If there is anything you could criticize about me and my career, it’s that I’ve taken SO LONG to get known… That’s the main reason that I entered the America’s Got Talent competition, so that I could finally  get properly introduced to the population and move up and out of the category of “I’ve seen that guy…”

To be honest, it’s my fault.  (But you knew that.)

I have suffered all my life from, not stage fright, but mis-estimation of effort. 

When I first started my acting career in New York, it was really only a short time before I was in the top percentage of actors working in voiceover and commercials.  And it wasn’t really very hard to do, I just had to keep performing and promoting myself to casting directors and anybody else I could think of, and the word spread.

It helped that I was in my twenties, of course.  Who doesn’t want to watch a twenty year old act silly on TV?

I had a blast, and everything seemed to move along inexorably, or what I think inexorable means–unstoppable.  (There, I just looked it up- that is what it means.  Phew!)

I guess you could say at a certain point I took my foot off the gas.

Now, here I am, nearly the oldest person (there’s a comic who is my age) in America’s Got Talent, Season 8, still doing the impressions that got me attention back in the 80’s and got me started in my “promising career.”

I’m getting tired of promising.  Now I just want to deliver.

Some things about being a late bloomer are working to my advantage, though.  I’m much more knowledgeable of how big TV events are produced, I’m not fazed by celebrities, I know the catalog of mistakes one can make onstage, (although new ones develop hourly) and my youthful enthusiasm is still intact. 

So, all in all, I guess I’d rather be me, an experienced talent who still has yet to be put to the acid test, than a younger, infinitely more energetic and appealing, attractive, youthful and zesty, twenty-something (or younger) but with no real clue as to what the whole thing really means.

Like I have a choice!

Once again, I’m very grateful to my mom, Marion– my first mentor, who at nearly 85 is still zesty, youthful and interested in her career and in creating her world.

A confession: when I was younger, I did have a goal of being as well-known and beloved a performer as Marion by the time I was forty or so, the age she was when Happy Days really took off.  I was pretty sure I was heading inexorably to that target, no problem.

Well, we know what happened to that target.  Mis-estimation of effort! And the fact that Marion is a truly incomparable, incandescent talent in a league of her own who would shine brightly in any age.  What an inspiration.

So, we shall see if a late bloomer like me can thrive in the garden of AGT, or if the new, fresh crop will capture the attention of all the bees and get all the water and sunshine and fertilizer and… oh, enough already.

America’s Got Talent, Tuesdays at 9/8 Central on NBC.


Published in: on July 27, 2013 at 12:24 pm  Comments (15)  

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15 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Wait Jim, we’re not still in our 40’s?!?!? Well, this is distressing news.

    • I’m speaking for myself, Dave. Your mileage may vary. Great to hear from you!

  2. GREAT insights, Jim. This is exactly the kind of thing that “inquiring minds” want to know! I still remember you as “Jim, the Food Lion Guy”…I’m glad I rediscovered you during the Jib-Jab phenom of ’03/’04, and that I’ve been able to watch you “grow your path”, as it were. I have and will continue to follow your ever developing career.

    Best of luck, we’re behind you all the way.


  3. I love how honest you are here. You’re a major talent and I would love to see more of your work. Except I don’t watch TV and seldom go to movies. That’s kind of a problem. I guess you would have to come to my house. Well, good luck anyway!

  4. But what a quality entrance

  5. So happy for you Jim! But I have a feeling you’ve been doing “some very important things” that may have delayed your career pinnacle a tad. 🙂
    Love ya! KAREN

  6. Ahhh… grasshopper. You taka da gleen pill. You blave. Vely, vely blave man! Gooo… Meski-men…!

  7. Your honesty is invaluable to those traveling a similar if not same road 🙂

    Thanks Buddy

  8. nice beard and eyebrows. too bad their fake, but the look still looks great!

    • Well, they might have been real hair, at least, just not mine. I was playing Alexander Graham Bell for an iPhone gag for the Kimmel show a couple years ago.

  9. If an artist job is to make you feel good about yourself and look at the world in a unique way, inspire you to do something, make you laugh and make you forget about your troubles if only temporarily, then truly the most talented artist I know is Jim Ross Meskimen….which rhymes with Amen….

  10. I love you Jim! And I always appreciate your thoughts! They inspire me and make me laugh! And you are one of the most prolific artists I know. So if your estimation of effort was off?! Oh boy, time for the rest of us to put the pedal to the medal Here’s to moving up Jim! XX,Keli

    • Thanks, Keli! YOU are an inspiration to Tamra and I! And my estimation of effort has been improving… more about that in person.

  11. Momma raised a pretty a wise and talented son.

    • Thanks, Peter! She is/was an excellent mom, a “Mentor-mom”.

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