As I write this, a little bit of Meskimen family history is unfurling…
I’m in the green room at Village Recording studios in Santa Monica, famous for many hits that were recorded here by Fleetwood Mac. My daughter Taylor is in the next room, recording a cartoon character for the Ask The Storybots animated show.
It’s her first time voicing characters for a TV show! Big day for the Meskimens!
It isn’t the first time she’s worked behind the mic; she’s done radio and TV voiceovers, voices for apps and children’s books, among other things. She has always had a lot of affinity for voice acting, which I confess I continually encouraged.
In recent years, she has actually become a sought-after narrator of audio books, winning several prestigious awards for her work.
But jobs in TV animation have been elusive… until today!
She’s working with old friends; Gregg and Evan Spiridellis, the founders of Jibjab Media, with whom I’ve recorded many, many creative projects over the last 18 years, have literally seen Taylor grow up.
She told me she has dreamed of working for Jibjab for some time, probably since she first met them as a little girl. So that, too, is the culmination of something significant for our family.
Voice acting is a specialized field. It requires the making of a kind of human “music” that supports and suggests entire characters; the mood, dimension, background, attitude and any number of factors are communicated solely thru the vocal channel, which adds to whatever visual treatment is done to create a character.
Not all actors enjoy voice acting or are good at it. Taylor, having grown up in a kind of voice-centric household, is well steeped in it.
We always did a lot of recording around the house while she was growing up. When she was about 15 or 16 years old I hired her to voice 8 and 10 year old boys, little cowboys and even young Brits, for audio books I directed for Galaxy Audio. I thought she was very convincing.
But Taylor’s first performing discipline was dance. She brought emotion, across the entire spectrum, to every dance she performed. (Okay, now I’m really sounding like a dad, but hear me out!)
A lot of skilled artists can express themselves in a variety of ways. I know many voice actors who are, for example, good painters, singers or cartoonists. Many are musical and play a variety of instruments.
Perhaps actors who begin as dancers are just as likely to nail it as voice artists… but I think that’s rare.
I’m proud of my daughter, clearly. But I’m not surprised to see her thru the glass here at the studio, doing a great job of bringing the Storybots script to life; Taylor’s been heading here a long time.
You can watch Ask The Storybots on Netflix. Taylor’s episode won’t be out until Season 3, however, so you’ll have to wait to hear her. But don’t wait to enjoy this incredible show.
Oh, and you’ll probably hear me voicing a few characters, too.
Will Tamra be next? Hmmm, where is that phone number for Jibjab Media…