Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Remembering Manny Fried

Playwright, actor, union organizer and pretty much the patriarch of theatre in Buffalo, Emanuel J. Fried died Feb. 25 at the age of 97. Though always conscious of his presence around here, I only met Manny once, when I was 12. I never forgot it. He was a writer, after all. I hadn’t read or seen “Drop Hammer” or “Dodo Bird”, but that didn’t matter. My father liked his work. The man was the real deal.

“So you want to be a writer?” he asked me, all knowing. I think I nodded. I don’t remember saying anything.

“Write everyday,” Manny told me. “If you’re sick, even if you don’t want to. Especially if you don’t want to. Writers write everyday.”

I took his advice. I still take his advice, like a vitamin – daily.

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