Saturday, November 24, 2007

On Strike: C’mon Everyone’s Doing It!

I hope I don’t get into trouble for writing this. I’m in the Writer’s Guild, and in case you haven’t heard, we’re on strike. I don’t know what the rules are with regards to writing on webzine’s. I haven’t done the research because I’m too busy. Don’t tell anyone, just in case.

I want to be a union gal, I do, but the truth is my last WGA contract was in 2000 when I wrote a feature film for the Ghost Whisperer, Jennifer Love Hewitt, so it feels a bit odd yelling, “Stick it to the man!” 

After the ‘Love’ job, things started to unravel at breakneck speed. I divorced my husband, disbanded my writing partnership, and wrote a movie musical for the high school crowd, to which my agent at the time said no one would buy. I guess no one bought Camp or High School Musical either. I am so tired of always being ahead of my time and dealing with dumb asses.

Unfortunately my days are probably numbered at the Guild. I think I have 7 years to show income from a WGA gig before they hand me my walking papers. I don’t want my walking papers! I want to stay!             

The only reason why I’m still a card-carrying member is because I still pay my annual dues. I may not have the full benefits, unbelievable health insurance and the enviable pension (like I used to) but I still feel like I ‘made it’ every time I look at my card, no matter how delusional that is. And it is delusional.

It’s also about the free movies. That’s the shit. As a member, DVD screeners are sent to me during award season, which is now upon us. Why just today I got 3 recent movie titles in the mail. It’s like Christmas morning every time I go to my mailbox. 

In addition, during this holy time period I can see most movies in the theaters gratis! Friends start coming out of the woodwork, and I’m extremely popular, unlike high school.

But I had an obligation to wordsmiths everywhere, and joining the picket line was my way of saying thank you for the free movies and for the privilege to play on the WGA softball team. I was also afraid that the WGA police would hunt me down and confiscate my complimentary DVD’s. (Obsessed with the free movies? You bet.) 

I picketed alongside some actor from Law & Order: SVU, Seth Meyers from SNL, and William Mapother, a.k.a Tom Cruise’s cousin, (who curiously enough was in an episode of SVU in 2003). 

I felt like an activist from the 60’s. I was about to burn my bra when I realized that bra burning had nothing to do with fair wages in digital media. But I burned it anyway because I was energized dammit! 

We were sticking it to a mouse named Mickey and his Disney bosses. (Apparently it isn’t the happiest place on earth) My fellow writers and I marched, actually it was more like we stood still and vehemently pumped our signs up and down, because while my fellow protesters in Los Angeles lost weight as they clocked the miles, there wasn’t any room to actually walk on New York City streets. 

Some strikers carried signs that read, “Honk If You’re For Writers”. Buses and trucks laid on their horns as they drove by, but I wasn’t sure if they were honking in solidarity or if they just wanted the car in front of them to get the f’ out of their way.

In an inappropriate way I’m secretly relieved. Now if anyone asks me how the job hunting is going, I can confidently reply, “ Oh, I can’t look for a job, I’m on strike.” Ooh, I just got Knocked Up in the mail.

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