Update: Available now on CD …

Jim and Taylor Meskimen photo by Alex Linares

Jim and Taylor Meskimen. Photo by Alex Linares.

Jim Meskimen is best known as a master impressionist, perhaps even more so since he recently made it to the quarter-finals of America’s Got Talent with his incredible act.  But we here at Skyboat have been working with Jim for years, and while it’s true that we are still endlessly wowed by his impressionistic abilities—if you’ve never seen his rendition of Clarence’s speech from Richard III via a host of celebrities, please do yourself a favor and watch it here—we also know that he’s a true actor’s actor and an unbelievably talented narrator, which is exactly why we cast him in several EGA roles.  Jim plays Bernard, the French-accented launchie who gets taught a hard lesson from Ender; Dink Meeker, the Dutch-accented, suspicious-minded toon leader who encourages Ender to be wary of the teachers; and Carn Carby, the Aussie who commands Rabbit Army, and sometimes all in the same scene.  Jim also plays the Operator—just wait until you hear that robot voice—and a variety of unnamed characters (boys, soldiers, thugs, you name it).  It goes without saying that Jim is incredible when it comes to accents and impressions, but it’s largely because he possesses an innate understanding of character and sense of comedic timing.  Put simply?  He’s a natural performer, through and through.

In watching the studio video, we were amazed at Jim’s concentration during the recordings.  Watch in the below video how he actively and physically plays the scene. .Jim is also a consummate director, and you can see him weaving his lines into the flow of the scene.  He’s fascinating to watch.  Plus, he can’t resist a joke line at the end of the clip.

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CAST LIST

Andrew “Ender” Wiggin……………….Kirby Heyborne

Valentine Wiggin………………………….Susan Hanfield

Peter Wiggin…………………………………..Paul Boehmer

John-Paul Wiggin……………………………Arthur Morey

Theresa Wiggin…………………………..Gabrielle de Cuir

Mazer Rackham………………………Richard McGonagle

Chamrajnagar/Fly Molo/Pol Slattery……Vikas Adam

Jayadi………………………………………….Samantha Eggar

Colonel Graff………………………………..Stefan Rudnicki

Doctor/General Levy……………………………..Theo Bikel

DeeDee/Server………………………………………..Janis Ian

Dap………………………………………………………..Rex Linn

Bean………………………………………………..Emily Rankin

Alai/Stilson……………………………………Sunil Malhotra

Mick………………………………………………….Kathe Mazur

Bernard/Dink/Carn Carby………………Jim Meskimen

Shen………………………………………….Taylor Meskimen

Taylor and Jim Meskimen on "set" of EGA

Taylor and Jim Meskimen on “set” of EGA

And perhaps you won’t be surprised to learn that the proverbial apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.  Jim’s daughter, Taylor Meskimen, is a young actress who has clearly been graced with that Meskimen talent and charm.  (It should be mentioned that Jim’s mother is Marion Ross, the actress best known as Mrs. C on Happy Days.)  In EGA, Taylor plays Shen, Ender’s friend who tends to wiggle his butt when he walks, a fact that bully Bernard doesn’t let him forget.  Taylor brought such a youthfulness to Shen, such a sweet vulnerability, and to hear her in scene with Kirby as Ender was downright heartwarming.  Though we must confess that our favorite Taylor moments were between daughter and father, particularly when Shen found ways to stand up to Bernard.  In this clip, there is general hilarity between Taylor and her off-camera father…

Needless to say, it was a boatload of fun having the Meskimens in the studio, and that goes for when we were recording and when we found time to horse around.  See what we mean below:

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