Disappearing characters

I am having a problem with animated characters "disappearing" from the slide from time to time.

Here's what happens: the objects on the slide, including the character, are timed to appear at various times, then are set to "show until end."

Everything works fine except in cases where someone has to leave the slide showing on their screen for a while--whether to answer the phone, look something up, or have a conversation. When they come back, the character is gone, but all of the other objects on the slide (text boxes, shapes, captions, etc.) are still there.

I'm starting to think my characters are getting bored like the people in the paintings at Hogwarts!

Current workaround: set characters to "show always" and then overlay them with an object that disappears when I want the character to appear.

Is there a setting somewhere that I'm missing? Thanks in advance!

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