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KIDSDAY

TALKING WITH

Kathleen Herles, the voice of Dora

BY JORDAN CECCARINI, LAURA NOLAN AND ERIKA SOBELMAN

Kidsday Reporters,

Ages 8 and 9, Miller Place

We spoke with Kathleen Herles, who does the voice of Dora the Explorer.

She was born in 1991 and lives in Deer Park.

How did you get the job?

When I was around 4, I did modeling, and through that I got a manager who

started sending me on auditions, and I got the part of Dora.

You've been doing the voice of Dora for about 7 years. Have you had to

change your voice as you've gotten older? Do you still enjoy being Dora now

that you're a teenager?

I had to make it a lot higher [as I got older], but it's not hard at all. I

love doing it - all the people I work with and everything. It's great!

Besides Dora, who's your favorite character on the show?

Boots, because he's like my best friend, and he's just so crazy and funny.

Do you have a favorite episode on the show?

I have more than one favorite, but I really liked the "Dora's Fairytale

Adventure." It's kind of like a musical, and it was so much fun recording all

the songs.

Do kids treat you differently because you do the voice of a famous cartoon

character?

When I first moved [to Deer Park], everyone got so excited. I was only in

sixth grade. A lot of kids asked me a lot of questions about [my job]. But for

the most part, now that I'm older, no one treats me differently.

Do you ever get asked to speak in Dora's voice?

Yes, I do. A lot!

What is the hardest part about being the voice of a cartoon character?

It's actually fun, because when you mess up, no one except yourself and the

director actually sees it. You have to put a lot more energy behind the mike

because the audience doesn't see your facial expressions, so that's a little

harder.

You speak in Spanish and English. Which do you prefer to speak in?

English, because that's my first language.

Do you collect Dora items?

Yes, I do. Every time I go into a store, I want to buy all the Dora items,

especially the Dora dollhouses.

CONTEST TIME

You can win a photo of Dora signed by Kathleen Herles. To enter, send your

name, age (7 to 16 only), address and phone number to: Dora Contest, Kidsday,

Newsday, 235 Pinelawn Rd., Melville, NY 11747-4250. One winner will be picked

Jan. 15.

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