It looks like we’ve got a new neighbor in the hood! This time around his name is Ismael Cruz Cordova, who viewers will better know as “Armando,” and from what we’re hearing, he’ll be responsible for a lot of the singing and dancing we’ll be seeing during the upcoming season of Sesame Street, which will have a special focus on Hispanic Heritage with lessons and new songs.
Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Ismael won the chance of a lifetime during Sesame Street’s first-ever open casting call held in New York City in August 2012. It was his incredible charm and charisma that won over Sesame Street producers to become Armando – or Mando – who is a writer that will join Maria and Luis along with the puppets Rosita and Ovejita as part of Sesame Street’s bilingual community.
“I’m still in shock,” Ismael says, adding, “This is an incredible opportunity and it feels great to be a part of it. I’m proud to be a part of a show that acknowledges and celebrates diversity so whole-heartedly and grateful to have been given the opportunity to represent Latino-Americans on Sesame Street.
Ismael, just like the rest of us, also grew up watching Sesame Street on his television and admits that he has dozens of great memories watching our favorite, furry and rainbow-colored puppets on the hit and timeless children’s entertainment show. “It’s a show that’s always cutting edge, that is always aware of what’s going on with the population, so by including a character that is young, with new perspectives, Latino, and that bring that new generation, it is carrying on with that message.”
When asked about how much he is like his character Armando and what some differences might be, he says, “Mando is very energetic, vibrant and smart. He’s also very relaxed and he’s a writer who loves poetry, short films and songs.”
Ismael also adds that Mando might be just a little more expressive and outgoing than he is with his new friend and puppet Rosita chiming in during our interview that he’s a “great dancer and singer. There is going to be a lot of dancing by Mando!”
Talk about exciting, right? And not only is Mando going to help teach our children more about Latino culture and language, he’s also going to digitally connect with us, too. So does that mean that Mando will become our new Facebook and Twitter friend? You bethca!
“Mando also loves technology, which will be one way he’ll connect with audiences,” Ismael says. “He likes the fact that you can make a short film on your phone.”
This will be Sesame Street’s 44th season, and it will premiere Sept. 16. Yes – 44th season! Sesame Street will be forever with us, people.
Photo via Sesame Street Workshop