Conversation Lesson 52
Lesson 52 - Taking Chances

In this lesson Anna is on a talk show to tell us about her new career move - acting as a tree in the movies. She looks back at the chances she took in the past year and plans for the future. Will she stay in Hollywood or come back to live in Washington, D.C.?
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Lesson Video

Watch the video and then do the activities on this page.
Video Script

Anna: Hello, it's Anna! I did it - Washington, D.C. is my home. Looking back over the past year, I’ve done so many amazing things! I have met people from all over the world. I’ve made many good friends. And I have a great job! And I've taken a lot of chances. And now I have some really big news! Wait for it… and 3, 2, 1…
Kelly: Hello and welcome to “Around the Corner and Across the Street from the Actor’s Studio!” Many people dream of becoming actors. But very often, those dreams don’t come true.
Kelly: Well, today we will meet a woman and -- her acting career has really taken off. In fact, she acted in my play, “The Woods Are Alive!” Oh. She really brought the part of Tree Number 15 to life! Let’s give a warm welcome to Anna Matteo!
Anna: Thank you. Thank you so much for having me here.
Kelly: Please, please, sit down. Here, here, let me help you.
Anna: Thanks. Thanks. Wow, it is great to see you again, Director Kelly!
Kelly: It’s great to see you too, Anna. I see you are still wearing your tree costume. Does this have anything to do with your big news?
Anna: Yes. Yes, it does.
Kelly: Well, Anna, please share that news with us.
Anna: Kelly, I will be acting in three movies.
Kelly: That is amazing! Anna, tell us more.
Anna: Well, the first is a science fiction movie. The second is a romantic comedy. And the third is an action movie.
Kelly: That is so great! Let me guess -- you’re playing a tree in all of them!
Anna: Yes! This is what happened. To prepare for your play, I had to find out what it was like to BE a tree in the world. I had to find out where to eat, where to shop, where to meet people and how to get around the city.
Kelly: Amazing. I think big things are going to happen for you, Anna. So, tell me, will you be moving to Hollywood for a career in movies?
Anna: No. I’ll make the movies and then come back. Washington, D.C. is my home.
Kelly: I’m sure your family is very proud.
Anna: Yes, they are. You know, Kelly, not too long ago, I didn’t feel very good about my life. I had to make a change. So, I took some chances. Sometimes I succeeded. Sometimes I failed. But I will never stop trying.
Kelly: Well, thank you for sharing your news and so much more with us, Anna.
Kelly: Until next time …

Now practice listening to only the audio portion of the conversation.

Use this video to learn the new words for this lesson. Then, learn about some new phrasal verbs.

Use this video to learn about the blend of two words in the phrase "sit down."
New Words
  • action movie - n. a movie with events that happen quickly and that cause feelings of danger and excitement
  • bring to life - phrase. make or become active, lively, or interesting
  • career - n. a job or profession that someone does for a long time
  • come back - phrasal verb. to return to a place
  • fail - v. to not succeed or to end without success
  • find out - phrasal verb. to learn (something) by making an effort
  • get around - phrasal verb. to go, walk, or travel to different places
  • prepare - v. to make yourself ready for something that you will be doing or something that you expect to happen
  • proud - adj. very happy and pleased because of something you have done, something you own, or someone you know or are related to
  • romantic comedy - n. a movie or play that deals with love in a light, humorous way
  • science fiction - n. a kind of story about how people and societies are affected by imaginary scientific developments in the future
  • share - v. to tell someone about (your feelings, opinions, or thoughts)
  • take chances - phrase. to do things even though there could be good or bad results
  • take off - phrasal verb. make great progress

In this lesson, Anna looks back on how she has learned by taking chances over the past year in Washington, D.C. Have you ever taken chances to learn something new or to meet your goal? Tell us about a chance you took and how it helped you to learn or do something important to you . Write about it in the Facebook Comments section below. Then practice phrasal verbs and evaluating. Click lesson activity to get the printable PDF version. The page opens to a new window.
Source: Voice of America
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