a) Choose and read one of the texts. Find out if you were right.
b) Discuss in groups:
1. Do you think Walt Disney, Mother Teresa and Slava Polunin were successful persons? Why?
2. Is there anything in the text that surprised you?
3. Did you learn anything from the text? What?
Walt Disney, a famous American producer, made some of the world’s most magical films. Children and grown-ups have watched his films about funny Donald Duck, brave Mickey Mouse, beautiful Snow White, little Bambi and lovely Mary Poppins. Disney’s cartoons and films are full of adventures and fun.
A talented businessman, he also created Disneyland, a magical park, where children and their parents are entertained by Disney’s characters.
Walt Disney was born in 1901. In his childhood young Walt spent a lot of time on a farm, where he learned to study nature and animals. He wasn't a good student at school because he always found things that interested him more than school such as movie house and drawing. His family wasn’t a rich one and Walt worked hard helping his father.
After the First World War he managed to set up his own film company. He rented an old camera and a garage. He became the owner of a small studio. He loved cartoons and was full of ideas. He had clear ideas of what he wanted.
Disney’s cartoon films became popular all over the world.
The Disney studios continued producing movies after Walt’s death in 1966. Wherever American films are shown, the name of “Disney” still draws the crowds.
Mother Teresa was born in 1910 in Albania. Her real name was Agnes. She was the youngest of three children. Her father was a good businessman and the family had a comfortable life. Her parents were very religious. Agnes’s mother taught her children to pray and to love and help other people. They often gave food and money to the poor. The)’ were the first lessons in kindness for little Agnes.
When Agnes was only nine, her father died. The family became poor. But later her mother opened a shop, and the business did well. That was the second lesson in life from her mother: when life is difficult you must try, try and try again.
In 1928 Agnes left her family to become a nun, She chose a new name for herself — Teresa. Sister Teresa went to India to teach poor children. Later she began to help the poor. She took care of people who had no one else to look after. She worked hard. She was sure that she would succeed. She believed that “all men are created equal”. In 1948 she and her pupils set up Missionaries of Charity (Благотворительная миссия). They worked in hospitals and schools, took care of children without parents and helped the sick and the dying.
Mother Teresa never worried about money. She always said that the help would come when it was needed. In 1979 Mother Teresa got the greatest prize in the world — the Nobel Peace Prize. She received the prize of $190,000 not for herself but for the poor people of the world. She used this money to feed hungry people and to give help to the sick and dying. Mother Teresa received the Nobel Prize because all her life she loved and helped people.
After Mother Teresa’s death her Missionaries of Charity continue their work trying to help people all over the world.
Reporter: What's your job?
Slava Polunin: I’ve been a “fool” for twenty years.
R.: What’s your main character trait?
S.P.: I’m unique!
R.: Where is your home?
S.P.: Any place where the evening finds me.
R.: Who can be a true clown?
S.P.: All of us are true clowns, even if we don’t want to be.
R.: What's your motto?
S.P.: To be a clown whenever I can.
R.: What’s your attitude to life?
S.P.: I don’t have regrets...
You’ve just read an interview with Slava Polunin who is generally recognized as one of the greatest living clowns. He is one of those rare artists who have climbed to the top of their chosen profession. This is how the newspaper “The Irish Times” has described this world famous mime actor. One of his most successful productions has been the “Snow Show”, which began in 1996 in Britain. A well known Russian artist and fashion designer Mikhail Shemyakin made some fantastic costumes for Slava’s “Snow Show".
The “Snow Show” can transform adults into wide-eyed children.
Slava was born in a small place in Central Russia. As a boy, he was fond of playing snowballs and making tunnels under the snow. In his “Snow Show” Slava realized the fantasy of his childish games as a mime actor.
Mime traditionally means acting without words. Mime artists believe that they can communicate without language — speak with their bodies. Slava Polunin believes that you can do a show without words but if it needs a word, it’s better to put one in.
The “Play-Makers group”, founded by Slava Polunin, is known all over Russia and the world. They have travelled through more than 20 countries. Over 25 years they have made unbelievable progress and have become a national attraction. Their theatrical characters are known to everyone in Russia.
At the moment Slava is about to start work on some new productions working with clowns from Britain and Russia. Polunin’s show is constantly changing. Each show is so different from another that "If you watch the show once a year, you will see that each time it’s a new one," says Slava Polunin.