Cast & Creative Guests From The West Wing
W.G. "Snuffy" Walden, Composer
W.G. “Snuffy” Walden is an American musician and composer of film and television soundtracks. Snuffy has been nominated for 13 primetime Emmy awards, winning for Outstanding Main Title Theme for The West Wing, and has won more than 50 BMI awards for his music, and BMI’s prestigious Richard Kirk Award for Outstanding Career Achievement. Snuffy’s ability to combine intricate emotions and musical simplicity has earned him a special place among the ranks of composers, as his work continues to ring with genuine warmth and truth.
Snuffy recorded his first record by the age of 15. He put himself through college working at radio station KRBE Houston and playing guitar in a strip club. Snuffy founded blues-based rock trio Stray Dog, was discovered by Greg Lake of Emerson Lake & Palmer (ELP) and signed to Manticore Records. Stray Dog released four albums and toured extensively before disbanding in 1975.
Snuffy moved to Los Angeles and spent the next decade touring with artists such as Steve Wonder, Donna Summer, Chaka Khan and Eric Burdon of the Animals. When not on tour, Snuffy performed solo shows at a Santa Monica nightclub. It was there that television agents and producers became aware of his musical gifts.
Snuffy’s big break can be attributed as much to his unique nickname as to hismusical talent. In 1987, the producers of a new show titled thirtysomething were about to sign with another composer but had heard about Walden, were intrigued by his name, and wanted to meet this person named Snuffy. “After meeting, I never heard a word, so I assumed they hated it... but when they popped my tape in, they loved the music and the way it worked with the show.” Snuffy had his first hit TV series, writing the theme and scoring the pilot and 42 episodes of thirtysomething.
Snuffy was then asked to score “a little show” premiering on ABC after Super Bowl XXII—a show that became the mega-hit The Wonder Years. Snuffy scored the pilot and the entire series. For the end credits, he revamped a Beatles song in his traditional bluesy style, creating an iconic theme associated as much with him as with the show.
Snuffy has since worked on close to a hundred television programs, including hits The West Wing, Friday Night Lights, Nashville, Under the Dome, Aquarius, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, The Drew Carey Show, Felicity, Providence, Sports Night, Norm, Ellen, Rosanne, My So-Called Life, I’ll Fly Away, The Stand, and others, as well as seven feature films and documentaries.
Melissa Fitzgerald, Senior Director, NADCP
In November 2013, Melissa Fitzgerald joined Justice For Vets, a division of National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) as its new Senior Director, she will be expanding her role at NADCP’s and leading the soon to be launched global initiative to lead justice reform called, Advancing Justice. As an actor, Melissa is best known for her seven-year role as Carol on the television series The West Wing, but off-screen she is widely recognized as a courageous advocate for people in need. Melissa is co-founder of Voices in Harmony, a non-profit mentoring organization that uses theater to work with under-served teens in Los Angeles.
In 2007, Melissa traveled to war-torn Northern Uganda to bring the Voices in Harmony theater program to former abducted child soldiers and other teenagers affected by the region’s brutal rebel war. The Voices in Harmony program in Northern Uganda resulted in the award winning film. After Kony: Staging Hope. The experience opened her eyes to the lingering impact of war.
In 2011, Melissa co-executive produced Halfway Home, a documentary featuring Vietnam War veteran and former U.S. Senator Max Cleland and Silver Star recipient and Iraq War veteran, Sgt. Tommy Rieman joining other veterans in recounting their experience in war and their struggle to reintegrate and recover upon returning home. “Although most veterans are strengthened by their military service, my experience working on Halfway Home personalized the struggle of many veterans who are having difficulty reintegrating. I have followed the development of veterans treatment courts closely and know that there is no better way for me to be of service to veterans than by devoting myself to the expansion of these life-saving programs,” said Melissa. “I am deeply honored and grateful to have the opportunity to be part of Justice For Vets, an organization that is having such a profound impact on the lives of veterans and their families.”
William Duffy, Actor
William Duffy began his professional career as a CPA, but spreadsheets to pursue the stage. No stranger to the Sorkin universe, Duffy performed in the national tour of the play A Few Good Men before appearing as “Larry” in 48 episodes of The West Wing, after which he to vocal work on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Thanks in part to lessons Duffy learned early in his career as a reader for industry casting directors, he’s appeared in major television shows, including Beverly Hills, 90201, ER, Criminal Minds, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and more. When he isn’t on set or stage, Duffy tutors struggling students, takes classes, and exercises his creative muscles through writing and music. Duffy is a strong supporter of organ donation, which he demonstrated in a powerful way by donating a kidney to his ailing brother in 2017.
Devika Parikh, Actor
With over 20 years in the entertainment business, Devika Parikh has an established acting career working in: TV, film, commercials and voice-overs. She is also known for doing a form of voice-over, known as looping or ADR (automated dialogue replacement) for TV and films. She recently appeared on an episode of ‘Shameless,’ and can be seen in a big Warner Bros. movie to be released December 2018. Devika has recurred on TV shows, including: Bizaardvark, 24, Resurrection Blvd, Three Rivers, and the iconic The West Wing. A few of Devika’s other TV credits include: The First Family, Prime Suspect, Everybody Hates Chris, Rizzoli & Isles, Good Luck Charlie, Criminal Minds, That’s So Raven, Girlfriends, Eve and The Parkers.
Devika has appeared in numerous commercials over the years including one for Nike/Footlocker starring Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers, several months before the Cavs won their first NBA Championship. Her other commercials credits include, but are not limited too: Honda, AT&T, Choice Hotels, Progressive Insurance, Verizon, Fed Ex, KFC, McDonald’s, Autotrader, Bissell, Expedia, Lunesta, Swanson’s Broth, Tostitos, Walgreens, Sears, Vons/Safeway, Volvo, Chevrolet, Choice Hotels and Walgreen. Devika’s film credits include: SWAT, How To Be a Player, Something to Sing About, Supercross, The Little Richard Movie, Judgment Day, Book of Love and Dancing in September.
Devika graduated from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications with a degree in broadcast journalism and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
Social Media: FB, Instagram, Twitter @DevikaParikh
Kim Webster, Actor/Producer/Director
Kim Webster studied classical theatre at West Virginia University where she acted in numerous plays, and graduated with honors, before moving to Hollywood to pursue her dream. While struggling to make ends meet, she took a 1-day stand-in job on a pilot. Within a couple of hours of being there, Webster had an overwhelming feeling that she was meant to be there and that this would become a life-changing experience for her. The pilot turned out to be The West Wing and Webster became a regular background staffer. By episode 3, Aaron Sorkin rewarded her with the line “Estimated BDA?” That one line turned into the recurring role of Ginger - a role that spanned all 7 years of the highly acclaimed series.
After the series ended, Webster lost everything in an apartment fire and was forced to find work fast. Since she only had the clothes on her back and no headshots or even an agent to continue acting, she called a friend that produced reality TV and begged for a job as a Production Assistant just to make some money. This began her career behind the camera. Now, Webster is a documentary / reality TV producer known for her work on shows like the Emmy award winning series Born This Way, Citizen Rose and MTV’s The Challenge. Webster still acts occasionally but due to her success behind the camera she hasn’t been able to pursue acting like she once did but is open to the idea of going back to her roots should the opportunity arise.
All guests are subject to cancellation or schedule change, due to professional commitments or other reasons.
Unfortunately, due to a family medical emergency, Peter James Smith will be unable to join us.
Peter James Smith, Actor
Peter's first paid acting gig was as part of New Image Teen Theater, sponsored by Planned Parenthood of San Diego and Riverside counties, an educational touring theatrical troupe that focused on teen issues.
His first paid on screen gig was as a bank teller with an attitude on USA Network's Silk Stalkings.
He is most widely known as Ed from all seven seasons of The West Wing. Other TV/film credits include: Get Shorty, Bosch, Colony, This is Us, Westworld, Parenthood, Castle, 24, CSI: Miami, Monk, Serenity, Pearl Harbor, Friends, The King of Queens, ER, Dead Man on Campus, Poker, Nothing Sacred, Party of Five and the upcoming Diminuendo. Theater credits include: world premiere plays by Neil Labute, Jennifer Rowland, EM Lewis, Tom Jacobson, Luis Alfaro, Stephen Dierkes, Larry Dean Harris, Tracy Young, Andy Lowe, and Rich Nathanson; and work with A Noise Within, Skylight, Open Fist, EST/LA, La Jolla Playhouse, Cornerstone, Moving Arts/The Lion, Son of Semele, Celebration, The Actors' Gang, Old Globe, San Diego Rep, North Coast Rep, Sledgehammer and Diversionary.