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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Last week I had the chance to do something that was quite possibly the coolest thing I have ever done related to my blog…I got to interview Caitlin Sanchez aka Dora the Explorer.  I have to say that Caitlin is one of the most articulate, intelligent, and thoughtful people I have ever had the pleasure of speaking to.  Not only was she patient when my kiddos started demanding mommy’s attention she offered to talk to them as Dora.  In those few moments I saw my kids faces light up with so much wonderment and happiness that it’s hard to put it into words how much it meant to them and to me.  She truly made Lil Man and Lil Diva’s week and for that I have to thank her again!


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Caitlin Sanchez is the 14 year old behind the voice of everyone’s favorite explorer, Dora!  Caitlin started her  professional career at the age of eight and in addition to being the voice of Dora, Caitlin has had a  guest-starring role on Lipstick Jungle, a prominent role in the feature film Phoebe In Wonderland, starring Felicity Huffman and Elle Fanning, and work as a principle actor in an episode of Law & Order SVU. Caitlin has also been featured in print and on local and national commercials.

Caitlin was born in New Jersey to Cuban-American parents and has been blessed with the gift of music.  Caitlin has been playing the piano since the age of 5 and has received numerous accolades for her work with the instrument.  Caitlin has also been nominated for two NAACP Image Award nominations and an Imagen Award nomination for her role as “Dora” on Nickelodeon’s hit animated preschool series, Dora the Explorer. 


Caitlin is the epitome of what I feel a child actor should be; she’s smart, funny, and she understands the importance of the character she is playing and takes her role as Dora seriously.  While I loved Dora the Explorer before my interview I adore both Dora and Caitlin now!  And I even asked a few of the questions that you guys suggested so thanks a million for helping out!

Q.  Where you a fan of Dora the Explorer when you were younger?
Caitlin:  Yes, the show came out when I was about 4 years old so I definitely loved the show.  I actually had a little Dora bedroom!  It definitely helped when I auditioned that I was very familiar with the character and the show.

Q.  What is your favorite thing about playing Dora?
Caitlin:  My favorite thing about playing Dora is obviously recording the episodes and singing all of the songs in the episodes.  Another favorite part is hearing all of the kids freak out when they hear me do the Dora voice.   {My children did not freak out—my kids stood there, mouths open in disbelief, unable to say a word}

Q.  Are you as adventurous as Dora?  (This question came from Bobbie @OneScrappyMom)
Caitlin:  Um, I don’t know, I wish I was, I don’t think I really am though.  I don’t think I could swing from vines and save kingdoms and princesses…I don’t think I could really do that.  But that’s why it’s really cool that I get to play Dora.  I get to go into the booth and pretend to be this really awesome 7 year old girl who goes on all of these crazy adventures with monkey’s and foxes, but in real life I’m just normal Caitlin! 

Q.  Do you speak Spanish on a regular basis?  (This question came from Amanda @) Confessions from Household Six)
Caitlin:  Yea, my grandmother is the best and she’s from Cuba so she only speaks Spanish so I definitely had to communicate with her.  So at home I speak regular Spanish and regular English so yeah I’m bilingual.  I’m not fluent so it definitely helps being Dora because of all of the Spanish words on the show.  I have to learn how to say them and pronounce them right so it definitely helps being Dora ‘cause I’ve learned a lot more Spanish being Dora. 

Q.  How does it feel when moms tell you that you (as Dora) have helped their children learn Spanish?
Caitlin:  It makes me feel pretty awesome, pretty important!  It’s such an honor to be playing such an iconic character that kids everywhere love and adore.  It’s really, really special and the main goal when I record an episode is to make sure that I’m really communicating with them (the kids) even though I am just speaking through a microphone.  I always try to make sure that I am speaking to a little kid through the TV screen.  I do little things like slow down the Spanish and just talk to them directly and that’s why kids love Dora, because she talks to them directly and she makes them feel like she’s really talking to them and that is special!

Q.  What is one similarity you share with Dora and one difference?
Caitlin:  We are the same because we are both Hispanic and bi-lingual.  We are different because Dora is very determined and very confident in everything that she does…she never gives up!  Me on the other hand, I’m kinda lazy…I give up pretty easily!

Q.  I asked Caitlin who her biggest musical influences are, and then joking I asked her if she was a Belieber—I loved her response!
Caitlin:  I know it makes me sound totally lame and not hip or whatever, but I don’t really know any of his (Justin Bieber) songs.  I’ve heard the Baby one, but I don’t really know any of his music. 
I like Christina Aguilera a lot she’s an awesome singer, I like Lady Gaga.  But Justin Bieber, I got like this close to meeting him at the Kids Choice Awards but I couldn’t because all of these girls kept coming in and attacking him.

Q.  How did it feel to be nominated for 2 NAACP Image Awards and an Imagen Award for your role as Dora the Explorer?
Caitlin:  It feels pretty awesome, because I get to go to all of these awards shows and meet celebrities and go on the red carpet.  It’s really fun, you know what I mean?  I’m homeschooled so I don;t get to go  to the prom or anything, but the red carpet beats that…it’s just so awesome!  And it’s such an honor that Dora is being recognized for her accomplishments and for helping kids around the world to speak Spanish.  And it’s really good that the show’s nominated as well, I’m really happy to be a part of it!

Q.  What kinds of roles do you see yourself playing in the future?
Caitlin:  I want to play someone very, very sarcastic and smart—someone like Ellen Page’s Juno character, because that’s mostly me!

Q.  Other than Dora who is your favorite Dora the Explorer character?
Caitlin:  I really dig Swiper!  I think he’s a really cool guy.  He can’t help that he swipes and Dora knows that and she always tries to help him.  Dora believes in him and I do too!  I like Swiper…he’s pretty cool!

I want to thank Caitlin again for taking time out of her busy schedule to talk to me, and for making me the coolest mom ever in the eyes of two babies who adore Dora! 

PS:  They keep asking how Swiper’s doing…lol!

11 comments :

  1. That's awesome! Caitlin sounds like a great person. We definitely enjoy Dora in my house!

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  2. My kids are too old for Dora now but I have to say, this interview is pretty dang cool. And I love that she spoke to your kids as Dora! I have a great visual of the expressions on their faces!

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  3. So cool. She seems like a pretty down to Earth person!

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  4. What a wonderful interview! My two preschoolers adore Dora and I had no idea she was played by a 14-year-old. I actually thought it was an adult doing the voice. Caitlin sounds like an amazing kid and so down-to-earth at the same time. I'm looking forward to seeing her in her other roles as well.

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  5. Aww, that is so sweet that she talked to your kids as Dora! Great article!

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  6. What a great interview! I love Dora, such a cute show and I hope my boys like it one day.

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  7. I had no idea she was 14! How cool! And she sounds like a genuinely sweet person!

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  8. She is beautiful! That is too cute she offerent to speak to your kids as Dora. What a great interview!

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  9. She is such a pretty girl. She is also pretty accomplished. The interview questions were great!!

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  10. Thanks y'all! Caitlin was an absolute doll...my kids still ask me when Dora is going to call them again!

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  11. Oh, WOW -- my daughter would have LOVED to talk to Dora. What a cool interview!

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