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Posts Tagged ‘Charles Messina’

Adam & Andrew Goffman

Charles Messina & Adam

On January 20, 2011, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Andrew Goffman after seeing his show “The Accidental Pervert.” What made this interview even more special, aside from Andrew’s personality and humor, was the fact that the director (and fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant) Charles Messina was on hand as well and was kind enough to provide some additional insight and answers.

Andrew Goffman has been performing stand-up comedy on the road for the past 12 years, connecting with live audiences around the country in over 150 theaters and clubs. Now he has made the successful cross over from comedy to theatre. First starring in “Grandma Sylvia’s Funeral” and now Andrew has brought his true-life story of how finding his dad’s pornography collection affected him growing up in the hit Off-Broadway show “The Accidental Pervert,” directed by Charles Messina. Using Andrew’s comedic timing and Charles’ brilliant directing, this smart, hilarious, and fun show takes the audience on Andrew’s journey and how losing his dad and meeting his wife changed him (Click here for my extended review). Both Andrew and “The Accidental Pervert” will make you laugh, will make you cry, and most of all will make you hard, as in a hard-core fan of this dynamic performer! “The Accidental Pervert” plays at The Players Theatre in NYC (115 MacDougal Street, 3rd Floor).

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? The first comic I ever saw was Eddie Murphy in “Delirious” and I thought that was the funniest thing I’d ever seen and I knew I wanted to do comedy. I also was inspired by Steve Martin when he had the arrow through his head and I would watch David Letterman, which was hard because I would have to stay up late, but we had a VCR so I could tape it. Those three really inspired me to do stand-up comedy. I started doing stand-up, but then I got married and had a child and I didn’t want to go on the road for three weeks at a time and I wasn’t big enough to headline here in NY, so I thought how could I stay in NY and still be home at a reasonable hour and that is when “The Accidental Pervert” really came to life.

2. Who’s the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Angelina Jolie, Louis C.K., Pablo Francisco, Samantha Fox, or Traci Lords.

3. What was it like writing “The Accidental Pervert” and what did writing it do for you? It got me horny…hahaha. It was a lot of fun because it was my story and I loved it whenever something clicked or when I could express the story the way I wanted to. While the show is a comedy, I did try to have a message as well and make it meaningful. I feel the show has an uplifting message and I feel great when I tell it. I am also very lucky to work with Charles Messina, my director (who’s own show “A Room Of My Own” is coming out).

4. Me: It’s interesting you mention Charles because my next question is…How did you and Charles connect in working on this project together? I knew this girl Andrea Reese and she was doing a one woman show called “Cirque Jacqueline” in 2005 and she told me about this festival called the Double Helix One Festival which is a festival of one-person shows and she suggested I enter since I wanted to have my own one-man show. I applied for the festival and I didn’t even have the script finished and I got accepted. I had never done the show before. I call up Andrea and I tell her I just got accepted to this festival, what should I do? She said, I have this great director, I love him, there is nothing like him, and I’ll give you his name. So I call up Charles and tell him Andrea gave me your name and said great things about you. I’m doing this festival and I’m doing this show. The hardest thing about doing a show with a director is that it’s very similar to dating because you don’t know each other, so it’s almost like a blind date. There’s almost no time to get to feel each other out. I mean, what are you going to do, are you going to go to the movies? You know, you have your script and the director is like okay, let’s get started. Charles and I did have a lot in common…we both are around the same age (though I am a few years younger), we both have a kid almost the same age, we both lost our fathers, and we just had a lot we could relate to and we really just hit it off. Charles: The fact that both of us lost our father was a big part of it and a big part of the story. We didn’t want a show that would just be fallacious and sexual. We wanted that one part of the story that gets serious and it’s a challenge to be able to go from comedy to such a serious moment and then bring it back to comedy again. I think that’s what makes it a play. I think if you take that moment out, it’s episodic and it’s just story, story, story, but that part of it I think is the real emotional center piece of the play. Andrew (to Charles): You really helped making it a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Charles: We worked on a lot of different things that give it it’s structure and an arc, so  you feel like you’re seeing a complete story and not just a stand-up routine because Andrew is a good stand-up comic and he’s done stand-up for so many years, but we wanted to separate it and distinguish it and make it a piece of theatre. I think we succeeded.

5. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing “The Accidental Pervert?” My main goal is entertainment, so I want them to have a good time and hope they have fun. I do try to cover an adult subject in a tasteful way and I feel like if you talk about something tastefully it’s okay. I’d like them to talk about some of the stuff that goes on. I remember one of Charles’ friends came to see the show and the night before they saw “Avatar” and they ended up talking about “The Accidental Pervert” more because it helped open the door to talk about so many other subjects. Charles: We’ve been doing this show for over a year now and if you include what we did in a slightly different version in 2006, we’ve been doing this show for a long time, so a lot of people have seen this show. Andrew has made a good point that women enjoy this show a lot because they feel like they are being let in to the psyche of a man and they leave hoping to understand their husbands or boyfriends a little bit better. Andrew: A lot of guys have come up to me after the show and are like “Yo dude, you were telling my story.” “That was my story up there.” I also think audiences feel that since I’m being honest and truthful, they go with me or they say I can relate to this. Charles: It’s nice how we’ve assembled the piece because I think it’s really accessible for an adult audience. It’s not a show for kids, but for adults it’s a playful show and there’s nothing dirty about it.

6. Favorite place to write? I write the most on the subway because there are no distractions and oh if I get a seat, forget about it.

7. Favorite way to stay in shape? The show. When we first started doing the show, I lost 15lbs.

8. Boxers or Briefs? Briefs, it keeps everything in place.

9. Favorite website? theaccidentalpervert.com

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman. Did you see that outfit she wears?

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about? I can wiggle my ears.

12. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? I dreamed about this woman, Harriet, who’s on my board of the building I live in.

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This contest is now over…Congratulations go out to Sheryl Beth Silvers and Andrew Beck! It’s another “Tag It To Win It” contest here at “Adaubmelle’s Quest!” This time around two fans at random, will have the chance to win a pair of tickets to the hilarious hit Off-Broadway show “The Accidental Pervert” written and performed by Andrew Goffman and directed by Charles Messina.

Head on over to my Facebook Fan Page or click on the image below to take you there and then “Tag” yourself in the photo. This contest will end this Wednesday, February 2nd at 7pm!


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On Thursday, January 19, 2011, I attended the Off-Broadway hit show “The Accidental Pervert” at The Players Theater. Written and performed by Andrew Goffman (interview coming soon) and directed by fellow’s “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Charles Messina, “The Accidental Pervert” tells the true story of one man’s journey growing up discovering his dad’s pornography collection “in a bedroom closet, just to the right of his golf clubs, above the cowboy boots, behind the sweatshirts, all the way up in the top left hand corner” and how this affected him until he met his wife and had a child of his own.

I wasn’t sure what I was getting into when I agreed to come see “The Accidental Pervert,” but what I found was a fun, hilarious, and smart play about one man’s growth from a child into an adult. Andrew is comedic genius because he has put together a show about a subject not many people talk about and has found a very funny way of presenting his journey from discovering his dad’s pornography collection and how that affected his thoughts about sex, women, and most of all his relationship with his dad. What young boy or young boy’s friend hasn’t discovered his dad’s porn collection? What boy hasn’t had questions about what he’s been exposed to? Well, Andrew takes this discovery and questions and deconstructs them with humor, light-heartedness, and bravery.

The way Charles’ brilliant direction and input helped bring Andrew’s story full circle from childhood to adulthood to parenthood is beautiful, cleaver, and most of all inspiring. The set, props, music, and visuals are perfectly matched to the story, adding a deeper understanding to Andrew’s story.

The Accidental Pervert” is a show to see because it’s truthful…men can relate to it because most of them have been in Andrew’s shoes and women can relate to it because it gives them an inside look into a guy’s head. So come on down to “The Accidental Pervert” at The Players Theatre (115 MacDougal Street, 3rd floor) for an evening of insight, laughter, and fun!

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Charles Messina

Patrick Terance McGowan

On October 15, 2010, I had the privilege of sitting down with playwright Charles Messina and actor Patrick Terance McGowan after seeing Patrick perform Charles’ “Bye, George” as part of the 2010 Shortened Attention Span Horror Festival. “Bye, George” is an homage to world-renowned comic George Carlin in which Patrick portrayed Carlin perfectly from his outfit to his voice to his comedic genius!

Patrick Terance McGowan performance crosses many genres: film, TV, and theatre. His numerous film and television credits include the shorts “Beaster,” “The Golden Egg,” “As A Cloud,” “Wilderness,” “Raimo’s Price,” “Facing the Wave,” and the forthcoming “Choose” and “Pacing the Cage,” full length feature films “An End Game,” “Don’t Burn,” and “The Prospects,” and television’s “Uncle Morty’s Dub Shack” and “The Wisdom Tree.” In addition to “Bye, George,” theatre audiences have seen Patrick in “Men Without Myth” and “Small Craft Warnings.” Patrick is currently gearing up for his next performance, so stay tuned to “Adaumbelle’s Quest” to find out when…

Charles Messina is a writer and director best known for his deconstructive biographical shows. His most notable stage works as a director have been “Cirque Jacqueline” about the life of Jackie Kennedy Onassis, “Mercury: The Afterlife and Times of a Rock God” about Queen’s frontman Freedie Mercury and “Mark Twain’s Last Stand.” This past September, Charles’ show “A Room of My Own” received an private industry reading (and here is hoping a full production will come) which I was fortunate enough to attend. Currently, Charles is directing the hit Off-Broadway show “The Accidental Pervert” at the Players Theatre in NYC (115 MacDougal Street, between West 3rd & Minetta Lane).

1. Charles: Who or what inspired you to become a playwright? My mother. She was funny and bold and bright on so many levels and such a dichotomy of a personality that there is no character or artist I will ever meet who will ever have inspired me more.

Patrick: Who inspired you to become a performer? My mother used to drag myself and my brothers to 2 or 3 movies in our childhood. She just loved movies, so it was just always with me that I wanted to be an actor. I delayed it and I delayed it and I delayed, but I finally took the plunge.

2. Who’s the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to?

Charles: The problem is the one person I would have really liked to work with is not possible to do so because he’s not alive, but if I could have worked with anybody it would have been Jackie Gleason. I’m a huge fan of his.

Patrick: I tend to like British actors like Ralph Fiennes, British director Mike Lee, or Irish actors like Emily Watson.

3. If you couldn’t be doing what you are doing now, what career would you choose?

Charles: I think I would a psychologist because I’m very curious about human nature and behavior. I find people and characters fascinating. I minored in it, so on some level I’ve always found it interesting. What we do as performers is all about human behavior and psychology anyway.

Patrick: That seems right about you.

Charles: Yeah?

Patrick: Yes.

Me: Do you feel that you bring some of that into your writing?

Charles: Yeah, I mean everything for me has to be an exploration of the character. Why people do what they do. I may not always find the answer, but I’m always searching for the reason. Often times all we have to work with is the behavior.

Patrick: About 30 years ago, when cable TV was still in it’s infancy, I became fascinated by the idea of HBO where you had such freedom that you didn’t have on network TV and I would have loved to be part of that. I was in advertising at the time, but I always thought it would have been a nice career choice to have been in an area where you could have as much freedom as you could on cable and develop that medium and even have been part of it as an actor.

Charles: Do you mean like a cable network executive or a cable programmer?

Patrick: You don’t want to praise business, but you have to give a hand to HBO.

Charles: They’ve done it well for a long time. And how about the fact that HBO and Carlin were really connected at the waist. He did all his specials on HBO and they always had a place for him to do his specials. He lived to do those specials.

Patrick: I have an admiration for HBO for some of the wise bets they’ve taken over the years.

4. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Charles: “To just be good at something and you’ll find your way in life.” I really took that to heart, especially as a writer because if you can be good at it, no one can ever deny you. I know that sometimes art is subjective, but I think in general we all know when see something that is good quality, even if we don’t agree with it.

Patrick: A few people encouraged me to take some chances. I ride in from Jersey on the train and I see people middle-aged or older going to the office and I’m glad I made a choice not to do that. I mean, I gave up a lot, the financial sacrifice, but I’m glad I did that.

Charles: There’s a great, great line that people say on their death bed, nobody ever says “I wish I spent more time in the office.”

Both: That is definitely true.

5. Charles: Favorite place to write? I used to write by hand so I could use a composition notebook and I always did it that way. I would use the composition notebook first and then retype everything onto the computer. There was just a way the ideas flowed down from my brain to my hand. It was always very real and honest. Now, I just type on the computer. So, my house is my favorite place, especially if it’s late at night or early in the morning because you sort of feel you have the world to yourself and you can just sit with your own thoughts. Creatively good things happen at night. As a writer, you’re writing all the time and you never know when inspiration is going to strike. A lot of people ask me, how long did it take you to develop “Room” and I say 38 years. Whereas “Bye, George” was more of a quick idea because I always wanted to do something about Carlin and Patrick and I even developed some of the text together.

Patrick: Favorite place to rehearse on your own? Different parts of the house.

Charles: Did it need to be quiet?

Patrick: I live in a suburban area and I would go into a bedroom or dining room and close all the doors and windows so I can be as loud as I want.

6. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about?

Charles: I’m able to crack my thumb and pull excessive skin from my face (but not at the same time).

Patrick: There are times when I’m feeling good I think that I play tennis in an unusual way…I don’t follow the rules that much. One thing I enjoy doing and my grandkids think I’m nuts is that I try to imitate my cat and I’ve developed a voice that I think if my cat could speak, he would use. I make recordings and play it for my grandkids. When my grandkids were younger, I think their reaction bordered on amusement and thinking I was a little off, but I still did it because I enjoyed it. Sometimes when my grandkids are in the house, I’ll do a phony weather report, which I pre-recorded and they’ll come into the room and I play it for them.

7. Favorite way to stay in shape?

Charles: Starving myself to death.

Patrick: You don’t eat much do you?

Charles: You know what, I’m one of those people who forgets to eat. I can go the whole day without eating.

Patrick: Do you wake up and eat breakfast?

Charles: Yeah, yeah, it’s not that I don’t enjoy eating, I do, but I forget to do it sometimes. I also play sports with my son…baseball, basketball, football. What about you Patrick, what do you do? If you say, go to the gym, I’ll walk out of here right now.

Patrick: No, I really enjoy tennis, but came to it late in my life. I used play singles 2-3 times a week, but I’m sort of coming off that now, and moving to the exercise bike.

Both: What about you Adam, what do you do to say in shape?

Me: Since I moved into the city, I walk to work everyday or go to the gym. 

8. Boxers or Briefs?

Charles: Boxer-briefs.

Patrick: Neither.

Charles: Come on, don’t make me sick, I’m gonna throw up in my mouth.

Everyone: Laughing.

9. Favorite website?

Charles: Google.com.

Patrick: Same. IMDB is great too.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman?

Charles: My mother would want me to say Wonder Woman and I tell you what, Lynda Carter was really something else when I was a kid.

Patrick: I grew up with the original “Superman” George Reeves, so I would say Superman.

Charles: The original “Superman” TV show is still one of the greatest openings ever…”Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive.”

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. What’s your proudest moment?

Charles: I have two, personally, the proudest moment was the day my son was born. There can be no moment that could ever touch that moment and nothing I do in life will ever be more important than being a good father. Professionally, doing a “Room of My Own” was really special because it’s been in development for so many years and to finally get to see it on stage and have people laugh was a pivotal moment. I will also say that doing “Bye, George” is a proud moment because I grew up watching Carlin so having this piece come to life is also special to me.

Patrick: Moments where I’ve been with my 3 kids.

12. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be?

Charles: What if I dream about them when I’m awake?

Me: You could do that too.

Charles: You want me to have like a hard-core dream?

Me: You have any kind of dream you want.

Charles: This guy is something, I tell you. He wants a dirty answer, but you’re not bating me into a dirty answer.

Patrick: Good question.

Charles: Seriously, if I could dream about anyone, it would be my parents because I miss them so much. It would be great to just have one more conversation with them, especially after staging “Room” and find out what they thought about it and everything since they’ve been gone.

Patrick: Sometimes I’m very disappointed in that I don’t think we’ve evolved as much as we could have, so I would want to dream about human nature, going back to the Greeks and Roman or more recently as Thomas Jefferson.

Charles: What about Lynda Carter? Don’t you want to dream about Lynda Carter? I wouldn’t mind dreaming about her, remember that outfit.

Patrick: No, that didn’t do anything for me.

Charles: Oh come on Patrick, you’re just worried your wife is going to read this.

Both: Those are really good questions. Thanks for doing this and coming tonight.

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“Adaumbelle’s Quest” 2nd Anniversary

Photo by Ben Strothmann

I am so honored to be celebrating my 2nd Anniversary here at “Adaumbelle’s Quest.” It has been very exciting to have the continued opportunity to bring my love of entertainment and interviewing to so many people. I’m very humbled by the growth of “Adaumbelle’s Quest” in this second year and hope that this expansion continues.

I may be the face of this site, but “Adaumbelle’s Quest” would not be without each and everyone of you:

Every performer and artist I have had the opportunity to interview. The fact that you took time out of your lives to answer my questions is truly a dream come true for me.

Every press agent who has taken the time to help me get so many of my participants. I would not have been able to interview them without your assistance!

Each and every person who takes the time to read “Adaumbelle’s Quest,” whether it’s on a daily, weekly, monthly, or a whenever I can basis. I’m thrilled to have your support and the reality that I have fans is another dream come true for me.

My many friends who provide me with guidance and support, allow me to talk their ear off about ideas, always there to answer my infinite amount of computer questions, and those who help me with my logos, business cards, and buttons. How would I manage this all on my own? I’m so lucky to have you in my life!

ITBA for your support and giving me a place to meet other theater bloggers.

My family for their constant love and support.

    Photo by Ben Strothmann

So once again, thank you everyone from the bottom of my heart for all of the time, support, and love you give to me and this site. I’m amazed by these two years, not only of the growth of this site, but how this site has affected my personal growth. I’m so fortunate to have it and I don’t take anyone who has ever had an interaction with this site for granted. Thank you for sticking by me and I hope you all continue to do so!

    1. How do you decide who you want to interview? Initially it was artists and performers I have been a long time fan of, but it quickly became an outlet to also promote new talent I’m introduced to.

    2. Who has been your best and worst interview? You’ll have to wait for the book on this one! (hahahaha)…Seriously though, I just feel fortunate I’ve gotten to interview everyone I have because it’s been a dream of mine to be part of the entertainment community and I finally feel like I’m starting to move in.

    3. What are some of the most popular answers? That’s really tough because everyone is so individualized in their answers, but if I had to choose, many people answer Meryl Streep when I ask “Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to?”

    It’s pretty divided between Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts or they don’t like corporate coffee places when I ask “Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts?” It’s also pretty divided between “Superman” or “Wonder Woman,” though every now and then someone gets upset I only give choices for DC Comics. The reasoning behind that is growing up I wasn’t a big comic book fan, so when I watched superhero cartoons on TV, I didn’t know one was DC and one was Marvel. To me it was just a superhero. Plus, when I was thinking of these questions, I thought if two superheros were to have it out, it would be “Superman” and “Wonder Woman.”

    For “Boxers or Briefs”…most people answer boxer briefs, but briefs do seem to win out more over boxes, unless they go commando.

    4. Favorite place to write? My apartment and sometimes on vacation, but anywhere that can just allow me to be with my thoughts and little distraction.

    5. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? “The impossible is something that hasn’t been tried”–Ernst Bulova. “You can’t get a yes without asking the question.”–Bob Trautman.

    6. What’s your proudest moment? The moment I realized I am finally living the life I always dreamed for myself, just in a completely different way than I imagined.

    7. Favorite way to spend your day off? Sleeping in, going to the gym, catching up on TV shows, hanging with friends, taking a nap, going for a walk, or drinking a vanilla chai tea latte.

    8. Favorite skin care product? Origins…Perfect World Toner, Perfect World for Eyes, Matte Scientist (which they recently discontinued…please bring it back!), Never A Dull Moment, Skin Diver, Checks and Balances, and Firefighter. I also used to love Susan Lucci’s hair care products and her Youthful Essence Microdermabrasion.

    9. Favorite TV Show? I’m sure there are many more, but this is what I could remember. Now: “90210,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Brothers and Sisters,” “Modern Family,” “Glee,” “Cougar Town,” “Mike and Molly,” “Hot in Cleveland,” and “Raising Hope.” Then: “The Golden Girls,” “Family Ties,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Saved By The Bell,” “California Dreams,” “Beverly Hills 90210,” “Melrose Place,” “Donna Reed,” “Bewitched,” “Punky Brewster,” “Mr. Belvedere,” “Diff’rent Strokes,” “Silver Spoons,” “He-Man,” “She-Ra,” “GI Joe,” “Superfriends,” “Wonder Woman,” “Ellen” (TV sitcom), “The Class,” “Gobots,” “Jem and the Holograms,” “Bette,” “Sordid Lives: The Series,” “It’s All Relative,” “Strong Medicine,” “Any Day Now,” and “The Practice.”

    10. Favorite Comedian? Ellen DeGeneres, Wendy Liebman, Sandra Bernhard, Jessica Kirson, Leslie Jordan, Chelsea Handler, and Julie Halston.

    BONUS QUESTIONS:

    11. Favorite kind of sundae? Cookies & Cream ice cream with rainbow sprinkles.

    12. Peanut Butter: Crunchy or Smooth? Smooth, so it spreads perfectly when I make my yummy peanut butter and cheese sandwiches!

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Back Row: Johnny Tammaro, Lynne Koplitz, Gina Ferranti, Valerie Smaldone, Middle Row: Ralph Macchio, John Barbieri, Mario Cantone, Bottom Row: Kendra Jain

On Monday, September 20, I was invited by to an industry reading of a new play called “A Room Of My Own,” written and directed by Charles Messina. It starred Ralph Macchio, Mario Cantone, Gina Ferranti, John Barbieri, Kendra Jain, Johnny Tammaro, Lynne Koplitz (who was last minute substitute for an ill-stricken Shannen Doherty), and narrated by Valerie Smaldone.

This hilarious, witty, politically incorrect show is about a writer’s attempt to tell the story of growing up with his wacky Italian-American family in a small tenement apartment in the 1970s Greenwhich Village. Headed by a conniving, thieving matriarch, a gambling addicted patriarch, and an uncle with a secret that everyone knows, The Morelli Clan of Thompson Street is one outrageous bunch. Their struggles are retold through the eyes of Adult Carl Morelli and relived through Little Carl Morelli.

Charles Messina has written a script so funny, I spent the whole night laughing. Gina Ferranti (“Dotty Morelli”) and Mario Cantone (“Jackie Morelli”) stole the show with their superb acting and comedic timing! Gina’s facial expressions were priceless while Mario’s signature inflection stole the show! Ralph Macchio and John Barbieri were perfectly cast as “Adult Carl Morelli” and “Little Carl Morelli,” respectively, many times thinking Ralph was the adult version of John. Johnny Tammaro was also cast well as the father, Peter Morelli, playing off of Gina’s moments. Kendra Jain shined as the daughter, “Jeannine Morelli,” especially when she needed to be sarcastic. Lynne Koplitz should be applauded for filling in at the last moment as “Sister Rita.” Using her comedic talents, Lynne was able to hold her own and shine brightly.

Tonight’s performance was just an industry reading. So much can change, from the script to the cast, between now and if/when this becomes a full production, but one never knows until the show is up and running. If this show becomes a full-length production, “Adaumbelle’s Quest” will be here to let you know!

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