BandAid - Let's Cure What Ills Us.

BandAid – Can It Cure What Ails Us?

I sit here in my writer’s guild strike tee-shirt as I write this article.  Even though I am not yet a member of WGA, I have walked numerous times with my fellow artists since November 5, 2007, when the strike began.  

Many have been affected by the strike.  There are those who make many thousands with each script and those who barely get by. It’s not just the writers and show runners but those below the line – the line producers, make up artists, costumers, grips, DP, PA, set designers, script supervisors, caterers and yes, of course, the medics.  Even the studio nurses picketed the Golden Globe award ceremony.

bandAid: Katherine Fugate's warm welcome

The Industry Support Fund (which is tax deductible) was put together to assist non-writing members of the industry who are in financial distress as a direct result of the strike.  The Fund provides emergency assistance of food, housing, transport, medical and other expenses to those affected and esp. those who are not eligible for government assistance.  While the fund will not provide cash, it will pay one or more bills on behalf of the applicant.   More info on ISF is at

As a strike captain, and part of the Governance Committee, Katherine Fugate, creator and executive producer of Lifetime’s hit show” Army Wives,” (among her many many accomplishments) not only walks with her fellow writers and helps organize the strike events but listens to the writers, as well.

She heard many laments about not being able to pay car loans or mortgages.  Many of the junior writers – some who might have just gotten their first job or first script accepted and chose to go out with their fellow writers – as well as below the line workers were losing faith that a deal would get resolved fairly.  Yet, they hung in strong and continued to walk.

bandaid: Katherine Fugate, showrunner, founder

She admired especially those unsung heroes of the strike whose stories will never be told --especially those who labored through the night trying, despite the odds, to get fair deals for writers and crew alike.  

It was time, Katherine thought, that we give back to those who are sacrificing so much.  The people desperately needed a chance to relax and hang back.  She asked everyone if they would help her.  With many of her friends from the United Showrunners Committee, Kate put together Band-Aid.   It was a labor of love for writers, by writers.  

Because so many were feeling the money pinch due to not working, Kate and her crew decided that not only would there be no cover charge for the event but there would be free Mexican food (delicious grilled chicken, Mahi Mahi, grilled veggies, beans and rice, tacos and other delights) as well as an open bar that Kate, herself, sponsored. 

Siting across from the food was Tom Smuts,selling the tee-shirts and hats to help the strike effort.

bandaid: Phil Alden Robinson of The Possibilities band

Kate teamed up with Phil Alden Robinson, who wrote and directed award winners as “ Field of Dreams,” “Freedom Song,” “The Sum of All Fears,” and many others.   

Bandaid- Douglas Spearman, host

As the sexiest African American gay man, Doug Spearman served as the host.  Community involvement being his middle name, the actor- writer- producer has been seen on numerous shows as Star Trek Voyager, Drew Carey, and Charmed but he is probably best known as Professor Chance Counter on the TV series Noah’s Arc and in the forth coming movie of the same name.  “When I first got to Hollywood, I was told that the writer always gets screwed.  Isn’t that time to stop?”  Supporting the Band-Aid was his way of showing that we all need to continue pulling together.  More information can be found about him on IMDB.

The first up was hilarious comedian Shelly Goldstein.  Author of various dramas, sitcoms, and award shows, especially known for her keen wit, she also acts and sings.   By night she works as an international cabaret “chanteuse” whose one woman shows includes A Gay Man trapped in the body of a straight girl.  Her fresh humor broke the box office in London and Dublin.  Her current show One Fine Day: The Groovy Girls of the 60’s will be recorded as a live CD at the Gardenia in West Hollywood.  I for one intend to catch more of her act.  

Bandaid_Comedian Shelly Goldstein

Holding a strike sign, yet dressed in striking black, Shelly gave us oldies but with new words making fun of the producers who want to keep a measly four cents from us. “The people who write the stories deserve the chance to benefit from those stories,” Shelly said.  Without our words going on the page, without the passion of the writers, the producers would be nothing.  Hear some of Shelly’ s songs at

bandaid: Lili Haydn, violin

After her came an expressive violinist, Lili Haydn and her entourage performing original music with such passion that you could feel the violin trembling in your hands, too.  Inventive and sometimes torrid music accompanied by her fiery vocals is how she got the handle “the Jimi Hendrix of the violin.” Much of her music was played in the soundtrack and songs used in “Army Wives.”   Her CD Place between Places will be released on ‘April 1st for Nettwerk Music.  Lili’s web site is 

bandaid: Lili

 The time is always right to do what is right,” Lili quotes Martin Luther King.  Great powers want to squash the little people who put in long solitary hours to bring joy to others.  Supporting her fellow artists, the writers, Lili is determined to make a difference.

Also on WGA board of directors, Phil’s real love is music and in his free time, he plays with the band, The Possibilities.  If they would get a road gig, he would chuck everything and go on tour.  One of the performers for the night, he and his band Teddy Andreadis (from Guns and Roses - vocal; keyboards); Dave Raven (drummer- formerly performing with Keith Richards); Rudy Guess ( Carole King’s musical director served as lead guitarist); Norah Jones and Steve Earle (playing with Mojo Monkeys); along with bassist Johnny Griparic ( the Chamber Brothers, Snakepit) relived many of the 60’s hits that got many up and dancing.  Information about the group can be found on IMdB.

Alan Rosenberg of SAG and Patric Verrone of WGA also spoke to the audience about the need to be strong.

Bandaid: Alan Rosenberg, SAG

Others assisting with the program were Ron Bass, Suzie Fellows, Stephan Gaghan, Terry George, Howard Michael Gould, Susannah Grant, Mark Gunn, Nicholas Kazan, Peter Lefcourt, Aaron Mendelsohn, Marc Norman, Howard A Rodman, Tom Schulman, Ed Solomon and David N. Weiss.  

The instrumental group of Incendo preformed last.  Their Latin guitar world fusion brought the spirit of the crowd high.  With 6 CD’s out and the 7th, Viluela, coming out this summer, they are popular and have booked many world tours.  Jim Stubblefield (acoustic and electric guitar); Jean-Pierre Durand (acoustic, electric guitar and guitar synthesizer); Liza Carbe (bass and acoustic guitar) Byran Brock (percussion); Scott Breadman(percussion); Joe Shotwell (drums and percussion); Michael Clarke (drums); Mars Lasar (synthesizers); Lisa Lynne (Celtic Harp); David Garza (sitar); Novi Novog (viola) Charlie Bishart (violin) ; Erick Martienthal(saxophone); and Carlos Cuevas (piano) make up the band.  As internationally renowned musicians, they have found ways to survive in the digital era of music.  All say they stand in solidarity with the creative people from all mediums who spark the dreams and desires of their fellow man.  The band's site is

By the end of the evening, a crowd of over 400 had filled the hall at Busby’s East Club on Wilshire. $5000 was raised that night and money for the striking workers is still coming in. 

Join us in helping those affected by the strike. 

More on Katherine at

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