Stay Active While Isolated With Backstage’s Digital Seminars

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We’re not letting actors’ creativity and productivity stop in the face of coronavirus. While it’s of the utmost importance that everyone self-isolate and practice social distancing for the foreseeable future, Backstage is still here as your trusted guide in all things casting, acting, creating, and more.

Introducing: The Slate, our all-new digital and on-camera series featuring insights and direct feedback from casting directors, acting coaches, personal trainers, agents, actors, and creators. All conducted remotely during this period of COVID-19, we’re taking you directly to industry power players through Backstage Forums AMAs, Instagram takeovers and Q&As, YouTube Lives, and most excitingly, Zoom-hosted seminars for interactive group classes.

Catch up on everything you need to know below, both with what’s coming and our video archives of what you might have missed. So stay safe, stay healthy, and stay active—we’re all in this together.

For The Slates full, updated calendar, click here!

MONDAY APRIL 6

Steph VS, Fitness Coach
Zoom Session: 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT/4 p.m. UK

Steph VS is an NYC-based fitness trainer and expert. A professional field hockey player for almost 10 years, he represented Brazil at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Join him for a daily 40-minute weight- and equipment-less workout to kick off your day!

Arden Kaywin, Voice Teacher
YouTube Live: 3:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. PT/8:30 p.m. UK
Voice teacher, vocal coach, and vocal producer Arden Kaywin will discuss the secret to singing freely (aka how to never deal with tension and strain again). Join Kaywin for a lesson looking at how tension and strain impact singers and why you need to make these your new best friends.

Kevin Bacon, Actor
Instagram Q&A: 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT/10 p.m. UK
Kevin Bacon joins us live on Instagram for a sit-down interview with Backstage's managing editor Benjamin Lindsay. The Golden Globe winner is currently doing everything right during the COVID-19 pandemic and urging others to self-isolate with his #IStayHomeFor campaign. Plus, he gives one of the year's best television performances in Showtime's freshman drama "City on a Hill." He'll chat all that and more—and he might even take some audience questions before we're through.

TUESDAY APRIL 7

Steph VS, Fitness Coach
Zoom Session: 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT/4 p.m. UK
Steph VS is an NYC-based fitness trainer and expert. A professional field hockey player for almost 10 years, he represented Brazil at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Join him for a daily 40-minute weight- and equipment-less workout to kick off your day!

Daryl Eisenberg, Casting Director
Instagram Q&A: 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT/6 p.m. UK
Eisenberg’s back with us! A managing partner over at Eisenberg/Beans Casting, this New York–based CD will be hosting an uncensored Q&A answering all the questions you’ve been too afraid to ask until now! Head to our stories on Instagram for the full debrief.

Laurie Burke, Voiceover Actor
YouTube Live: 6 p.m./3 p.m./11 p.m. UK
As an actor, host, and singer, Burke is well equipped to share how to set up the perfect at home voiceover studio! Join her on Backstage's YouTube channel for tips you can improve your voiceover set up while you’re stuck at home.

WEDNESDAY APRIL 8

Abigail Millar, Agent Assistant With Curtis Brown
Instagram Q&A: 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT/3 p.m. UK
Our rescheduled Q&A with Curtis Brown’s Millar, who will be taking all your questions! Don’t miss this opportunity to chat with a leading UK talent & literacy agency.

Steph VS, Fitness Coach
Zoom Session: 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT/4 p.m. UK
Steph VS is an NYC-based fitness trainer and expert. A professional field hockey player for almost 10 years, he represented Brazil at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Join him for a daily 40-minute weight- and equipment-less workout to kick off your day!

Andrew Byrne, Voice Teacher
YouTube Live: 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT/5 p.m. UK
Join voice teacher Andrew Byrne for a lesson about how you can assess your breathing mechanics. Byrne will share four home tests you can use to see how well you're breathing, ways to assess the movement of your diaphragm, and more!

Julie Tucker, Casting Director at Tucker/Meyerson Casting
Zoom Session: 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT/8 p.m. UK
Tucker’s first session was such a success, she’s back for another! The Emmy-winning casting director will be taking all your questions via Zoom—everything from audition techniques to self-tape advice to staying sharp during quarantine is fair game! 

Giada Matteini, Director of NYU Tisch’s Second Avenue Dance Company
Instagram Live: 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT/9 p.m. UK

Giada is the director of NYU Tisch’s Second Avenue Dance Company. As the instructor in charge of moving dance education online, she will speak on movement in small spaces, preparing your living room, and giving your home space the same energy and magic as the studio. Matteini is a choreographer and the artistic director of contemporary dance production Nutcracker NYC and as a Florence native has facilitated collaboration and exchanges between European and American dance companies.

THURSDAY APRIL 9

Steph VS, Fitness Coach
Zoom Session: 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT/4 p.m. UK
Steph VS is an NYC-based fitness trainer and expert. A professional field hockey player for almost 10 years, he represented Brazil at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Join him for a daily 40-minute weight- and equipment-less workout to kick off your day!

Rikki Gimelstob, Casting Director
Zoom Session: 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT/5 p.m. UK
Join an interactive Q&A with New York–based CD Rikki Gimelstob! She worked as a staff member at Telsey + Company for five years and has also worked with Donna Grossman Casting and NBC/Universal. Her credits include everything from St. Ann’s Warehouse productions “THE JUNGLE” to Geico, Verizon, and Macy’s commercials.  

Joseph Pearlman, Acting Coach
YouTube Live: 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT/7 p.m. UK
Want to guarantee a win on your next self-tape audition? Pearlman, an acting coach and Backstage Expert, will show you what it takes to launch your career faster from anywhere in the world, and supercharge your booking rate. He’ll also discuss the technical expectations and must-haves for a winning video audition.

Robert Jr., Casting Director at Digital Dogs Casting
Instagram Live: 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT/8 p.m. UK
For the actors out there thinking of launching their careers in commercials when everything is back up and running, prepare yourself with this Q&A session from the owner of boutique commercial and feature film casting company Digital Dogs. Topics will include what CDs look for in actor auditions, improving your self-tapes, updating your promo materials, and staying connected.

Brett Hahalyak, Casting Associate at Bullock & Snow Casting
Backstage Forums: 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT/9 p.m. UK
Not used to auditioning outside of your comfort zone? Bullock and Snow Casting Associate and former professional dancer Brett Hahalyak will be answering your questions about transitioning seamlessly into a different type of performance than you're used to. Hahalyak received his BFA in Dance from the University of the Arts and is based in Los Angeles. His credits include Nickelodeon hit shows "Henry Danger" and “Danger Force", so multi-cam TV audition questions are definitely welcome!

FRIDAY APRIL 10

Warren Blackmore, Production Company Founder + TV Commercial Director
Zoom Session: 8:30 a.m. ET/5:30 a.m. PT/1:30 p.m. UK
Edit your showreel content and cut your own reel from home with this tutorial with Warren Blackmore, owner of Lab Class Ltd. Please download the free seven-day trial to Adobe Premiere Pro if you want to work along: https://tinyurl.com/vb2tuf8

Steph VS, Fitness Coach
Zoom Session: 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT/4 p.m. UK
Steph VS is an NYC-based fitness trainer and expert. A professional field hockey player for almost 10 years, he represented Brazil at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Join him for a daily 40-minute weight- and equipment-less workout to kick off your day!

AnnaSophia Robb, Actor
Backstage Forums AMA: 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT/6 p.m. UK
Join "Little Fires Everywhere" star AnnaSophia Robb for an AMA on the Backstage forums! From acting advice to what it's like to star on major streaming series like "Little Fires" and "The Act," Robb will answer all your questions!

Coco Kleppinger, Casting Associate + Acting Coach
Zoom Session: 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT/7 p.m. UK
Want to take your audition technique to the next level? Join Coco Kleppinger as she walks you through some her best tips and answers all your questions!

Denise Simon, Acting Coach
YouTube Live: 4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT/9:30 p.m. UK
Kid and teen actors (aged 7–18) can join acting coach Denise Simon for this lesson about creating your own content. Simon will discuss looking at your artistic skills and how you can use them to create content like a one-person show!

Sam Trammell, Actor
Instagram Takeover:6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT/11 p.m. UK
Star of stage and screen Sam Trammell will join his fellow working actors on Instagram to chat about his creative process and life amid the coronavirus crisis. A Tony Award nominee known for his work on "True Blood," "This Is Us," and "The Fault in Our Stars," Trammell now stars as a vice-president-turned-president on the thrilling final season of "Homeland."

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MONDAY MARCH 30

Finlay Robertson, Commercial Casting Assistant + Actor
Zoom Session: 7 a.m. ET/4 a.m. PT/midday UK
Join this UK-based industry pro for a talk and Q&A around casting for commercials! Alongside Finlay’s extensive TV and theater credits, he has also appeared in countless national and international commercials including recent campaigns for Renault, Bosch, Qualcomm, and Skoda. When not acting, he runs sessions for commercials casting directors such as Hammond & Cox, Hannah Birkett, and Belinda Norcliffe. This session aims at demystifying the casting process from both sides of the camera: how commercial castings work, how to book a job, and how to get the most out of that job.

Steph VS, Fitness Coach
Zoom Session: 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT/4 p.m. UK
Steph VS is an NYC-based fitness trainer and expert. A professional field hockey player for almost 10 years, he represented Brazil at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Join him for a daily 40-minute weight- and equipment-less workout to kick off your day!

Heidi Dean, Social Media Expert
YouTube Live: 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT/6 p.m. UK
Not sure what you should be doing with your social accounts right now? Join our social media Expert as she offers 10 ways you can clean up your social media for your acting career.

Ken Davenport, Theater Producer
Zoom Session: 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT/7 p.m. UK
Are you aspirations of hitting the Broadway stage after this is all over really sinking in these days? We’ve got just the thing: 10 audition tips plus a Q&A with this Tony-winning Broadway producer. Davenport has done everything from “Once on This Island” to “Kinky Boots” to Deaf West Theatre’s “Spring Awakening.” Tune in and soak up the knowledge!

Kathryn Gallagher, Star of Broadway’s “Jagged Little Pill”
Instagram Q&A: 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT/8 p.m. UK
Missing Broadway? So are we, and while it’s gonna be a little while until we can head to the theater again, we’ve got the next best thing: “Jagged Little Pill” star Kathryn Gallagher is taking over our Instagram to hang, answer your questions, and hold us over until the Great White Way is back up and running! Head to our profile, and check out our stories for the full brief.

Robert Jr, Owner of Digital Dogs Casting
YouTube Live: 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT/9 p.m. UK
For the actors out there thinking of launching their careers in commercials when everything is back up and running, prepare yourself with this Q&A session from the owner of boutique commercial and feature film casting company Digital Dogs. Topics will include setting career goals during this tough time, improving your self-tapes, updating your promo materials, and staying connected.

TUESDAY MARCH 31

Steph VS, Fitness Coach
Zoom Session: 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT/4 p.m. UK
Steph VS is an NYC-based fitness trainer and expert. A professional field hockey player for almost 10 years, he represented Brazil at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Join him for a daily 40-minute weight- and equipment-less workout to kick off your day!

Sarah Dahnke, Movement Coach + Choreographer
Zoom Session: 1 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT/6 p.m. UK
Get the skills you need to get through a principal call as an actor who doesn’t really dance with this movement coach on Zoom!

Joseph Pearlman, Acting Coach
YouTube Live: 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT/7 p.m. UK
Join this acting coach and Backstage Expert for an hour-long class detailing fun and practical ways actors can train and stay proactive while practicing social distancing and self-isolation.

Zachary Spiegel, Associate Casting Director, Bullock & Snow Casting
Backstage Forums: 4 p.m. ET. 1 p.m. PT/9 p.m. UK
Are you a theater actor hoping to make the leap to on-camera, or vice versa? Get all your questions answered about the casting processes for theater versus multi-cam comedy television by Associate Casting Director Zachary Spiegel of Bullock & Snow Casting right here on Backstage’s forums.

WEDNESDAY APRIL 1

Steph VS, Fitness Coach
Zoom Session: 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT/4 p.m. UK
Steph VS is an NYC-based fitness trainer and expert. A professional field hockey player for almost 10 years, he represented Brazil at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Join him for a daily 40-minute weight- and equipment-less workout to kick off your day!

Kristin Calabria, Yoga Teacher + Actor
Zoom Session: 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT/7 p.m. UK
Utilizing the foundations of the mindfulness practice, tune into Calabria on Zoom to reconnect knowledge of mind, body, and heart through movement and breath with a 45-minute, open-level vinyasa flow!

Julie Tucker, Casting Director at Tucker/Meyerson Casting
Zoom Session: 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT/9 p.m. GMT
This interactive talkback with Tucker just might quell all your quarantine concerns. Tucker will be answering all your questions about staying active over the coming weeks and more!

THURSDAY APRIL 2

Steph VS, Fitness Coach
Zoom Session: 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT/4 p.m. UK
Steph VS is an NYC-based fitness trainer and expert. A professional field hockey player for almost 10 years, he represented Brazil at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Join him for a daily 40-minute weight- and equipment-less workout to kick off your day!

Julia Flores, Casting Director
Zoom Session: 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT/7 p.m. UK
Award-winning casting director Julia Flores is here to answer all your questions about the casting process plus how to stay active during quarantine. Based in Los Angeles, her casting work has been featured at the Boston Court Theatre, Ensemble Theatre Company, The Pasadena Playhouse, Universal Studios, and more.

Melanie Forchetti, Casting Director
YouTube Live: 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT/8 p.m. UK
If you’re looking for someone to answer all your self-tape questions during a time when they’re more important than ever, look no further than this Q&A on YouTube Live with Forchetti!

FRIDAY APRIL 3

Abigail Millar, Agent Assistant at Curtis Brown
Instagram Q&A: 6 a.m. ET/3 a.m. PT/11 a.m. UK
UPDATE: We had technical difficulties with Abigail Millar’s Q&A and will be rescheduling for a new time soon! Apologies for the confusion and thank you for understanding.

Join Abigail Millar, Agent Assistant at leading UK talent & literacy agency, Curtis Brown, who will be taking your questions from our Instagram page.

*MEMBER EXCLUSIVE*
Sophie Kingston-Smith, Casting Director & Casting Associate, Rose Wicksteed Casting
Are you a UK-based actor seeking some personalized feedback on your work? Now’s your chance with Kingston-Smith who will be holding 1:1 sessions with a selection of Backstage members to critique and give tips on performance. Click here for more details.

Steph VS, Fitness Coach
Zoom Session: 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT/4 p.m. UK
Steph VS is an NYC-based fitness trainer and expert. A professional field hockey player for almost 10 years, he represented Brazil at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Join him for a daily 40-minute weight- and equipment-less workout to kick off your day!

Bridie Coughlan, Makeup Artist
YouTube Live: 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT/5 p.m. UK
Who know what will have changed about your look on the other side of self-isolation. Now’s the time to brush up on your makeup skills! Join Coughlin for a 30-minute tutorial on how to achieve various looks for on-camera and headshots.

Kristin Calabria, Yoga Teacher + Actor
Zoom Session: 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT/7 p.m. UK
Utilizing the foundations of the mindfulness practice, tune into Calabria on Zoom to reconnect knowledge of mind, body, and heart through movement and breath with a 45-minute, open-level vinyasa flow!

Kate Walsh, Actor
Instagram Live: 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT/11:30 p.m. UK
Kate Walsh joins us live from Australia(!) to chat craft, career, and staying creatively active in quarantine. Best known for her acclaimed performances on "Grey's Anatomy," "13 Reasons Why," "Fargo," and most recently "The Umbrella Academy" on Netflix, Walsh can next be seen in Mike Doyle's indie rom-com, "Almost Love."

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MONDAY MARCH 23

Steph VS, Fitness Coach
Zoom Session: 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT/3 p.m. GMT
Steph VS is an NYC-based fitness trainer and expert. A professional field hockey player for almost 10 years, he represented Brazil at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Join him on the Backstage Zoom for a 40-minute weight- and equipment-less workout to kick off your day!

Michael J. Brian, Casting Director
Instagram Story Q&A: 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT/4 p.m. GMT
Join this theater, film, and television casting director for 45 minutes of advice on how to stay sharp during quarantine, and answer your questions about auditions and technique on Backstage’s Instagram Story! His credits include theatrical shows at North Carolina Theatre, Pasadena Civic, and Laguna Playhouse, plus network pilots and episodics, films, and new media projects. 

Arden Kaywin, Voice Teacher
YouTube Live: 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT/9 p.m. GMT
Kaywin is a voice teacher, vocal coach, and vocal producer in Los Angeles with over 15 years of experience working with developing singers and nearly 20 years as a professional singer herself. Join her for a lesson in how to stay mindful through this challenging time on our YouTube channel.

TUESDAY, MARCH 24

Steph VS, Fitness Coach
Zoom Session: 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT/3 p.m. GMT
Steph VS is an NYC-based fitness trainer and expert. A professional field hockey player for almost 10 years, he represented Brazil at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Join him on Backstage’ Zoom for a 40-minute weight- and equipment-less workout to kick off your day!

Christine McKenna-Tirella, Backstage NY Casting Specialist + Casting Director
Instagram Story Q&A: 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT/7 p.m. GMT
Curious about how to handle your auditions while at home? McKenna-Tirella will be answering all your questions on our Instagram Story! 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25

Emily Fletcher, Founder of Ziva Meditation + Former Broadway Actor
Instagram Live: 10:30 a.m. ET/7:30 a.m. PT/2:30 p.m. GMT
Emily Fletcher is the founder of Ziva Meditation and the leading expert in meditation for extraordinary performance. Join her for a 30-minute guided meditation using a powerful trifecta of mindfulness, meditation, and manifesting designed to unlock your full potential live on our Instagram.

Steph VS, Fitness Coach
Zoom Session: 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT/3 p.m. GMT
Steph VS is an NYC-based fitness trainer and expert. A professional field hockey player for almost 10 years, he represented Brazil at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Join him on Backstage’s Zoom for a 40-minute weight- and equipment-less workout to kick off your day!

Andrew Byrne, Voice Teacher
YouTube Live: 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT/4 p.m. GMT
Join voice teacher Andrew Byrne for a lesson on why singers should work on their balance on our YouTube channel. Byrne will cover what your balance system is, why it's important, drills you can follow, and more.

Kate Lumpkin, Casting Director
Instagram Story Q&A: 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT/8 p.m. GMT
Casting director Kate Lumpkin will be holding her Industry Office Hours live on Backstage’s Instagram!  Have questions about pilot season? Want to know how to make the most out of an open call? Curious about best practices for keeping in touch with creatives? Head to Backstage’s Instagram story for a one-hour Q&A session where Kate will be answering all of your industry questions!

THURSDAY, MARCH 26

Steph VS, Fitness Coach
Zoom Session: 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT/3 p.m. GMT
Steph VS is an NYC-based fitness trainer and expert. A professional field hockey player for almost 10 years, he represented Brazil at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Join him on Backstage’s Zoom for a 40-minute weight- and equipment-less workout to kick off your day!

Kelley Buttrick, Voiceover Actor
YouTube Live: 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT/6 p.m. GMT
Head to our YouTube channel to hear tips and tricks from Buttrick as she walks through marketing and business planning for voiceover actors. An award-winning voiceover talent she’s been featured on Disney, Michelin Tires, Country Crock, ESPN, McDonald’s, Target, IBM, Marriott, Pampers, Tennis Channel, Clinique, and others.

Laurie Burke, Voiceover Teacher
YouTube Live: 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT/8 p.m. GMT
As an actor, host, and singer, Burke is well equipped to share how she applies her skills to her voiceover work! Join her on Backstage’s YouTube channel for tips you can use to do the same.

FRIDAY, MARCH 27

Natalie Anson-Wright, Acting Coach
Zoom Session: 7 a.m. ET/4 a.m. PT/11 a.m. GMT
Join acting coach Anson-Wright on Zoom for a practical and informative session outlining the popular Ivana Chubbuck technique used by Charlize Theron, James Franco, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Jared Leto to name a few. Natalie will be discussing how it can best help your craft and career, with exercises you can do at home!

Steph VS, Fitness Coach
Zoom Session: 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT/3 p.m. GMT
Steph VS is an NYC-based fitness trainer and expert. A professional field hockey player for almost 10 years, he represented Brazil at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Join him on our Zoom for a 40-minute weight- and equipment-less workout to kick off your day!

Daryl Eisenberg, Casting Director 
Instagram Story Q&A: 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT/4 p.m. GMT
A managing partner over at Eisenberg/Beans Casting, this New York–based CD will be hosting an uncensored Q&A answering all the questions youve been too afraid to ask until now! Head to our stories on Instagram for the full debrief.

Karlee Fomalont, Casting Associate
Backstage Forum AMA: 1:30 p.m. ET/10:30 a.m. PT/5:30 p.m. GMT
TV and film auditions might be on hold for a bit, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn't be prepared to handle them when they pick back up! Drop all your burning questions for Fomalont, a CSA Casting Associate with credits including The Post and The Get Down, on the Backstage Forums. She’ll be answering them!

Alexa Mansour, Star of “The Walking Dead: World Beyond”
Instagram Live Q&A: 3:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. PT/7:30 p.m. GMT
Actor and singer-songwriter Mansour is ready to share how she’s dealing with quarantine as well as a song or two! Join her for a 30-minute Instagram Live.

Matt Bomer, Star of “The Sinner”
Instagram Live Q&A: 5 p.m. ET/2:00 p.m. PT/9:00 p.m. GMT
Fans of “The Sinner” listen up! This is your chance to join Emmy nominee and Backstage cover star Matt Bomer in a sit-down conversation with Managing Editor Benjamin Lindsay. We'll be diving deep on the series' thrilling season finale (airing on USA Network Thursday, March 26) while also picking the actor's brain on all things craft and career. We might even ask your questions live on our Instagram! Tune in!

Looking for remote work? Backstage has got you covered! Click herefor auditions you can do from home!

Author Headshot
Benjamin Lindsay
Benjamin Lindsay is a senior editor at Backstage, where if you’re reading it in our weekly magazine, he’s written or edited it first. He’s also producer and host of our inaugural on-camera interview series, Backstage Live, taking informative deep-dives with actors across mediums to discuss their craft, their work, and their advice for others getting started in the field.
See full bio and articles here!

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