Hollywood Sentinel gives readers in each issue here, How to Succeed In Hollywood, without selling one’s soul. You can explore all of the back articles from the table of contents directory.
This month, we bring you here a poem and artwork by the incredibly talented film, TV, voiceover star, and artist Jim Meskimen. As a professional actor for nearly thirty years, some of Jim’s TV credits include “Friends,” “Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” “Rules of Engagement,” and “Whose Line is it, Anyway?” He has also appeared in an array of legendary feature films including “Apollo 13,” “The Grinch,” “Frost/Nixon,” “The Punisher,” and “There Will Be Blood,” among many more.
The following poem, “ON All The Time” by Jim Meskimen powerfully portrays the reality that so many creative artists, young and old have to face concerning invalidation of their creative spirit and artistic expression. It is an important reminder that as artists, we must never allow others jealousy, mockery, or suppression to dampen our spirit or to derail our goals. We must strive on, and live our true, authentic selves. Jim Meskimen and his incredibly talented family are perfect examples of doing just this.
Contact us at the front page of this site and let us know what obstacles you have had to overcome as an artist, and how you managed to thrive. Or, let us know of any advice you may want or need. We may publish our reply to you here in our next issue.
“ON” All The Time
by Jim Meskimen
When I was just a boy of nine
when grownups gathered for party time
I’d take it on to entertain,
do voices, clown, and I’d take pains
to make best efforts to amuse
to ease those weary, grownup blues.
(For adults seemed a weary lot
who joys of childhood had forgot.)
But frequently, instead of praise
or tolerance, I was amazed
to hear, as if it were a crime:
“Kid, must you be ‘on’ all the time?”
That comment always stopped me dead.
I couldn’t get it through my head
why anybody would object,
or treat me with such disrespect.
“ON all the time?” We’ve barely met!
Just how impatient can you get?
I’m not some infant smeared with mud,
I’ve got show business in my blood!
Don’t scold, consider my intent;
To spoil your evening I’m not bent!
I’m from a family of actors
and honestly, I need the practice!
Though I should have ignored that wheeze
I factored in my goal to please
and backed off from performing, though
it cut the legs out from my show.
And so, convinced of my “mistake”
I rapidly applied the brakes,
pulled myself over to the verge,
and parked my own creative urge.
The problem is, once stopped, my friends
It’s hard to get in gear again
after an interrupted flow,
as any critic’s victim knows.
Truth is, my critic lacked the skill,
or even worse than that, the will
to entertain, divert or charm,
and factually meant me harm.
As murder’s too overt, you see,
he sought to murder my esprit.
The goodness which a child bestows
he couldn’t bear to just let grow.
It went against his basic plan
to subjugate his fellow man.
To him a child should be as silent
as some undertaker’s client,
who never speaks or laughs or coughs,
but is quite permanently “off.”
Eventually, I grew to find
him pitiful, but, never mind.
The laugh’s on him, for all his pains,
I’m “on” for good … and shall remain.
“ON” All The Time ©2023, Jim Meskimen