After decades of working together remotely, we bid farewell to NPR New York Bureau engineer Manoli Wetherell. Since we’re in Philadelphia, we never worked with Manoli in person, but she was there with tons of our guests over the years. For many of them, seeing her in the control room, on the other side of the glass, made the whole Fresh Air experience better. In fact, David Sedaris and Sherman Alexie dropped Manoli’s name in their recent interviews, saying how much they appreciated her being there. Thank you Manoli! We’ll miss you.

(From top left: Sam Briger, Terry Gross, Audrey Bentham, Mooj Zadie, Lauren Krenzel, Molly Seavy-Nesper, Thea Chaloner, Joyce Lieberman, Danny Miller. Second row: Dave Davies, Ann Marie Baldonado, Phyllis Myers, Therese Madden, Amy Salit, and Heidi Saman.) 

It’s like you’re in this world, but you don’t belong to it in quite the same way. It doesn’t own you. But you’re here. You’re not dismissing it, you’re moving wisely through it. Not as a craving. Just keep quiet and move and you will find a way. You’ll hit the right balance, somehow, where you can move in this world and even carry on with your job, and so on. But with a brighter light, greater peace, you don’t have to fit in to other people projections. It helps you to learn to be alone and to be by yourself. Gradually as you accept yourself, you will more and more begin to meet beings who are on a similar frequency.
—  Mooji

Celebrating 30 Years Of Fresh Air 

From Associate Producer Mooj Zadie: 

This past Sunday, I saw Obit, a documentary about the New York Times obituary writers. In one brief flash of a scene there’s a still image of the paper on the day Philip Seymour Hoffman died. The headline of the obit read, “Actor of Depth, Fearless in His Choice of Roles.” Anyone who’s watched Hoffman act has witnessed his depth. When I think about “Actor of Depth,” I think of Terry’s talks with Hoffman over the years. Highlights of those conversations were compiled into his 2014 obit show, “Philip Seymour Hoffman On Acting: An ‘Exhausting’ And 'Satisfying’ Art.”

Terry likes to ask artists about their process because, as she puts it, “artists can be our surrogate in saying something the rest of us might not be comfortable talking about or might not have the words to express." 

So in that way, this episode really taught me to see the craft of acting. Like, I had no idea great actors sacrificed so much of their body and mind and soul. At least Philip Seymour Hoffman did anyway, and it’s the reason why I miss him.

Plus, this episode includes many of the quintessential Terry interview traits — an unflinchingly honest question: "Does that sound right to you? That you have — your intelligence is, like, sometimes a curse? And that you are uncomfortable sometimes with acting?” The 'Terry is good at her job’ guest comment: “Um, wow. You took me by surprise with that.” And perfect follow-up question: “What is that discomfort with?” and so on.

Mooj Zadie 

PS. Don’t miss Mooj’s AMAZING creation Gross.Love, a Terry Gross question generator.