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The Actor and the Character: Explorations in the Psychology of Transformative Acting

by Vladimir Mirodan

Transformative acting remains the aspiration of many an emerging actor, and constitutes the achievement of some of the most acclaimed performances of our age: Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln, Meryl Streep as Mrs Thatcher, Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter – the list is extensive, and we all have our favourites. But what are the physical and psychological processes which enable actors to create characters so different from themselves? To understand this unique phenomenon, Vladimir Mirodan provides both a historical overview of the evolution of notions of 'character' in Western theatre and a stunning contemporary analysis of the theoretical implications of transformative acting. The Actor and the Character: Surveys the main debates surrounding the concept of dramatic character and – contrary to recent trends – explains why transformative actors conceive their characters as ‘independent’ of their own personalities. Describes some important techniques used by actors to construct their characters by physical means: work on objects, neutral and character masks, Laban movement analysis, Viewpoints, etc. Examines the psychology behind transformative acting from the perspectives of both psychoanalysis and scientific psychology and, based on recent developments in psychology, asks whether transformation is not just acting folklore but may actually entail temporary changes to the brain structures of the actors. The Actor and the Character speaks not only to academics and students studying actor training and acting theory, but contributes to current lively academic debates around character. This is a compelling and original exploration of the limits of acting theory and practice, psychology, and creative work, in which Mirodan boldly re-examines some of the fundamental assumptions of actor training and some basic tenets of theatre practice to ask: What happens when one of us ‘becomes somebody else’?

An Actor Rehearses: What to Do When and Why

by David Hlavsa

With a commonsense approach, An Actor Rehearses takes performers through the rehearsal process and explains exactly what to do when. The actor’s process is explained simply, sequentially, and in detail, starting from the period before rehearsals begin and continuing through first read-through, blocking rehearsals, technical rehearsals, and performances. Packed with exercises that are useful in the classroom and in the rehearsal studio, An Actor Rehearses is an indispensable guide to the rehearsal process that makes building a character easier and more rewarding for both actor and audience. And because author David Hlavsa’s emphasis is on relating acting to life, performers learn to make a remarkable connection between becoming a better actor and becoming a better person: more compassionate, more vital, more alive. Clear, practical, usable advice for actors at every level Unique focus: learning to become a better actor means learning to become a better person Huge potential audienceAllworth Press, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing, publishes a broad range of books on the visual and performing arts, with emphasis on the business of art. Our titles cover subjects such as graphic design, theater, branding, fine art, photography, interior design, writing, acting, film, how to start careers, business and legal forms, business practices, and more. While we don't aspire to publish a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are deeply committed to quality books that help creative professionals succeed and thrive. We often publish in areas overlooked by other publishers and welcome the author whose expertise can help our audience of readers.

Actor Training

by Alison Hodge

Actor Training expands on Alison Hodge's highly-acclaimed and best-selling Twentieth Century Actor Training. This exciting second edition radically updates the original book making it even more valuable for any student of the history and practice of actor training. The bibliography is brought right up to date and many chapters are revised. In addition, eight more practitioners are included - and forty more photographs - to create a stunningly comprehensive study. The practitioners included are: Stella Adler; Eugenio Barba; Augusto Boal; Anne Bogart; Bertolt Brecht; Peter Brook; Michael Chekhov; Joseph Chaikin; Jacques Copeau; Philippe Gaulier; Jerzy Grotowski; Maria Knebel; Jacques Lecoq; Joan Littlewood; Sanford Meisner; Vsevolod Meyerhold; Ariane Mnouchkine; Monika Pagneux; Michel Saint-Denis; Włodzimierz Staniewski; Konstantin Stanislavsky; Lee Strasberg The historical, cultural and political context of each practitioner's work is clearly set out by leading experts and accompanied by an incisive and enlightening analysis of the main principles of their training, practical exercises and key productions. This book is an invaluable introduction to the principles and practice of actor training and its role in shaping modern theatre.

The Actor Uncovered

by Michael Howard

A Far-Reaching and Truthful Exploration of Acting in All Its FormsThe Actor Uncovered is certainly not a set of rigid rules advocating one "method" or one singular "truth." Departing from the common guidebook format, Michael Howard uses a unique approach to teaching acting, reflecting on his own history and sharing his own experiences as an actor, director, and teacher. How he writes about the process and craft of acting is at once intensely personal and relatable by others.Readers are invited to participate as though present in this master teacher's classes. Each human being, and thus each actor, is unique. Howard encourages actors to uncover their own ways of working, using their particular abilities and personality traits. Going beyond the craft and into human psychology and the importance of acting as a life force, readers will see new and deeper ways to study and practice, to be introspective, and to arrive at places of revelation about their craft.The Actor Uncovered will have much to say to beginners, to those who are advanced, and to professional and working actors. Howard discusses such topics as:Techniques, styles, and methods in a changing societyRelaxation, concentration, and the breathThe relationships among actor, director, and writerMemoryOn camera versus on stageObstaclesAfter more than seventy years as a professional actor, director, and teacher, Howard shows how living creatively and invoking one's own personality can lead to a successful career as an actor.

The Actor Within: Intimate Conversations with Great Actors

by Rose Eichenbaum Aron Hirt-Manheimer

In Rose Eichenbaum's third work on the confluence of art making and human expression, she delves into the lives of thirty-five celebrated actors through intimate conversations and photographic portraits. With her probing questions and disarming manner, she captures the essential character of her subjects while shining a light on the art that defines them. The work provides extraordinary insights on the craft of acting with discussions of process, techniques, tools of the trade, and how to advice for aspiring actors from seasoned veterans. These stars of stage and screen, known for signature roles and critically acclaimed performances, emerge in The Actor Within with masks and wardrobe removed. Here, they speak their own lines, tell their own stories, and raise the curtain on what it means to live the actor's life--the challenge of mastering their craft, the drama of big breaks and career woes, the search for meaningful roles, and above all, having the courage to bare their souls before theater audiences or the camera. For the artists featured in this work, acting is more than a profession; it is how they make their way in the world and artfully merge their inner sense of humanness with universal truths. This collection serves as an important inspirational resource for anyone interested in making art, regardless of medium.The Actor Within includes interviews with Karl Malden, Ruby Dee, Ed Harris, Piper Laurie, Marcia Gay Harden, William H. Macy, Ellen Burstyn, Joe Mantegna, Debra Winger, Julia Stiles, Elliott Gould, Elijah Wood, Stockard Channing, Bill Pullman, Amanda Plummer, Marlee Matlin, Charles Durning, Marsha Mason, and many others.

Actors and Acting in Shakespeare's Time

by John H. Astington

John Astington brings the acting style of the Shakespearean period to life, describing and analysing the art of the player in the English professional theatre between Richard Tarlton and Thomas Betterton. The book pays close attention to the cultural context of stage playing, the critical language used about it, and the kinds of training and professional practice employed in the theatre at various times over the course of roughly one hundred years - 1558-1660. Perfect for courses, this 2010 survey takes into account recent discoveries about actors and their social networks, about apprenticeship and company affiliations, and about playing outside the major centre of theatre, London. Astington considers the educational tradition of playing, in schools, universities, legal inns, and choral communities, in comparison to the work of the professional players. A comprehensive biographical dictionary of all major professional players of the Shakespearean period is included as a handy reference guide.

The Actor's Book of Classical Monologues

by Various

A challenging, wide-ranging collection of monologues from history’s greatest dramatic works. From the stately and poetic Greek tragedies to the lively, bawdy Restoration comedies, the classical repertoire is a treasure trove of often-overlooked materials for male and female, young and old. The solo pieces collected here vary widely in mood, style, and level of challenge; they include a generous supply of Shakespeare and his contemporaries; and they’re fleshed out with brief plot synopses and valuable historical material. Stefan Rudnicki, an accomplished actor, director, and teacher, also provides practical tips on preparing each scene for audition or performance. Among the playwrights whose works are included are: Aeschylus Sophocles Euridipes Aristophanes Shakespeare Tourneur Kyd Middleton Jonson Sheridan Dryden Congreve …and many others.

The Actor's Book Of Contemporary Stage Monologues: More Than 150 Monologues From More Than 70 Playwrights

by Nina Shengold Smith Kraus Inc. Staff

This is the only book that offers a comprehensive collection of contemporary stage monologues for a complete range of roles. An invaluable tool for actors looking for new audition material or for anyone interested in theater.

An Actor's Companion

by Seth Barrish Anne Hathaway

"I was totally unprepared for the transformation that Seth's technique created in me. . . . I realized that what I thought I knew about acting up to that point was largely misguided . . . but I now had a great, talented, dedicated teacher who generously wanted to share his tools with everyone. There is muscularity, not to mention wisdom and truth to Seth's techniques. He is a wonderful teacher, and I know that having him as my first guide is one of the luckiest things to have happened to me in my career and life. And when I can't get back to class with him, I am so grateful I have this book to turn to."--Anne Hathaway"This book is truly unlike anything else I know--these pieces are haikus on specific elements of performance and character building."--Philip Himberg, executive director, Sundance Theatre InstituteA collection of practical acting tips, tools, and exercises, An Actor's Companion is ideal for both the seasoned professionals and actors-in-training. The tips--all simple, direct, and useful--are easy to understand and even easier to apply, in both rehearsal and in performance.Seth Barrish is an actor, teacher, and the co-artistic director of The Barrow Group in New York City. In his thirty-year career, he has directed the award-winning shows My Girlfriend's Boyfriend (Lucille Lortel Award for Best Solo Show, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations for Best Solo Show), Sleepwalk With Me (Nightlife Award for Outstanding Comedian in a Major Performance), The Tricky Part (Obie Award, Drama Desk nominations for Best Play and Best Solo Show), Pentecost (Drama Desk nomination for Best Play), Old Wicked Songs (Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award and Garland Award for Best Direction), and Good (Straw Hat Award for Best Direction), among dozens of others.

An Actor's Guide--Making It in New York City

by Glenn Alterman

For any actor in or on the way to New York City, this is the definitive source for advice, winning strategies, marketing techniques, and invaluable insights to being a successful New York actor. This new edition has been completely revised and updated to cover the significant changes in the New York theater landscape over the last nine years. This indispensable guide has also been expanded to include dozens of new interviews with top New York City actors and a completely improved Internet chapter equipped with the most up-to-date tools to thrive in the industry. Aspiring and established professionals will find this thorough and up-to-the-minute volume chock full of resources and advice about auditioning, making professional connections, promoting one's self, seeking opportunities in nontraditional venues, finding an apartment, securing "survival jobs," understanding actor unions, getting headshots, and furthering one's actor training in New York. This guide also details working as a film extra, careers in print modeling, scams and rip-offs to avoid, opportunities for actors with disabilities, and using the Internet to the fullest advantage. Included are in-depth interviews with legendary show business figures such as actor Henry Winkler, casting director Juliet Taylor, and theater director Joseph Chaikin as well as top talents from the fields of film, television, stage, commercials, and talent agencies. Written by a professional New York actor with over thirty years of experience, this meticulously researched guide will give actors the tools they need to survive and thrive in New York show business.

The Actor's Guide to Creating a Character

by David Mamet Patricia Heaton William Esper Damon Dimarco

William Esper, one of the most celebrated acting teachers of our time, takes us through his step-by-step approach to the central challenge of advanced acting work: creating and playing a character. Esper's first book, The Actor's Art and Craft, earned praise for describing the basics taught in his famous first-year acting class. The Actor's Guide to Creating a Character continues the journey. In these pages, co-author Damon DiMarco vividly re-creates Esper's second-year course, again through the experiences of a fictional class. Esper's training builds on Sanford Meisner's legendary exercises, a world-renowned technique that Esper further developed through his long association with Meisner and the decades he has spent training a host of distinguished actors. His approach is flexible enough to apply to any role, helping actors to create characters with truthful and compelling inner lives.

The Actor's Guide to Self-Marketing: How to Brand and Promote Your Unique Image

by Carla Renata

Stand Out from the Competition! How do actors sell their personality? What does it take to make a lasting impression? How can actors use their image to achieve their dreams? The Actor's Guide to Self-Marketing answers all these questions and more. With a background in acting and publicity, author Carla Renata has gathered insider info and proven tips to help actors create their own brand and utilize it for success. With The Actor's Guide to Self-Marketing, you will learn how to: Highlight unique traits and skills Distinguish yourself from the crowd Market yourself through social media Angle for your dream role And so much more! Renata's methods have been tested and developed through her branding and social media program, The Branding Buddha, which has been taught online and privately, as well as in group classes at top universities in the United States. Along with tips from her program and extensive background in the field, Renata uses meditative practices and self-actualization to help actors develop their public image and reach their goals with clarity and intention. As she writes, "The mind is everything. What you think, you will become." With The Actor's Guide to Self-Marketing, you'll be well on your way to becoming the actor you really want to be and landing your dream roles.

An Actor's Work: A Student's Diary

by Konstantin Stanislavski

Stanislavski’s ‘system’ has dominated actor-training in the West since his writings were first translated into English in the 1920s and 30s. His systematic attempt to outline a psycho-physical technique for acting single-handedly revolutionized standards of acting in the theatre. Until now, readers and students have had to contend with inaccurate, misleading and difficult-to-read English-language versions. Some of the mistranslations have resulted in profound distortions in the way his system has been interpreted and taught. At last, Jean Benedetti has succeeded in translating Stanislavski’s huge manual into a lively, fascinating and accurate text in English. He has remained faithful to the author's original intentions, putting the two books previously known as An Actor Prepares and Building A Character back together into one volume, and in a colloquial and readable style for today's actors. The result is a major contribution to the theatre, and a service to one of the great innovators of the twentieth century.

Actors Write for Actors

by Deborah Cowles Scott

Dramatic and Comedic Monologues \ M and F \ Bare Stage \ The author's of this new monologue collection have all worked as actors - and, more importantly, have spent years auditioning for roles. Actors Write for Actors was written on the premise that the selection of monologues available from published plays is limited and the best pieces are more often than not overdone. Deborah Cowles Scott, Jason Milligan and Robert Spera have created fresh material to add to the existing body of audition pieces available to the actor. Most of these audition monologues were written for the Actors Theatre of Louisville's Apprentice Company and have been used by some of the country's top actors. This book is a must for every actor's library.

Acts of Authority/Acts of Resistance: Theater and Politics in Colonial and Postcolonial India

by Nandi Bhatia

Despite its importance to literary and cultural texts of resistance, theater has been largely overlooked as a field of analysis in colonial and postcolonial studies. Acts of Authority/Acts of Resistance seeks to address that absence, as it uniquely views drama and performance as central to the practice of nationalism and anti-colonial resistance. Nandi Bhatia argues that Indian theater was a significant force in the struggle against oppressive colonial and postcolonial structures, as it sought to undo various schemes of political and cultural power through its engagement with subjects derived from mythology, history, and available colonial models such as Shakespeare. Bhatia's attention to local histories within a postcolonial framework places performance in a global and transcultural context. Drawing connections between art and politics, between performance and everyday experience, Bhatia shows how performance often intervened in political debates and even changed the course of politics. One of the first Western studies of Indian theater to link the aesthetics and the politics of that theater, Acts of Authority/Acts of Resistance combines in-depth archival research with close readings of dramatic texts performed at critical moments in history. Each chapter amplifies its themes against the backdrop of specific social conditions as it examines particular dramatic productions, from The Indigo Mirror to adaptations of Shakespeare plays by Indian theater companies, illustrating the role of theater in bringing nationalist, anticolonial, and gendered struggles into the public sphere.

Acts of Conspicuous Compassion: Performance Culture and American Charity Practices

by Moeschen Sheila C.

"Acts of Conspicuous Compassion" investigates the relationship between performance culture and the cultivation of charitable sentiment in America, exploring the distinctive practices that have evolved to make the plea for charity legible and compelling. From the work of 19th-century melodramas to the televised drama of transformation and redemption in reality TV s "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," "Acts of Conspicuous Compassion" charts the sophisticated strategies employed by various charity movements responsible for making organized benevolence alluring, exciting, and seemingly uncomplicated. Sheila C. Moeschen brokers a new way of accounting for the legacy and involvement of disabled people within charity specifically, the articulation of performance culture as a vital theoretical framework for discussing issues of embodiment and identity dislodges previously held notions of the disabled existing as passive, objects of pity. This work gives rise to a more complicated and nuanced discussion of the participation of the disabled community in the charity industry, of the opportunities afforded by performance culture for disabled people to act as critical agents of charity, and of the new ethical and political issues that arise from employing performance methodology in a culture with increased appetites for voyeurism, display, and complex spectacle. "

Acts of Gaiety: LGBT Performance and the Politics of Pleasure

by Sara Warner

Acts of Gaiety explores the mirthful modes of political performance by LGBT artists, activists, and collectives that have inspired and sustained deadly serious struggles for revolutionary change. The book explores antics such as camp, kitsch, drag, guerrilla theater, zap actions, rallies, manifestos, pageants, and parades alongside more familiar forms of "legitimate theater. " Against queer theory's long-suffering romance with mourning and melancholia and a national agenda that urges homosexuals to renounce pleasure if they want to be taken seriously by mainstream society, Acts of Gaiety seeks to reanimate notions of "gaiety" as a political value for LGBT activism. The book mines the archives of lesbian-feminist activism of the 1960s-70s, highlighting the outrageous gaiety that lay at the center of the social and theatrical performances of the era and uncovering original documents long thought to be lost. Juxtaposing historical figures such as Valerie Solanas and Jill Johnston with more recent performers and activists (including Hothead Paisan, Bitch & Animal, and the Five Lesbian Brothers), Warner shows how reclaiming this largely discarded and disavowed past elucidates possibilities for being and belonging. Acts of Gaiety explores the mutually informing histories of gayness as politics and as joie de vivre, along with the centrality of liveliness to queer performance and protest.

Acts of Manhood

by Karl M. Kippola

Exploring the performance of masculinity on and off the nineteenth-century American stage, this book looks at the shift from the passionate muscularity to intellectual restraint as not a linear journey toward national refinement; but a multitude of masculinities fighting simultaneously for dominance and recognition.

Adaptation and Nation: Theatrical Contexts for Contemporary English and Irish Drama (Adaptation in Theatre and Performance)

by Catherine Rees

This book takes a novel approach to theatrical adaptation, focusing not primarily on filmic adaptations but instead on modern drama based on older, classic playtexts. The specific focus of the book is the exploration of the new national setting given to the reworked version. In exploring the way in which contemporary dramatists in England and Ireland represent a different national setting for their reworked adaptation, we can examine the specific social and political context for the new play, unearthing the cultural conditions at the time of the new setting. In examining only plays that consciously relocate the national setting for their new work, we can also explore resonances between the two different national contexts, analysing cultural and political echoes as well as shifts both geographical and temporal.

Adaptation in Visual Culture: Images, Texts, and Their Multiple Worlds (Palgrave Studies in Adaptation and Visual Culture)

by R. Barton Palmer Julie Grossman

This book offers the first comprehensive discussion of the relationship between Modern Irish Literature and the Irish cinema, with twelve chapters written by experts in the field that deal with principal films, authors, and directors. This survey outlines the influence of screen adaptation of important texts from the national literature on the construction of an Irish cinema, many of whose films because of cultural constraints were produced and exhibited outside the country until very recently. Authors discussed include George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, Liam O'Flaherty, Christy Brown, Edna O'Brien, James Joyce, and Brian Friel. The films analysed in this volume include THE QUIET MAN, THE INFORMER, MAJOR BARBARA, THE GIRL WITH GREEN EYES, MY LEFT FOOT, THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY, THE SNAPPER, and DANCING AT LUGHNASA. The introduction features a detailed discussion of the cultural and political questions raised by the promotion of forms of national identity by Ireland's literary and cinematic establishments.

Adaptation, Intermediality and the British Celebrity Biopic

by Márta Minier Maddalena Pennacchia

Beginning with the premise that the biopic is a form of adaptation and an example of intermediality, this collection examines the multiplicity of 'source texts' and the convergence of different media in this genre, alongside the concurrent issues of fidelity and authenticity that accompany this form. The contributors focus on big and small screen biopics of British celebrities from the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries, attending to their myth-making and myth-breaking potential. Related topics are the contemporary British biopic's participation in the production and consumption of celebrated lives, and the biopic's generic fluidity and hybridity as evidenced in its relationship to such forms as the bio-docudrama. Offering case studies of film biographies of literary and cultural icons, including Elizabeth I, Elizabeth II, Diana Princess of Wales, John Lennon, Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Beau Brummel, Carrington and Beatrix Potter, the essays address how British identity and heritage are interrogated in the (re)telling and showing of these lives, and how the reimagining of famous lives for the screen is influenced by recent processes of manufacturing celebrity.

Adapting Endings from Book to Screen: Last Pages, Last Shots (Routledge Research in Cultural and Media Studies)

by Armelle Parey Shannon Wells-Lassagne

This book offers a new perspective on adaptation of books to the screen; by focusing on endings, new light is shed on this key facet of film and television studies. The authors look at a broad range of case studies from different genres, eras, countries and formats to analyse literary and cinematic traditions, technical considerations and ideological issues involved in film and television adaptions. The investigation covers both the ideological implications of changes made in adapting the final pages to the screen, as well as the aesthetic stance taken in modifying (or on the contrary, maintaining) the ending of the source text. By including writings on both film and television adaptations, this book examines the array of possibilities for the closure of an adapted narrative, focusing both on the specificities of film and different television forms (miniseries and ongoing television narratives) and at the same time suggesting the commonalities of these audiovisual forms in their closing moments. Adapting Endings from Book to Screen will be of interest to all scholars working in media studies, film and television studies, and adaptation studies.

Adapting Translation for the Stage (Routledge Advances in Theatre & Performance Studies)

by Geraldine Brodie Emma Cole

Translating for performance is a difficult – and hotly contested – activity. Adapting Translation for the Stage presents a sustained dialogue between scholars, actors, directors, writers, and those working across these boundaries, exploring common themes and issues encountered when writing, staging, and researching translated works. It is organised into four parts, each reflecting on a theatrical genre where translation is regularly practised: The Role of Translation in Rewriting Naturalist Theatre Adapting Classical Drama at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century Translocating Political Activism in Contemporary Theatre Modernist Narratives of Translation in Performance A range of case studies from the National Theatre’s Medea to The Gate Theatre’s Dances of Death and Emily Mann’s The House of Bernarda Alba shed new light on the creative processes inherent in translating for the theatre, destabilising the literal/performable binary to suggest that adaptation and translation can – and do – coexist on stage. Chronicling the many possible intersections between translation theory and practice, Adapting Translation for the Stage offers a unique exploration of the processes of translating, adapting, and relocating work for the theatre.

Adapting War Horse: Cognition, the Spectator, and a Sense of Play

by Toby Malone Chris Jackman

This book analyses the success and adaptation of Michael Morpurgo's novel War Horse to stage, radio, live events, and feature film, in different cultures, on tours, and in translation. In under a decade, War Horse has gone from obscure children's novel to arguably one of the world's most recognisable theatrical brands, thanks to innovative puppet designs from South Africa's Handspring Puppet Company in an acclaimed stage production from the National Theatre of Great Britain. With emphasis on embodied spectatorship, collaborative meaning-making, and imaginative 'play,' this book generates fresh insights into the enduring popularity of the franchise's eponymous protagonist, Joey, offering the most in-depth study of War Horse to date.

Adapting Western Classics for the Chinese Stage

by Shouhua Qi

Adapting Western Classics for the Chinese Stage presents a comprehensive study of transnational, transcultural, and translingual adaptations of Western classics from the turn of the twentieth century to present-day China in the age of globalization. Supported by a wide range of in-depth research, this book Examines the complex dynamics between texts, both dramatic and socio-historical; contexts, both domestic and international; and intertexts, Western classics and their Chinese reinterpretations in huaju and/or traditional Chinese xiqu; Contemplates Chinese adaptations of a range of Western dramatic works, including Greek, English, Russian, and French; Presents case studies of key Chinese adaptation endeavors, including the 1907 adaptation of Uncle Tom’s Cabin by the Spring Willow Society and the 1990 adaptation of Hamlet by Lin Zhaohua; Lays out a history of uneasy convergence of East and West, complicated by tensions between divergent sociopolitical forces and cultural proclivities. Drawing on disciplines and critical perspectives, including theatre and adaptation studies, comparative literature, translation studies, reception theory, post-colonialism, and intertextuality, this book is key reading for students and researchers in any of these fields.

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