sister, Dana Hart of Los Angeles; her husband, Jeff Simon; most beloved niece, Santana; aunt and uncle, Carolyn and Ellis Landers of Sherwood, Ark., aunt and uncle, Gail and Ralph Goza of Camden, Ark. and cousin, Todd Landers also of Sherwood, Ark.
Vanessa Hart was one of my dearest friends, a smart, complex, and private woman with a generous heart, and a cool, knowing voice that cared deeply for her students of audiobook narration, and above all, performance of the art and craft of the genre.
Vanessa was always bringing out her wonderful laugh, and her quick wit often made her the life of any party she attended or Facebook community she hung out in. She was gifted not only as a performer, but also as a coach, teacher, and mentor to many voice actors who are enjoying fine careers today. Her students found her to be engaging, warm, and always a supportive champion for the performer. Vanessa was not only a great citizen of the voice acting community, but also one who truly made that community feel like a family. She will be greatly missed by the many people she touched.
Vanessa worked tirelessly on the formation of the AFTRA Audiobook contract and organizing effort, dedicating much time and effort to the Audiobook Steering Committee, for the ultimate benefit of hundreds of SAG-AFTRA members working under its provisions today.
Many will recall an ever-smiling, warm, bubbly, helpful, energetic, and thoroughly talented and professional voice actor, audiobook narrator and “honey-with-a-kick” coach. Individuals wishing to honor Vanessa can make donations in her memory to The Actors Fund http://donate.actorsfund.org/tribute or Kitten Rescue of Los Angeles www.kittenrescue.org.
Vanessa Hart is a lovely, smart voice, now on pause … way too early in the game. But her legacy lives on. She will be deeply missed by many.