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Photograph: Zenith Richards

Public eye: Preston Davis

New York street interviews: Stories from the sidewalk as told by real New Yorkers about their lives in the city that never sleeps.

By Kate Lowenstein

Grove St between Seventh Ave and Bleecker St

How old are you? I choose to not represent a number.

Is this a career-related choice? No, it's a life choice. Deepak Chopra, one of my favorite authors, talks about how people who are connected to their number live to their number. When I die, I won't die decrepit like America says I'm supposed to die.

What other life advice do you take from Deepak? Oh, I don't take it all from him. But I am deeply spiritual and understand my power.

Please tell me more. Um, well, I know that I'm an extension of God, and I'm more powerful than I know, and human beings are amazingly intuitive. Over the years, we've become disconnected from that.

And how do you reconnect? I go surfing every morning, and I meditate, which is huge. If you don't go within, you'll go without.

What do you do for a living? I'm a professional actor and model. That's where most of my money comes from. But I also own a surf school and double as a motivational speaker and life coach.

So acting and modeling are your day jobs? Exactly. It's pretty trippy. But it's all by design, you know? We can have whatever we want. Most people live in reaction to things. They don't understand that they are actually creating.

How did you get to this place of enlightenment? Once I realized that most of my actions were based on what TV and music and society thought for me, I started stripping all those things away.

I thought you were going to say you started stripping. [Laughs] Yeah, exactly, stripping is what brought me here. No, but really, what I learned is that what you put in is what you get out. You put death in—e.g., chicken—and you get that same thing out every time.

Chicken? Are you a militant vegan? No, but I aspire to be. I'm currently flexitarian.

So you still "put death in"? [Laughs] I'm evolving. It's a path, you know?

More from Preston

"This dude in India hasn't eaten or drank anything in 70 years. He says all he needs is 'om.'"

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