the great unknown

Mohammed Ali

FADE IN: woman and man.

She: I was in a Uber car, well, really Lyft but you get what I mean. Jamal, my driver, asked me what I do. I said nothing. No really, I said, “Nothing,” all nonchalant and shit. He took a second to understand, much like me, really, I mean who says that?
I said nothing. Ugh. What kind of despicable human, am I?

A week later, I’m at this yoga retreat and someone asked me again. I was just about to answer Nothing, when I stopped myself and took a gulp of my piping hot apple cider, burning my mouth. And I pretended I didn’t hear him, or maybe I pretended to react like I was still thinking about what we just talked about. I looked stupid, is all. Well, if I’m not sure what your intentions are, I’m going to blow you off.


I know damn well who I am. Why is it hard to say it, “Who me? Oh, sure, I’m an artist.” Or, “What do I do? I do greatness. I am greatness.”

Mohammed Ali would say “I’m the greatest,” so why can’t I?

[she laughs]

Whatever, we had a good conversation though.

He: You deflect well.

She: No, we talked. I can be friendly that way.

He: I was listening to NPR the other day and they said that under-earning is a sickness not a financial matter. Truth is, when we feel inferior to what we desire, we want to disappear and then show up when we have it. It’s an issue of visibility. How do you stay visible and authentic when someone asks you what you do?

She: People don’t care unless you’re successful.

He: Maybe. But perhaps they’re telling you they’re not your people.

She: Well, I did eventually tell Jamal what I do but there was no follow through on his end.

He: Not part of your tribe.

She: So, how do I find my tribe?

He: Dip your toe into the Great Unknown, Mohammed Ali style.

Author: pizzaslices

Liza is an actor and co-creator of Subway Token Films, a film production company that captures Street Level Miracles through films. That is, moments in our lives when the story as we know it stops, the lens is pulled back and something more expansive is revealed to us. Liza has won awards and audiences alike for her portrayals of the immigrant story on stage and film. She lives in New York City and Los Angeles with her partner, actor Felix Solis.