Category Archives: Actors

Leonard Nimoy (aka Mr. Spock) Leaves Us…

“Leonard Nimoy, the sonorous, gaunt-faced actor who won a worshipful global following as Mr. Spock, the resolutely logical human-alien first officer of the Starship Enterprise in the television and movie juggernaut “Star Trek,” died on Friday morning at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles. He was 83.” V. Heffernan, Feb. 27, 2015, New York Times

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key

Nimoy as the famous Mr. Spock.

Nimoy as the famous Mr. Spock.

Excerpt: Leonard Nimoy, Spock of ‘Star Trek,’ Dies at 83 By Virginia Heffernan, Feb. 27, 2015 NYT

“His wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, confirmed his death, saying the cause was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Mr. Nimoy announced last year that he had the disease, attributing it to years of smoking, a habit he had given up three decades earlier. He had been hospitalized earlier in the week.
His artistic pursuits — poetry, photography and music in addition to acting — ranged far beyond the United Federation of Planets, but it was as Mr. Spock that Mr. Nimoy became a folk hero, bringing to life one of the most indelible characters of the last half century: a cerebral, unflappable, pointy-eared Vulcan with a signature salute and blessing: “Live long and prosper” (from the Vulcan “Dif-tor heh smusma”).

An older Mr. Spock.

Nimoy as an older Mr. Spock.

Mr. Nimoy, who was teaching Method acting at his own studio when he was cast in the original Star Trek television series in the mid-1960s, relished playing outsiders, and he developed what he later admitted was a mystical identification with Spock, the lone alien on the starship’s bridge…
Star Trek, which had its premiere on NBC on Sept. 8, 1966, made Mr. Nimoy a star. Gene Roddenberry, the creator of the franchise, called him “the conscience of Star Trek — an often earnest, sometimes campy show that employed the distant future (as well as some special effects that appear primitive by today’s standards) to take on social issues of the 1960s.

William Shatner (Captain  James T. Kirk) and Leonard Nimoy (Mr. Spock)

William Shatner (Captain James T. Kirk) and Leonard Nimoy (Mr. Spock)

He also directed movies, including two from the “Star Trek” franchise, and television shows. And he made records, singing pop songs as well as original songs about “Star Trek,” and gave spoken-word performances — to the delight of his fans and the bewilderment of critics.
But all that was subsidiary to Mr. Spock, the most complex member of the Enterprise crew, who was both one of the gang and a creature apart, engaged at times in a lonely struggle with his warring racial halves [part Vulcan and part human].

The Vulcan  Blessing: Live Long and Prosper.

The Vulcan Blessing: Live Long and Prosper.

To this day, I sense Vulcan speech patterns, Vulcan social attitudes and even Vulcan patterns of logic and emotional suppression in my behavior,” Mr. Nimoy wrote years after the original series ended…But that wasn’t such a bad thing, he discovered. Given the choice, if I had to be someone else, I would be Spock.”RIP LEONARD NIMOY-1931-2015

RIP LEONARD NIMOY-1931-2015

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ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

Level: Intermediate – Advanced


Language Skills: Reading, writing, and speaking. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.


Time: Approximately 2 hours.


Materials: Student handout (from this lesson) access to news article, and video clip.


Objective: Students will read and discuss the article
with a focus on improving reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through group work and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

Stimulating background knowledge: Brainstorming

Directions: Place students in groups, ask students to think about what they already know about  the topic.  Next, have students look at the picture(s) in the text and generate ideas or words that may be connected to the article. Debrief as a class and list these ideas on the board. Students can use a brainstorming chart Kootation.com for assistance.

 

Great Brainstorming chart from Kootation.com

Great Brainstorming chart from Kootation.com

II. While Reading Tasks

Word Inference

Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.

  1. His wife confirmed his death.
  2. Nimoy brought to life one of the most indelible characters of the century.
  3. Nimoy acknowledged ambivalence about the character.
  4. Star Trek, which had its premiere on NBC on Sept. 8, 1966.
  5. Some special effects appear primitive by today’s standards.
  6. His stardom would endure.
  7. The fans’ devotion only deepened when Star Trek was spun off into an animated show.
  8. His zeal to entertain and enlighten reached beyond Star Trek.
  9. But all that was subsidiary to Mr. Spock.
  10. His speaking voice was among his chief assets as an actor.
Word Map Education Oasis.

Word Map Education Oasis.

Reading Comprehension

True /False/NA-Statements

Directions: Review the following statements from the reading. If a statement is true they mark it T. If the statement is  not applicable, they mark it NA. If the statement is false they mark it F and provide the correct answer.

  1. Mr. Nimoy was known for his role as Spock in the “Star Trek” series.
  2. Mr. Nimoy was working in a store when he was cast in the original “Star Trek” television series.
  3. “Star Trek” had its premiere on ABC on Sept. 8, 1966.
  4. The fans of the show were called Spockies.
  5. Mr. Nimoy was Born in Boston MA.
  6. Mr. Nimoy also directed several of the “Star Trek” movies.
  7. In 2001 he voiced the king of Atlantis in the Disney animated movie “Atlantis: The Lost Empire”.
  8. Mr. Nimoy dreamed of becoming an astronaut.
  9. His religious upbringing never influenced the characterization of Spock.
  10. The phrase “Live long and prosper” was Spock’s signature salute and blessing.

 Grammar Focus: Structure and Usage

Directions: The following groups of sentences are from the article. One of the sentences in each group contains a grammatical  error. Students are to identify the sentence (1, 2, or 3 ) from each group that contains the grammatical error.

I

  1. Nimoy became an folk hero.
  2. Spock was the lone alien on the starship.
  3. Mr. Nimoy was  a star.

 

II

  1. His stardom would endure.
  2. The series was canceled after three seasons.
  3. The fan’s devotion only deepened.

III

  1. Mr. Nimoy also appeared on the follow-up movie.
  2. He also directed movies.
  3. Mr. Spock was the most complex member of the Enterprise crew.

III. Post Reading Tasks

Directions:  Have students use this advanced organizer from Write Design to assist them with  discussing  or writing about  the main idea and points from the article.Main idea chart By Write Design

Discussion/Writing Exercise

Directions: Place students in groups and have them answer the following questions. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the following discussion topics.

1. The following  three statements were taken from the article. Rephrase each one, then discuss the meaning with the members of your group.

“His zeal to entertain and enlighten reached beyond “Star Trek” and crossed genres. He had a starring role in the dramatic television series “Mission: Impossible” and frequently performed onstage…But all that was subsidiary to Mr. Spock, the most complex member of the Enterprise crew, who was both one of the gang and a creature apart, engaged at times in a lonely struggle with his warring racial halves.”

“Though his speaking voice was among his chief assets as an actor, the critical consensus was that his music was mortifying. Mr. Nimoy, however, was undaunted, and his fans seemed to enjoy the camp of his covers of songs like If I Had a Hammer.”His first album was called “Leonard Nimoy Presents Mr. Spock’s Music From Outer Space.”

“His stardom would endure. Though the series was canceled after three seasons because of low ratings, a cultlike following — the conference-holding, costume-wearing Trekkies, or Trekkers coalesced soon after “Star Trek” went into syndication. The fans’ devotion only deepened when “Star Trek” was spun off into an animated show, various new series and an uneven parade of movies starring much of the original television cast, including — Mr. Nimoy.”

2. Are you or  the member of your group “Trekkies” ? Explain what you liked or disliked about the  “Star Trek” series.

3. If you could meet Mr. Nimoy today, what questions would you ask him?

1-Minute Free Writing Exercise

Directions: Allow students 1 minute to write down one new idea they’ve learned from the reading and one thing they did not understand in the reading.  Review the responses as a class. Note: For the lower levels allow more time for this writing activity.

 ANSWER KEY

Category: Actors | Tags: , ,

Daniel Radcliffe: His Journey From Magic To Manhood

Daniel Radcliffe has traveled a long way from his “Harry Potter” days, and the path to adulthood has not always been easy for the Boy Wonder. Radcliffe is feverishly working to project his new adult image to the public.

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key.

Daniel Radcliff. Photo- Just Jared.

Daniel Radcliffe. Photo- Just Jared.

Excerpt: Daniel Radcliffe’s Next Trick…By Susan Dominus The New York Times Magazine

“Before Daniel Radcliffe became the most famous child actor in history, he was just a child: an only child, a poor sleeper, a nonstop talker, a picky eater. He was also disarmingly sweet. In the screen test he took at age 10, in 2000, for the first Harry Potter film, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” he smiles brightly, ebullient, his delight in being there apparent; he is concentrating, concentrating so hard at one point that he mouths words under his breath while waiting to deliver a line, but even still, when he does finally speak, he is all natural sincerity. His face is a flawless little-boy face, his eyes huge and cerulean blue. ..

Daniel Radcliffe (Kill Your Darlings-2013) Photo- Snitchseeker.

Daniel Radcliffe (Kill Your Darlings-2013) Photo- Snitchseeker.

Thirteen years later, on Sept. 2, Radcliffe was on a small boat in Venice, speeding along the Grand Canal toward the Rialto Bridge. Radcliffe was making his way from the Lido, a small resort island that hosts the Venice Film Festival, to a department store that had agreed to publicize, with huge banners, the independent film, “Kill Your Darlings,” that Radcliffe was in town to promote.

Daniel Radcliffe (How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying-2011) Photo- armchairactivist.

Daniel Radcliffe (How to Succeed in Business-2011) Photo- armchairactivist.

Since the Potter movies ended, Radcliffe has thrown himself into a frenzy of projects, at times working 90-hour weeks and rarely taking vacations. He seems intent on proving that he is, if not worthy of the golden ticket he received at age 10 (because who could be), at least working as hard as anyone could to show he won’t squander his fame. In 2010, while he was finishing the last Potter films, he trained with a choreographer and learned how to dance so he could star in “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” on Broadway.

Daniel Radcliffe (The Cripple of Inishmaan-2013) Photo- Ayoungertheatre.

Daniel Radcliffe (The Cripple of Inishmaan-2013) Photo- Ayoungertheatre.

This summer, he played the lead role in “The Cripple of Inishmaan” in London’s West End. .. Among the wealthiest men under 30 in his country, Radcliffe, particularly when he smokes, has the pallid, slightly starved look of an artist who might live in a garret.

Daniel Radcliffe  (The Woman in Black-2012) Photo- IFC

Daniel Radcliffe (The Woman in Black-2012) Photo- IFC 

At times in his professional life, Radcliffe said, he has felt self-conscious about other idiosyncrasies of his face, particularly when he was acting in his first post-Potter movie, a horror film called the “The Woman in Black.” During filming, he said, “I was struggling in vain to not come close to making a face that would make people think of Harry.” And how would he characterize a Harry face? “There isn’t,” he said, exhaling smoke and shaking his head. “It’s just my face. I have to accept the fact that my face is going to remind people of Harry because I played that character.”

Daniel Radcliffe (Equus) Photo- ANightatthetheatre.

Daniel Radcliffe (Equus) Photo- ANightatthetheatre.

Radcliffe has been most successful, outside the Potter franchise, in roles in which the physicality of the character helps him over the hurdle of his past on-camera self. When he was 18, he starred in “Equus” on Broadway, playing a disturbed adolescent, a role that required extensive nudity.

The range of roles reflects Radcliffe’s ambition and his desire to prove, as quickly as he can, that he can genuinely act… Radcliffe told me he tries to dispel the image of a spoiled child star within the first 10 seconds of meeting someone; sometimes he does that by extending his hand and introducing himself — “Hi, I’m Dan” — but as often as not, he finds something, anything, for which he can apologize…Not long after Radcliffe moved out on his own, he started drinking. By his own description, this was not casual drinking at parties, but every-night drinking, heavy drinking, drinking to the point of making a scene and then blacking out. ..In August 2010, when he was 21, after awakening from a blackout, bruised and unable to account for the previous eight hours, he decided to stop drinking…

Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter films began 2001)Photo- The Telegraph.

Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter films began 2001)Photo- The Telegraph.

Thrown into an adult world early on, Radcliffe nonetheless still clings to some adolescent habits. He subsists on a diet based largely on cheeseburgers and pizza… Radcliffe says he confers with his parents about his career options, but he ultimately makes his own decisions and sets the pace.”

ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post

Level: Intermediate -Advanced

Language Skills: Reading, writing, speaking and listening. Vocabulary and grammar activities are included.

Time: Approximately 2 hours.

Materials: Student handouts (from this lesson) access to news article, and video.

Objective: Students will read the article with a focus on improving reading comprehension and learning new vocabulary. At the end of the lesson students will express their personal views on the topic through discussions, and writing.

I. Pre-Reading Activities

 Predictions

Analyzing headings and photos

Directions:  Ask students to read the title of the post and of the actual article they are about to read. Then, have them  examine the photos. Based on these sources,  ask students to create a list of  words and  ideas  that they think might be related to this article.  Have L2 learners use this Pre-reading organizer by Scholastic.Pre-reading Organizer By Scholastic

II. While Reading Activities

Word Inference

Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary or thesaurus for assistance. They might find this vocabulary chart by Education Oasis useful as a guide.

Word Chart By Education Oasis

 

Sentences

  1. In the screen test he took at age 10, in 2000, for the first Harry Potter film,  he smiles brightly, ebullient.
  2. His face is a flawless little-boy face.
  3. Thirteen years later,  Radcliffe was hoping to lure at least some of his Harry Potter following to see his new film “Kill Your Darlings”.
  4. After so many years, he is accustomed to the frenzied desire of fans wanting to see him.
  5. A few feet away, behind a barrier, a phalanx of young fans pressed up against one another to get closer to Radcliffe.
  6. At one point, he scrawled an autograph on a piece of paper, then threw it away quickly.
  7. Radcliffe, particularly when he smokes, has the pallid, slightly starved look of an artist.
  8. At times in his professional life, Radcliffe said, he has felt self-conscious about other idiosyncrasies of his face.
  9. On the “Doctor” set that day, Radcliffe seemed to enjoy the small talk and the camaraderie among the crew as much as the acting.
  10. Radcliffe told me he tries to dispel the image of a spoiled child star within the first 10 seconds of meeting someone.

 

Reading Comprehension

True /False/NA-Statements

Directions: Review the following statements from the reading.  If  a statement is true they mark it T.  If the statement is  not applicable, they mark it NA. If the statement is false they  mark  it F and provide the correct answer.

  1. In the last year of filming Harry Potter, Emma Watson, who played Hermione Granger, and Rupert Grint, who played Ron Weasley,  were not happy because of the tightly controlled routine on set.
  2. Radcliffe  also complained publicly about his experience on the Harry Potter set.
  3.  Radcliffe says that he doesn’t actually know how much money he has and leaves financial matters to his mother, who is a casting agent, and his accountant.
  4. Radcliffe’s father, Alan Radcliffe,  was a former actor who had a small role in one of the Potter films.
  5. “You’re not down in the mines” was a phrase Radcliffe’s father used to say to him.
  6. Acting in “The Woman in Black,” was the first time Radcliffe wasn’t accompanied by a parent.
  7. Radcliffe, Watson, and Grint are friendly and keep in touch constantly.
  8. Radcliffe  was  21 when he moved out on his own.
  9. Not long after Radcliffe moved out on his own, he started drinking, and having blackouts.
  10. Radcliffe stated that  he was always sober on the set of “Harry Potter.”
  11. Radcliffe  has an obsession with American football  which he cultivated during “How to Succeed.”
  12. He subsists on a diet based largely on cheeseburgers and pizza. 

 Grammar Focus

Using Adjectives  to describe pictures    

Directions: Have students choose a picture from this lesson and write a descriptive paragraph using adjectives.

For a review of Adjectives visit ESL Voices Grammar

III. Post Reading Tasks

Reading Comprehension Check

Discussion Organizer 

Directions:  Have students use this advanced organizer from Enchanted Learning to assist them with  discussing  or writing about  the main points from the article. Topic organizer. By Enchanted Learning

Discussion/Writing Exercise

Directions: Place students in groups and have them answer the following questions. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the following discussion topics.

Review ESL Voices Modes of Essay Writing.

  1. Radcliffe makes the following statement about his fans, “I’m more nervous about the anticipation of feeling bad,” he said. “When you’ve got thousands of people who’ve gotten up at 4 in the morning and think they’re going to get something and they won’t. . . .”  How would you put his sentiment into your own words?
  2. Daniel Radcliffe has enough money to take life easy, but he continues to work, “ Since the Potter movies ended, Radcliffe has thrown himself into a frenzy of projects, at times working 90-hour weeks and rarely taking vacations. He seems intent on proving that he is, if not worthy of the golden ticket he received at age 10 (because who could be), at least working as hard as anyone could to show he won’t squander his fame.”  Give an example of what this statement means.
  3. The article states, “Not long after Radcliffe moved out on his own, he started drinking. By his own description, this was not casual drinking at parties, but every-night drinking, heavy drinking, drinking to the point of making a scene and then blacking out. “I became a nuisance,” he has said. “I became the person in the group who has to be looked after.” He drank in local bars and eventually alone, because he was too embarrassed to go back to the bars where he had been so drunk on nights past.” During his years as young Harry Potter, Radcliffe claims that he was happy. Discuss possible reasons for this drastic change in  his character as he grew older.
  4. Radcliffe states, “ I have to accept the fact that my face is going to remind people of Harry because I played that character. If I try to avoid being expressive in that same way, all I’ll do is stop being expressive, and I won’t be any farther away from that character.” Do you think that Radcliffe still resembles Harry Potter, or has he grown up and away from this image?  Do you think it matters? Explain why or why not.
  5. If you were in Radcliffe’s position (rich and famous) what are some things you would  do with your life?
  6. What are the most significant ideas in this article?

IV. Listening Activity   

Video Clip Inside The Actors Studio with Daniel Radcliffe 

Inside the Actors Studio is an American television show on the Bravo cable television channel, hosted by James Lipton…The program, which premiered in 1994, is distributed internationally by CABLEready and is broadcast in 125 countries around the world reaching 89 million homes.It is currently taped at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at Pace University’s New York City campus.”

Pre-listening 

Here are several terms used during the Daniel Radcliffe interview.  Have students find meanings before viewing the video clip.

dyspraxia, innate, mournful.

 

 While Listening Activities

True /False/NA-Statements

Directions: Review the statements with students before the watching the video.  As students listen to the video if  a statement is true they mark it T.  If the statement is  not applicable, they mark it NA. If the statement is false they  mark  it F and provide the correct answer.

  1. Radcliffe’s real name is Daniel Jacob Radcliffe.
  2. Radcliffe’s father is an actor and his mother is a producer.
  3. Radcliffe stated that he still lives in his imagination.
  4. Radcliffe  was 5 years -old when he decided he wanted to be an actor.
  5. Radcliffe wants to eventually marry an actress .
  6. The first role Radcliffe auditioned for was Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.
  7. Radcliffe has a mild case of  dyspraxia.
  8. He was 8 years-old  when he auditioned for “Harry Potter”.
  9. Radcliffe has a stubbornness and an innate curiosity about life like harry potter and
  10. People often tell Radcliffe that he looks happy.
  11. Radcliffe also played the son of  David Copperfield in the play “My Boy Jack”.
  12. The other profession Radcliffe would like to attempt is journalism.
  13. Radcliffe wants to do more comedy in the future.
  14. The stupidest  question Radcliffe says he’s ever asked was, “What was Napoleon’s first name?”

Post-Listening Activities

Questions for Discussion

Directions:Place students in groups and have them discuss the following questions.

  1. After listening to this video has your personal view of Daniel Radcliffe changed in any way?   If yes, describe in what way.  If no, describe your original opinion.
  2. With your group members, make up questions that you would like to ask Daniel Radcliffe if you had the opportunity.

 

ANSWER KEY: Daniel Radcliffe

 

 

Category: Actors | Tags: ,