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Your Hollywood Career File Drawer #2
Ref 52. Dear Linda: I am seeking advice on getting into the field of voiceovers,
cartoon voices, CD Roms, etc. I know I need a tape, but here's the
question: while I'm really interested in acting with my voice, I've
been told by someone who does VO's that I need to get a head-shot and
basically market myself as regular actress who "does voices" One problem:
I don't have any professional acting experience, just lots of college,
and community theater stuff.
Do you have any insight?
Ref 53. Dear Linda,
What are the best avenues for selling a script if you don't have an agent?
Do I send scripts to producers, studios, actors, agents -- all of them?
Or, do you suggest sending query letters to agents without the script?
Is it impossible to sell a script without an agent? Is it impossible to
sell a script if one lives in Massachusetts? And, which is the path of
least resistance reagarding the sell -- fiction novel or screenplay?
I know I've hit you with lots of questions.
Please respond to Diane_Hanks@Brown.edu Thanks.
Ref 54. Linda,
Thanks so much for your input! With the book proposal now being
"shopped" around, your advice was most welcomed! I'm going back to
working on a couple of spec scripts and can rest a little easier now
waiting for my agent's call! One followup question, if you don't mind
too much: My agent is planning on keeping the rights to the screenplay
completely separate from the book deal. Do the D-execs deal exclusively
with the publishing house for books they want to turn into movies, or
are they likely to contact my agent after an initial inquiry to the publisher?
Ref 55. I have a son who is being courted by some Hollywood talent consultants.
They are telling us that he has the looks and the attitude that a lot
of Hollywood people are looking for. They also are telling us that he
must have completed a 4 week On Camera Commercial Acting Workshop. The
total cost for the class and portfolio is $1,900. My question is, are businesses
like these making money from placing talent or are they in business to
take pictures, train with no intent on placing talent with legitimate
Response to Ref. 55: Beware! I have never heard of the acting workshop you mention, but there are a number of unscrupulous "acting" scams out there that tell you you're fabulously talented and then ask for big bucks for classes. Contact the Hollywood Screen Parents Association at 818/955-6510 for further info on how to be a good actor's parent/manager. Also read "Glam Scam," by Eric Joseph, published by Lone Eagle Press in 1994. It covers the most common scams that actors and others run innto. This book could save you a lot of heartache and money.
Ref 59. This will be quick. Take note, I have written an incredible movie
and it WILL be made.
It's called IN BLUE.
Won't be big or anything, but it's moving. Good luck to all the talented
NON-COMERCIAL writers out there. No more CHEEZ-WHIZ movies! Stuff like My Own
Private Idaho, Love+45, and Leaving Las Vegas are the real guts!...
Ref 56. Response to Ref 53: Diane, it is indeed possible to sell a script without an agent. You need an entertainment lawyer (you can hire one by the hour). If you can't find one in Boston, try New York City. Contact the Independent Feature Project in NYC at 212/473-3400 as they may have referrals. Also you may want to subscribe to "script" magazine at 410/592-3466. You need to plug into the writer community so you can get ongoing advice from fellow writers. Once you've registered your script with the Writers Guild of America and/or copyrighted it, you can send a query letter with a brief paragraph on the premise to producers and/or agents (buy the Hollywood Creative Directory from Samuel French Theater and Film Book Shop in New York or LA and get the agents list from the WGA). And why not enter some screenplay writing contests - it will be nice to mention in your letter that your script is a winner. For a private phone consultation on step-by-step marketing for your particular script, call my office at (310) 553-9660 for a free brochure.
Ref 62. Ms.Buzzel,
A few years ago Mr.Robert Mckee mentionned in a screenwriting course the existence of 'Scriptcity' (a store or library centralising (un)published screenplays). Does 'Scriptcity' have an adress? Or where else can I obtain scripts of big blockbusters?
Thank you and greetings from Brussels, Belgium.
Ref 63. Dear Brainstorming in Brussells (Ref 62),
I'm not Linda, but the address you're looking for (last one I have, ayway)is:
11288 Ventura Blvd., #432B
Studio City, CA 91604 USA
Phone Number is (818) 980-3545 (Sorry, you'll have to figure your Int'l dialing)
Hope this helps,
Ref 64. Dear Linda:
I have a motivating friend who I KNOW can make it to the top. I am trying to promote his talents to a national level on cable or television. Currently he has a fun-filled fitness program on three local cable stations with great viewership response. I have written many television and cable distributors, stations and each of them stated that he is truly motivating, but they do not target that aspect of entertainment. What should I do or who should I contact in order to reach that OPTIMUM goal? Should I contact talent agents and if so, WHO? What other steps should be taken when for aspiring talent who want to obtain a national cable program? Where do we go from here?!
Thanks ... I can't wait to hear from you.
Ref 65. Ref65. My passion since I was 9 years old has always
being film, film making, its history and any other thing that deals with
this matter. Right now, I am about to make a big shift on my life, I am
going to major in Business Administration in a good school here in
Brazil and soon as I'm done here I will try to enter in an American
Film School in order to pursuit a long time dream.< Well, my question or questions are: Since I'm a brazilian,
will people look at me with any concern? Do a South american have a
chance to make it in the U.S.? Do you think that that is to much
prejudice in american society towards south american people? What would
you do in my place? Thanks a lot for your attention, and I am waiting for your advice
with all my heart. Best regards. Al Edwards Allodi, Brazil
Ref 67. Fred H. Arm
2712 Reynier Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90034
(310)287-0686 Fax: (310)287-2937
Internet Address: http://email@example.com
To Whom It May Concern:
I am interested in either purchasing an entire or partial interest in a business involved in the making of miniatures and models for motion picture effects and the like. I could perhaps provide the finances for the purchase of machinery and equipment if you don't already have such items in place. I would also consider working as a craftsman on terms leading to an equity position. I am dedicated to the creative process in any endeavor undertaken.
I have considerable experience as an oldworld-trained cabinet maker and entrepreneur. I have an extensive background and education in business, law, woodworking, creative writing and computers. I feel that I could enhance any business's ultimate bottom line.
Please let me know if there are any opportunities available with your company. If not, perhaps you would be so kind to refer me to another source that you would feel would be more appropriate. Your generous attention to this inquiry would be most appreciated. Thank you.
Very truly yours,
FRED H. ARM
Ref 68. we are interested in starting a extras casting company in the north
west. what is the best way to find out about tv and feature film
projects comming to our area..pam and emily
Ref 69. Dear Linda: My wife has made over one hundred national and regional television commmercials in Seattle and has played a principle role in the Northern Exposure TV series. Suprisingly, since moving to L.A. aquiring an agent has been a challenge. She is a young and beautiful woman with much experience. Do you have any solutions?
Dear Linda: I am a teenager trying to break into the acting world. I live in a small town so there really is not a lot of acting audtions. What should I do? I am in acting and I am in voice lessons. Thank you for listening.
Ref 71. Dear Linda,
I'm a graduating senior trying to build a career in development.
My long term goal is to find a place as a creative exec at a studio
The main thing now is that I have to find an entry level job that
will put me on the right track. I have applied to several
internships, but I'd like to have other (paying) options also.
I have read that getting a job as an assistant to an exec/producer
is a good place to start, but it's been difficult because i have
very few contacts.
Do you have any advice regarding other good entry-level positions
or ways of finding those execs and producers that need assistants?
Thanks very much.
Ref 72. Dear Linda: I would like to thank-you in advance for any info you can offer me. I live in Ontario, Canada & I am interested in training dogs for commercials, tv, motion pictures etc. I have trained over 3,000 dogs & have been on local TV with them. My studies are in animal behaviour/training & I have trained dogs to do things such as walk a tightrope 10ft in the air, pick up an egg without breaking it, sneeze on command etc. Any info you can offer would be greatly appreciated as I am having a hard time finding anything on this subject. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Ref 73. dear linda i am an aspiring film director tell me the best way to go.
i don't have that much directing experience but i am ready to learn
Camille R. Lampkin-ohio university student
Ref 74. sorry i forgot to put my address is:
Ref 76. This is somethong simple, but very interesting!
I am writing a story...so I am looking a producer.
The story take life in Chicago city, Mexico city and England.
also the story is en English and spanish.
I really appreciate you can nonect me wit h any producer...or sending me
here is my Email address: email@example.com
Laura Vanessa R.
Ref 81. Response to Ref 53: Diane, it is indeed possible to sell a script without an agent. You need an entertainment lawyer (you can hire one by the hour). If you can't find one in Boston, try New York City. Contact the Independent Feature Project in NYC at 212/473-3400 as they may have referrals. Also you may want to subscribe to "script" magazine at 410/592-3466. You need to plug into the writer community so you can get ongoing advice from fellow writers. Once you've registered your script with the Writers Guild of America and/or copyrighted it, you can send a query letter with a brief paragraph on the premise to producers and/or agents (buy the Hollywood Creative Directory from Samuel French Theater and Film Book Shop in New York or LA and get the agents list from the WGA). And why not enter some screenplay writing contests - it will be nice to mention in your letter that your script is a winner. For a private phone consultation on step-by-step marketing for your particular script, call my office at (310) 553-9660 for a free brochure.
Ref 82. Response to Ref 54: Dan, thanks for giving the Brussels writer the info on Script City! As for your query about D-execs -- they troll for hot literary material everywhere - agents, publishers, local plays, whatever. If they're interested in your manuscript, they'll certainly contact the publisher, who should turn them over to your agent.
Ref 83. Response to Ref. 55: Beware! I have never heard of the acting workshop you mention, but there are a number of unscrupulous "acting" scams out there that tell you you're fabulously talented and then ask for big bucks for classes. Contact the Hollywood Screen Parents Association at 818/955-6510 for further info on how to be a good actor's parent/manager. Also read "Glam Scam," by Eric Joseph, published by Lone Eagle Press in 1994. It covers the most common scams that actors and others run innto. This book could save you a lot of heartache and money.
Ref 84. Response to Ref. 64: Cut a short, hot demo tape from your client's fitness program and get it to agents and producers of national cable shows. You didn't mention where you live - are you close to Hollywood?
Ref 85. Response to Ref 65: Good luck with your filmmaking career.
Ref 86. Response to Ref 67: Fred, since you're in L.A., you can go to the fabulous library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills. Ask a reference librarian to help you find the issues of the Hollywood Reporter and Daily Variety that focus on special effects, including model making. Be careful of this area, though, because much of special effects is now going digital and there will be less need for actual flesh-and-blood models. Why not take some courses in 3-D animation at Silicon Studios in Santa Monica? Call them at 1-800-SSTUDIO. Also call my office at (310) 553-9660 for a free brochure on private career consultations.
Ref 87. Response to Ref 68: Contact the local film commission, which should be in the capital city of your state or province. Good luck with your extras' casting company!
Ref 88. Response to Ref 69: Please see the chapter in my book "How to Make It in Hollywood" about how to get an agent. With her track record, I would think she could get a referral from a director or casting director she has worked with on commercials or "Northern Exposure." Referrals are the real magic in Hollywood.
Ref 89. Response to Ref 70: Get involved in plays at school and in local community theater. Contact your state film commission. That way you'll meet the people in your area who know about showbiz and hopefully they can guide you. Also, I do phone career counseling consultations if at some point you need further guidance. Call my office at (310) 553-9660 for further info and a free brochure.
Ref 90. Response to Ref 71: Jen Ro, check out the chapter on entry-level jobs in my book "How to Make It in Hollywood," especially the sections on internships and temping. Also since you don't have many contacts yet, read the chapter on shmoozing -- you could join some showbiz organizations and start meeting more people, if you haven't done so already. Assistant to a producer is a good place to start but also don't overlook one of the best entry-level jobs for anyone aiming for development exec, studio exec or producer: assistant/trainee working for a literary agent at one of the hot agencies. You'll really get plugged in!
Ref 91. Response to Ref 72: Rick, it's nice to chat with a fellow Canuck! Check with the Ontario Film Commission in Toronto about the many film and TV shows shooting in Toronto and Ontario. You need to meet some of the production managers and producers who can introduce you to other local folks in your craft (animal wrangler).
Ref 93. Response to Ref 73: Camille, one way to break into film directing from Ohio is to make a dynamite student film which you enter in festivals. Make it as original and powerful as you can. Hopefully you'll win and can use that victory as a reason to contact Hollywood people, especially agents who might be interested in signing you. If you'd like a career counseling consultation by phone or a free brochure from the Entertainment Industry Career Institute in Beverly Hills, call (310) 553-9660. Good luck with your directing career.
Ref 94. Dear Linda:
I am trying to obtain a position in the pub/promo department of a major studio. My experience includes working as a field publicist for most of the major studios. I've tried the temp. route and it did not work. I have a degree and experience, how can I get my foot in the door?
My mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Any advice?
I'm interested in interning for a talent agency to get a broad
perspective of the entire industry. Besides CAA, WMA, UTA and ICM,
what are other "hot" agencies worth looking at?
Ref 96. I want to intern at a talent agency to a get a broad perspective
of the industry. Besides WMA, ICM, CAA and UTA, what other "hot"
agencies would you recommend looking at?
Ref 97. Hi,
I'm a graduating senior with a degree in Communications from the University
of Michigan. My specialization is marketing, and i want to know how i can
penetrate the industry with this degree? My interest is not to be infront of the
Ref 98. Dear Linda,
I am an as-of-yet-undiscovered screenwriter and I have a simple question. What is your experience or comment on writer-hired
readers? I recently submited a querry letter to an agency and they sent back a referal to an independant reader company
called the Script Works. They claim that they will read and evaluate my script (tell me what I did wrong/right)and send me the
coverage along with a "Pass" or "Recomend" grade that they would have given the agent or producer. They also claim if they
recieve a script that "stands out" they can get it to the right people. Is this a service you would recomend or is it simply
just another shark in the Hollywood waters out to feed on the niave? Thank you for your advice.
Ref 99. Dear Ms. Buzzell,
I am a third-year Law student at Syracuse University in New York. I am pursuing a career in Entertainment law in either New York or California. What advice, if any, would you give on experience necessary to penetrate the system of Entertainment law to a young African-American female? Also, are there any other jobs which I might pursue to get into the business such as beciming an agent. I am also pursuing a Masters degree from Newhouse School of Public Communications with a concentration in Television, Radio, and Film Production. I can be reached through my e-mail address at email@example.com Thank you I hope to hear from you soon.
Ref 101. I'm half way to 29 and feeling long-in-the-tooth. I've worked in print, TV and online as writer,
editor, researcher and associate producer (creative and line). My strengths are editorial and
a talent for lateral thinking and the overview (which isn't much use unless you are in a decision
making position). I feel like I'm at a point in my bitsy career where I have to commit to moving forward
with focus - as it is already rather late. I have always learnt on the job, although I do join industry
related associations and attend short courses when I can. Should I try and get into a producing
or writing course or bite the bullet and get on with it. I have an executive producer behind me on
a documentary idea and can get doors open with a little bravado - but I feel like a total schmuck!
Ref 102. Hello, I have worked as a script doctor on several major films.
I am curious as to where I can go from here. I have an extensive background in
television sketch comedy on a local level. I would like to get on the
national level. I would like to learn about soliciting agents,
their effectiveness, etc. Thank you.
Ref 104. im looking for some advice on how to break into the acting part of the business. ive been in countless high school and college performances, and a commercial when i was 13. now i am 25 and working in the financial industry, but always think about being in hollywood. i know i have the look and attitude, so please send me on the right track. i can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. any input will be very helpful and appreciated.
Ref 105. Dear Linda,
I am a 47-year-old writer and Nicholl semi-finalist in 1995.
I am facing bankruptcy, but who cares? I live in Sadn Diego and
have an affordable lifestyle. I don't want to return to any "career,"
I may have been successful at in the past, while waiting to make that
first sale. At my age (I can pass easily for late thirties) I know
that film-related work in LA would be difficult to find. I have a M
MA in film with emphasis on screenwriting and have taught s
screenwriting in the CSU system. I think that working as a script a
analyst would be perfect for me. 1) To do this,would I do I have to m
move to LA? 2)Is there a way to pursue this logically? 3) Bankruptcy
is tongue in cheek; can you provide me with your frates and info
Ref 106. Hello Linda, I have been in the business for 20 years (I started very young). This has included films, television, commercials, industrials, stage and recording. I have a lot of diverse talents. I am an alto with belt to G, I work as a stunt actress and specialize in high falls and firearms, whips, driving, I am very adept at character portrayals (bitch to bimbo) and I am a very attractive, in shape woman in her early thirties. I network constantly with other actors, producers, directors, writers et al. I have worked in NY, CHI, New Orleans, Orlando, St. Louis and am now in the beautiful city of Toronto working on a recording project. All of this has been with a modicum of success. Feast and famine. I am ready, I feel to go to a higher level (larger roles, etc.) and tackle the L.A. market. Rejection has no affect on me! Am I covering all my bases? Am I too diverse? Should I specialize more? I already have contacts in L.A. and am agent shopping as we speak.I am going to move to LA in the summer, I understand that is the best time to look for an agent. Suggestions? Thanks and best wishes. Kaz e-mail email@example.com
Ref 107. Hello Linda, I recently graduated from college. I have been working in the healthcare industry for 6 months, and during that time I have discovered that my real interest is the entertainment industry. I want to break into the field but I'm not sure how to go about doing this. Recently I sent my resume to a few movie and television studios, but I'm not sure how successful I'll be at getting hired. I have no problem with starting at the bottom because as a stated previously my background is not in theater/
Dear Linda: I've recently relocated back to the Los Angeles area,
after a 3 year stay in Orange County.Hurray!!! I graduated with my
degree in Radio,TV & Film, participated in 4 internships ranging from
Pubilicty to Advertising to being a personal assistant to the writer
of Kindergarten Cop, Twins and Trading Places, however I am having a
hard time getting my foot back in the door. I have excellent administrative
skills and my resume of experience I've been told is impressive.
I've sent resumes all over. I am not getting the responses like I used to.
Any suggestions of where I can find Assistant type jobs, a placement or
employment agency that places people in the entertainment field?
Any direction would be most helpful.
Lisa A. Patti
I'm an 18-yr old actress in LA which makes me perfect for the market out there right now. I've also come to LA with a lot of training from various schools in New York. I have an agent and my SAG card. Now I have only one problem that's getting in the way of me getting auditions and jobs- my ethnicity. My background is Indian, although I've been told I look Romanian, French, Italian, Spanish. But I was born in this country, so my personality is that of every other American teenager. There is nothing more that I want to do with my life than act. I've wanted it since I was born and have been working towards it all my life. I will die an actress. I refuse to leave this business no matter what, but at the same time I want to be successful. What do you think I can do so that more people- CD's, producers, directors, etc,- will be willing to see me? I'm very confident with my acting and feel that I just need to be seen. what is the right way to go about doing this as an "ethnic" person in the industry who does not want to be typed, but looked at as a person?
I hope you can help.
Ref 113. Is it true that it is harder for minorities to get a job in Hollywood? Because I know that there is a short number of minorities, especially asians and latinos, with big roles.
Ref 114. Dear Linda.I wrote a thriller in France wihwas published and I would like to market the product in the us to have somebody writing a screen play for me.The book is the storo of a narcoguerilla group wich found the way to cause aircollisions near big airports.Story takes place in south america and France and could be true..Author is instrument rated pilot!if any idea on that pls contact me by e-mail to Jacques.Kaufmann@afp.com
Ref 115. Response to Ref. 94: Dear Rose, Keep on temping and showing your stuff. Also, since you're a publicist, think about creative ways you can publicize and market your talents so you stand out from the pack. Good luck!
Response to Ref. 95: Dear Jose, Check out Paradigm Agency too.
Response to Ref. 97: Dear Tracey, Try to get an assistant position in a studio marketing dept.
Response to Ref 98: Mark, some writer-hired readers and other script consultants can be very helpful, especially if they give you notes on how to improve your script. However, they're not cheap. And I get very suspicious when I hear of an agency recommending just one outside service. Why not do yourself a favor and join a writer's group where you can get ongoing advice from other writers on who's good and who's just out for the bucks. I mention several writer's networks in the resources section of the new edition of my book "How to Make It in Hollywood." Also you may want to get "script" magazine to keep up on what's happening in the world of screenwriting. Good luck with the writing.
Response to Ref 99: Entertainment law (and business affairs, which mostly hires lawyers) is becoming as crowded a field as any other in show business so you will need to follow the advice in my book to put yourself ahead of the pack. Networking is key, both in the Hollywood community at large and also the African-American showbiz community (The Black Filmmaker Foundation can be reached at 212/941-3944.) You may want to join the entertainment law division of the Beverly Hills Bar when you can, to meet showbiz attorneys who might be willing to mentor you. Take classes on entertainment law. UCLA Extension offers some good ones. Becoming an agent is also an alternative and there are folks with Harvard law degrees in the mailrooms of the top agencies. But you have to ask yourself what your eventual goal is. If producing is it, then agenting is a good road. You learn how to package and sell. If you want law and business affairs, go for the legal route and don't get sidetracked. There are a few jobs in the legal depts at agencies, by the way. Best of luck.
Response to Ref 101: Dear "Long-in-the-tooth" Christine, 29 is not too late! But you do need to focus. (See the chapter in "How to Make It in Hollywood" that deals with focus. It will give you some quiz questions to answer). You have strong talents and sound like a creative producer to me. You need to decide whether to focus on primarily nonfiction or fiction (Contact the International Documentary Association at 310/284-8422 for a newsletter and membership application since you seem to be thinking about the former) and to meet the people you need to meet. Another option for someone with your talents: become a literary agent or nonfiction programming agent. I always have a hard time talking people into taking this road but it truly is one of the best preparations for any showbiz career. If you have trouble deciding, call me at the Entertainment Industry Career Institute for a private career consultation. Good luck.
Response to Ref 102: Dear Script Doctor: TV sketch comedy is a great background and talent. You may want to pursue comedy writing in film or TV, or go into development as a comedy expert. Another avenue: write comedy monologues for all the actors in Hollywood who want to do stand up to showcase their talents. Re. agents: read the chapter in my book on how to get them, get them to work for you etc. Keep on yukkin'!
Response to Ref. 104: Dear Actor Stuck in the Financial Biz: Read my book to help you decide if you really want to go this route. I don't have to tell you it's tough, especially after 25. But if it's something you'll regret not having done for the rest of your life, give it a shot -- a LIMITED shot, not the rest of your life unless you really take off. Take 3-5 years and go for it. Put some money aside, move to LA (or NYC) if you're not there already, get into a top class and hustle like crazy. Keep in mind that you have to be at least one of the following three things to make it as an actor in Hollywood (1) incredibly gorgeous (2) incredibly funny (3) incredibly talented. If you're all three -- you're hired!
Response to Ref. 105: Dear Bill, Wow! Talk about career crisis! You're at a real turning point. Please give me a call at the Entertainment Industry Career Institute in Beverly Hills at 310/553-9660 and I'll be glad to talk with you about a possible consultation. You have some real choices to make. I don't think the story analyst thing would work unless you were in LA at least 1-2 days a week: could you arrange that? Also you need to consider whether or not story analysis is the right B-job for you as a writer. Some writers find that it screws up their ownn writing. Let's talk!
Response to Ref 106: Dear Kaz, Sounds to me like you're ready for LA. Call me at 310/553-9660 if you'd like a private consultation to get your game plan in place. In the meantime, continue your networking in Toronto and get as many LA names as you can. You sound like a great networker, which is terrific!
Response to Ref 107: See the section of my book "How to Make It in Hollywood" (2nd edition) on entry level jobs. If you don't live in LA yet, get a healthcare industry job here as your B-job until you land your first showbiz job. Make sure to focus in on what area of entertainment you'd like to pursue so you get the right entry level job, maybe working for someone who does what you hope to do.
Response to Ref 110: Hi Lisa, Welcome back to LA! See the resources section of my book "How to Make It in Hollywood" (2nd edition) for a list of employment agencies that place temporary and permanent assistants in Hollywood. The studio job hot lines are also listed. If you've got good assistant skills, you should be able to find something in showbiz. Just make sure that it's in an area you're interested in pursuing (see answer above). Good luck!
Response to Ref 111: Dear Shree, Go for it! Don't take no for an answer! See the chapter of my book on "being different." More and more people are open to "creative casting" and SAG is behind it too. Get involved with SAG's committee that encourages minority casting and just get out there and be fabulous. Somebody has to break down these barriers, and it might as well be you. Do you think Hollywood was looking for someone like Whoopi Goldberg when she came on the scene? And what about Ben Kingsley - no one could figure out how to cast him either until they realized just how talented he is and now he's turning down parts. Also contact everyone who has ever had a connection with anything Indian -- maybe they'll Godfather or Godmother you.
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