Learning Management and the Use O.I.L.L. w/ Christine Miller

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Learning Management and the Use O.I.L.L. w/ Christine Miller

Join me Thursday, February 2/23 at 1pm EST on the VoiceAmerica Business Channel!

To improve and move forward, we have to learn from our mistakes. All too often, we don’t learn from the lessons as they present themselves. I speak with internationally recognized Crisis Management, Emergency Management, and Busine Continuity expert, Christine Miller about Learning Management.

Chris offers allot of helpful information including:

1. How to plan for a lesson learned workshop/meeting,

2. Participants (it’s more than you might think),

3. Follow-up,

4. Strong – and courageous – leadership,

5. What the acronym O.I.L.L. means and how it helps Lessons Learned,

6. Successes with O.I.L.L. in Eswatini,

7. Tips for starting a Lessons Learned initiative,

8. Who benefits from OILL and Lessons Learned in Emergency Management.

Chris shares allot of information, including allot of her own personal work experiences. Many talk about Lessons Learned, but Chris goes a little bit deeper into the subject than most. Enjoy!


Giving the Gift of You!

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Giving the Gift of You!

The Gift of You!

Celebrating Giving

19 hr ago

Share StarStyle® Empowerment


Miracle Moment®

“It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in the giving, but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.”~  F. Scott Fitzgerald


A Message from founder/Executive Director, Cynthia Brian

Have you ever stopped to contemplate the importance of your smile? When we walk down the street and smile at a stranger, we give the gift of recognition. A smile says “I see you” and every person desires to be seen. As humans, we want to be appreciated and acknowledged. Smiling costs us nothing yet it offers innumerable value to the recipient. We never know what is transpiring in the life of another person. Your smile could be life saving.

This holiday season as we write checks to donate to causes dear to our heart, I encourage you to also give the gift of a smile to everyone you encounter. You will feel empowered and you will shine a light on the soul of another.

Give the gift of YOU!

Thank you for your generosity of spirt.

Sending star smiles across the miles.

Cheers for the holidays.

Cynthia Brian

Founder/Executive Director

Be the Star You Are!®

PO Box 376

Moraga, California 94556



Do you have five minutes….

by Shubham Acharya

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Folks, can you think of an entity that is both easy to come-by and very hard to find at the same time? It’s time, my friends. So why talk about time when talking about giving back to society? The answer lies in the inherent value of time. Time is the most precious resource that an individual can contribute to any worthy cause or person.

This philosophy of donating time to people in need forms the bedrock of human culture. Both in moments of joy and sorrow, we look to share our feelings with others.

Moreover, the scale does not matter. What matters is the gesture itself. Taking the time to listen to someone’s problems and offer a shoulder to cry on relieves some of their pain and replaces it with peace. If you manage to do this with just one person a day, you have made the world a little more emphatic. So, giving back to society does not have to involve grand gestures and major financial commitments; it can simply be achieved by devoting a little time and effort to being emotionally available.

Shubham Acharya is a Be the Star You Are!® volunteer in Mumbai, India who believes strongly in women’s empowerment and children’s literacy. Shubbam writes: “My mother was a teacher in a government sponsored school in one of the poorest localities in my area, so I grew up very aware of the importance of education and literacy in changing people’s lives. Having said this, I fell in love with the Be the Star You are!® motto ‘To be a leader, you must be a READER’.


The Gift of Friendship

By Karen Kitchel

Not all gifts come wrapped in shiny paper with a bow on top. When we think about a time we’ve felt real joy or comfort, it was often because someone had given us the gift of friendship. It’s not the number of years we’ve known them. It’s the feeling we get when they cross our minds.

During the last year, many of us have turned to those special folks for both support and laughter. It would be easy to take these kind souls for granted, but they deserve so much more.

Let us all take a moment now to speak the names of those whom we consider to be our friend and give thanks for the gift of their presence in our life.

 Karen Kitchel who penned two chapters in the book, Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers Celebrating Gifts of Positive Voices in a Changing Digital World, is the Kindness Coordinator volunteer with BTSYA. She serves meals to the homeless and is a volunteer teacher, writer, job coach, and mentor.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town!

Come celebrate the holidays as Be the Star You Are!® charity and 5 A Rent-A-Space bring the North Pole to Moraga. Children will write letters to Santa and talk to Jolly St. Nick. Buy gifts for the holidays with autographed copies of the new children’s book, No Barnyard Bullies while enjoying complimentary refreshments, music, and crafts for kids. The event is FREE! Lots of fun giveaways, too! Bring the family. BTSYA sponsored by Mark hoogs, State Farm Insurance, Thank you!

Location: 5 A Rent a Space, 455 Moraga Rd f, Moraga, CA 94556, USA


Santa Day at 5

Santa Day at 5A

Make a Donation and Receive a Beautiful Dayspring Engraved Pen

Dayspring Pens is proud to partner with Be the Star You Are! through a donation of 50 engraved pens. With a donation of $250 to Be the Star You Are!®, the donor will receive a unique luxury gift pen with custom engraving. Dayspring is honored to be able to donate to an organization that works so diligently to produce positive media and encourage families through books to be what they are! Dayspring hopes that this donation of pens can show the respect and appreciation they hold for those who are vital to Be the Star You Are!’s work of empowering women, families, and youth through the power of positive role models. Visit Dayspring Pens @

Make a DONATION of $250 through PAYPAL GIVING FUND with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES: Email your receipt to and provide your shipping address. You will receive your tax-receipt and your beautiful engraved and boxed pen.



The holiday shopping spree is in full swing. We have suggestions for you to shop, save, and stay safe. Please use these web sites for all of your shopping essentials.

1. AmazonSmile donates .5% of purchases

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2. Discounted books at Amazon:

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3. Giving Assistant: Shop. Earn. Give! Use Giving Assistant to earn cash at 3500+ popular online stores :

4. Shop at over 1300 stores on IGIVE:

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  1. Join the StarStyle® Community with a unique NFT and enjoy exclusive experiences.

  2. Buy “Read, Lead, Succeed” black tanks and books at StarStyle® Store:

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Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND and PAYPAL with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES:

BE THE STAR YOU ARE!® is proud to be honored as a TOP NON PROFIT for numerous consecutive years. We THANK YOU for making that happen!

Sending Season’s Greetings and Season’s Giving.


You are a GIFT! Thank you for being part of our STAR Galaxy. Give the GIFT OF YOU! SMILE!


Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3 charity

PO Box 376

Moraga, California


Share StarStyle® Empowerment



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Scattering Kindness with No Barnyard Bullies Book!

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Scattering Kindness with No Barnyard Bullies Book!

Garden Safety

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Garden Safety

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Preventing Gardening Injuries

By Cynthia Brian 


“Do what you can for as long as you can, and when you can’t, do the next best thing!” Chuck Yeager


One of the many lessons I’ve learned from my forty-plus years in the entertainment industry is that the show must go on! Except for the Covid 19 pandemic, actors go to work despite any personal circumstances. I’ve put on my acting mask when I’ve had walking pneumonia, broken bones, and deaths in the family. I even left my hospital bed to shoot a commercial two days after giving birth. My new baby girl went to work with me!


As a hands-on gardener, I have always pushed through the pain to get everything done on time.

Whether it was digging trenches, installing French drains, cutting dead limbs, building stairways, hauling gravel, pulling weeds, pushing a lawnmower, or planting twenty flats of ice plant, I did it with joy and with ease.

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Everyone knows that gardening is terrific exercise. The muscles of our backs, shoulders, legs, arms, thighs, and wrists get an intense workout.  Because of all the bending, lifting, and twisting (BLT), lower back and neck pain are common after a strenuous gardening chore. When I start aching, my remedy is to soak in a hot bath with Epsom salts. That usually works.

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Not this time.


Somehow this week I exceeded the limits of my body and ended up writhing on the floor with painful spasms beyond anything I’ve ever experienced. The spinal surgeon admonished me, “No BLT!” but as a gardener how can we eliminate bending, lifting, and twisting?

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I’m using voice dictation to write this column because I’m bedridden, and like in show business, publishing must go on. The photos included are not of injuries but joyful fall favorites. Because I don’t want you to experience a similar painful situation to mine, I’m including tips on how to avoid injuries in the garden. As soon as I heal, I will be following my own advice!

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Ways to Avoid Injuries in the Garden


1.     Wear appropriate clothing including sturdy boots, gloves, and a hat. My favorite piece of gardening clothing is an apron with pockets where I keep a few hand tools handy. Also use a support back belt.

2.     Apply sunscreen and wear sunglasses during the daylight.

3.     Prevent tick bites by treating your clothes with permethrin. I have had excellent success with buying clothing and sprays from

4.     Wear protective eye gear when operating any mechanical tool such as a chainsaw, weed eater, lawn mower, blower, or other machines.

5.     Before jumping into a big task, warm your body up with a brisk walk, jumping jacks, stretching, dancing, or gentle movements. When you have completed your gardening tasks for the day, perform simple stretches for five minutes. 

6.     Carry a bottle of water with you. Rehydrate often. It’s very easy to get dehydrated while gardening, especially on a hot day. Dehydration puts extra pressure on the cardiovascular system and can be fatal.

7.     Use the correct tools for each task to prevent injuries.

8.     Protect your knees with a cushion or knee pads. An old pillow that is washable works well for me. Move the pillow close to where you will be working so as not to stretch your torso.

9.     Minimize repetitive movements that put stress on one area of your body. Take a short break every 15 minutes. Stand, stretch, sit, relax, drink water, and breathe.

10.  Avoid BLT as much as possible.

a.     Bending: Instead of bending over to weed, sit on a stool or a bucket. Keep your back straight while you lean forward to pull weeds. Don’t twist to the side. Always move as close to an area that you want to clean as possible.

b.     Lifting: Protect your back by using your legs and hips. Stand close to the object you are lifting and spread your legs widely for added support. Keep your back straight. Bend with your knees, not your waist, and tense your stomach muscles as you lift. Use your core strength. Don’t bend forward as you lift. Use your knees and hips to do the lifting.

c.     Twisting: When sweeping, digging, raking, shoveling, and other chores that require using a long-handled object, minimize the strain to your back by keeping your posture aligned with the object. Don’t turn to the side or twist in any direction as that increases the strain on your back, shoulders, and neck. Pivot your feet when necessary and keep your body parts moving in the same direction.

11.  Listen to your body. Our bodies are wondrous miracles that usually warn us when we are overusing a muscle or doing too much. It’s natural to be a bit sore after a day of intense gardening. Know your limits and don’t go past them.  If painful symptoms persist or get worse, consult your physician.

12.  Remember tomorrow is another day. You don’t have to do everything on your “to-do” list in one interval. Gardening is a marathon that we can never outrun. Gardening requires patience. Spread tasks out over several days. 

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Gardening is therapeutic but can also be dangerous when precautionary measures are not followed. Be extra careful when using a ladder. Hire a professional to assist with tasks that you can no longer perform. Ask for help when needed. Make sure to get a tetanus shot as tetanus can be found in the soil. 


One of my favorite stories in my book, Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul chronicled a couple in their 70s who loved to garden but because of weakened muscular systems embraced Chuck Yeager’s quote. One morning when the wife spotted her husband lying flat on his stomach under an apple tree, she scurried to help. On closer inspection, she saw he had a trowel in his hand. Exasperated, she yelled, “What are you doing?” The husband replied, “The next best thing!”

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In my mind, I’m still in my 30s, but, alas, my body has aged. I, too, find myself doing the next best thing. This injury that I’ve suffered has taught me to diligently heed my own advice. There is a silver lining to my agony: Because the show must go on, I wrote this article to help you avoid my mistakes. 

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This is the next best thing!


Stay healthy, follow the safety protocols, ask for help, and observe Chuck Yeager’s advice: “Do what you can for as long as you can, and when you can’t, do the next best thing!”


Have a safe and happy Halloween. Make sure to VOTE to ensure democracy prevails. 

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Happy Gardening. Happy Growing.

Photos and more:

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, is available for hire to help you prepare for your spring garden. Raised in the vineyards of Napa County, Cynthia is a New York Times best-selling author, actor, radio personality, speaker, media and writing coach as well as the Founder and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3. Tune into Cynthia’s StarStyle® Radio Broadcast at Her newest children’s picture book, No Barnyard Bullies, is available now.


Buy copies of her books at COVER-NoBarnyardBullies 1080.jpeg

. Receive a FREE inspirational music DVD and special savings. For an invitation to hang out with Cynthia for fun virtual events, activities, conversations, and exclusive experiences buy a StarStyle® NFT at


postcard-mean cookie NFT alone.jpeg

Hire Cynthia for writing projects, garden consults, and inspirational lectures.

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Transplanting and Zoo Fun!

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Transplanting and Zoo Fun!

It’s All Happening at the Zoo

By Cynthia Brian

“It’s a light and tumble journey

From the East Side to the park;
Just a fine and fancy ramble to the zoo!” Simon & Garfunkel


When the squirrels start collecting piles of acorns, and pumpkins, gourds, and squash adorn front porches, we know that autumn has arrived. With the cooler weather, we welcome fresh air and respite from the heat waves. 

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Besides gardening, I have always adored animals (thus, my new children’s book series Stella Bella’s Barnyard Adventures with the first book, No Barnyard Bullies). When I have an opportunity to meld those two passions together, my heart is grateful and invigorated.

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With my children and their families, I’ve been fortunate to spend time at both the Oakland and San Diego Zoos. 


Monkeys, giraffes, elephants, lions, alligators, wolves, bears, zebras, birds, and more exotic creatures from around the globe mingle in the lush landscapes. Ponds, streams, waterfalls, and lily pads add to the natural ambiance. Interestingly, and most likely on purpose, many of the species planted throughout both zoos borrow names from the animal kingdom: birds of paradise, lion’s ear, foxtails, leopard’s bane, zebra plant, snake plant, bear’s breeches, turtlehead, elephant ears, wolfsbane, goose grass, staghorn ferns, and many more. Walking through the tropical rainforest surrounded by tall, thick bamboo, delicate ferns, bromeliads, and orchids while listening to the calls of the wild transports me to my travel memories of tangled jungles and saturated rainforests in Africa and South America.

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Walking the many paths of both zoos is a great way to engage in healthy exercise while fully immersing yourself in the sounds and sights of global nature. Children are mesmerized by the beautiful beasts and enjoy many hands-on exploratory endeavors that contribute to their knowledge of the inhabitants of this earth. The atmosphere is happy and familial. It is all happening at the zoo.


After a day of celebrating children, animals, and landscapes, it is time to regroup to consider what chores are looming in my paradise. I’m waiting for inclement wet weather to transplant the variegated shell ginger sent to me by the online plant nursery, NatureHills. Spring Meadow Nursery and Proven Winners want me to trial Bouvardia Estrellita and Tecoma Chicklet. Friends gave me a struggling rose in a container which I’ve resuscitated to glory with measured coffee grounds as well as avocado and banana trees. All will be moved to their forever homes as soon as the thermometer allows.

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If you have shrubs, trees, bushes, or other plants in need of transplanting, my suggestion is to be patient and wait until heat waves have passed and rain is on the horizon. After three years of record-breaking drought, California is bracing for a fourth year without adequate snow or rain. If we transplant too early in the fall, our plants may not survive.

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When the time is right for transplanting, here’s what you need to do:

1.     Gather the materials needed: gloves, shovel, wheelbarrow, tarp, enriched soil, mulch, and your plants.

2.     Pre-dig a hole before you take the plant out of the pot or move a plant from another location.  The hole needs to be at least 1.5 times the size of the root ball.

3.     If the shrub is large, cut it back by 1/3 before transplanting to save energy for growing.

4.     Whether digging up a plant or removing it from a container, keep as much soil around the roots as possible.

5.     If moving an existing bush, place it in a tarp or wheelbarrow to keep the root ball intact.

6.     In the new location, double-check that the hole is the correct size. If it is too small, dig it deeper. If it is too large, refill it with soil.

7.     Add a small amount of the new soil to the hole. Position the plant upright and straight and fill the hole with good soil, tapping down as you go to eliminate air pockets.

8.     When the new soil is level with the ground, add two or three inches of mulch.

9.     Water slowly and thoroughly. 

10.  Keep an eye on your new transplant to make sure the soil never dries out yet is not too wet or soggy.

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Now, back to the zoo. When you have a free day, consider a fine and fancy ramble to the zoo. The zoo offers a day of respite from the noise, congestion, and distractions of the concrete jungle. Visit an oasis of serenity and marvel at nature’s magnificence. 

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Mark Your Calendars:

Thursday,  October, 20th, Cynthia Brian presents Water Works to the Moraga Garden Club.

Wednesday, October 26th, Starstyle® Community, the first NFT drop of one-of-a-kind art derived from characters in Cynthia Brian’s picture book, No Barnyard Bullies. Buy beautiful, collectible NFTs today.


Read about StarStyle® NFTS:

Photos and More:

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Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, is available for hire to help you prepare for your spring garden. Raised in the vineyards of Napa County, Cynthia is a New York Times best-selling author, actor, radio personality, speaker, media and writing coach as well as the Founder and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3. Tune into Cynthia’s StarStyle® Radio Broadcast at Her newest children’s picture book, No Barnyard Bullies, from the series, Stella Bella’s Barnyard Adventures is available now at  For an invitation to hang out with Cynthia for fun virtual events, activities, conversations, and exclusive experiences, buy StarStyle® NFTs at 

Hire Cynthia for writing projects, garden consults, and inspirational lectures.




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“Connecting with Dr. Jean Marie Farish, LOVE LIGHT Host, is like a breath of fresh air. Not only am I present to share my message as a guest speaker, but she is fully present as well and very knowledgeable. I always feel supported and I’m a lot wiser simply from being a guest on her shows”. Rometris Wright “Remember Who You Truly Are”

                                           Life Coach & Relationship Expert

Rising from Conflicts this Wednesday 5pm (PST) on The Peace Bridge Talk Show

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Rising from Conflicts this Wednesday 5pm (PST) on The Peace Bridge Talk Show

We all are surrounded by different kinds of relationships in our life and have different kinds of communication styles with many of them. When our communication styles are not managed properly, it can lead to conflicts. Although, not all conflicts leads to unhealthy relationships causing stress and mental health issues, some conflicts caused by communication issues can be managed effectively.

Please join me this Wednesday as i discuss with Licensed Therapist and Relationship Expert, Britta Neinast on effective ways to manage our communication in our relationships.

* Simple Steps to improve your communication in relationships

* How to overcome your past blocks from affecting your relationships

* How you can tame your Ego in your relationships

* What to do when you are in toxic environment that influences your relationships

* Ancient Wisdom based tools that can help to overcome conflicts.

Please find the link to access the episode live below

Looking forward to seeing you all there.





Movie Review: The American Dream and Other Fairy Tales * Have You Ever Wondered If The Cast Members At The “Happiest Place On Earth” Are Happy Themselves?

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Movie Review: The American Dream and Other Fairy Tales * Have You Ever Wondered If The Cast Members At The “Happiest Place On Earth” Are Happy Themselves?

Abigail Disney looks at America’s dysfunctional and unequal economy and asks why the American Dream has worked for the wealthy, yet is a nightmare for people born with less. Using her family’s story, Disney explores how this systemic injustice took hold and imagines a way toward a more equitable future.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Tiana S. comments, “Have you ever wondered if the cast members and staff at the “happiest place on Earth” are actually happy themselves? Well, The American Dream and Other Fairy Tales is … eye-opening, and shocking, and exposes the wealth inequality among employees at Disneyland and other companies in the United States.” See her full review and interview with the filmmakers below.

The American Dream and Other Fairy Tales By Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Have you ever wondered if the cast members and staff at the “happiest place on Earth” are actually happy themselves? Well, The American Dream and Other Fairy Tales is the documentary you need to watch! It’s eye-opening, and shocking, and exposes the wealth inequality among employees at Disneyland and other companies in the United States.

The American Dream and Other Fairy Tales follows philanthropist and co-director, Dr. Abigail Disney, the great-niece of Walt Disney and the granddaughter of Roy O. Disney, as she embarks on a journey to bring awareness to pay gaps between the rich and poor workers at companies such as Disney. The story starts in 2018 when Dr. Disney is contacted by Disneyland employees for help because they are struggling to afford food, housing, and even cover medical expenses.

This documentary uses videos of protests, court proceedings, cast member interviews, and experiences to tell the stories of how employees that help create the magic at Disneyland don’t have fair and equal pay and how that needs to change. My favorite part of this documentary is seeing how all the workers featured were willing to share their stories, rally, protest, and even host food drives for workers to help make a difference. While most would be scared to make a film like this, I love the bravery it took for Dr. Disney to speak up and make these issues public, especially since the fight is against the company that bears her name and family legacy. It’s a documentary that is sure to stun its audience.

The American Dream and Other Fairy Tales highlights how companies must have fair and equal pay for all employees. It’s not right for people to work hard to make CEOs and others rich at a company and still have to be on food stamps and homeless. While there isn’t anything for parents to look out for, I wouldn’t recommend showing it to young viewers to avoid ruining the magic of Disney for them.

While the topics covered in The American Dream and Other Fairy Tales are very serious, somehow Dr. Disney and co-director Kathleen Hughes courageously deliver this bold film in a very easy-to-understand and entertaining format. I give it 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. This inspiring documentary will debut first in Orlando, Florida, starting on September 16, 2022. It will be available in additional markets and video-on-demand on September 23.


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