I Drive in Austin
In light of the new ridesharing regulations proposed by the Austin City Council, I thought I'd throw in my two cents.
I drive for Lyft and Uber. I'm twenty six years old, I'm a native Austinite and an alumnus of the University of Texas at Austin. After and while falling out of love with my field of study, I swooned toward another. I found myself a recent graduate, putting all my heart and all my effort into songwriting.
After cycling through several odd jobs, I found work as a driver at a famous Austin food trailer business and worked tirelessly throughout the week to make ends meet. I was left with hardly any time or energy to put back into my art. This was my window, though. I figured if music didn't "work out" as I hoped, I was still young enough to change course and take a more traditional path. I pushed through in hopes of making more records, playing shows, meeting new friends and getting noticed.
Without realizing it this job had stifled my ambition, and my focus had shifted to just getting by. At first it seemed misfortunate when told I would be laid off. Of course I was hurt to be under appreciated at a job that took up so much of my time, and my soul. I declined their offer of a lower paying position, headed home and thought of what to do next.
I now consider being let go a blessing.
Now, I am free. Now, I make a living meeting and conversing with hundreds of people a month. I drive people to work in the morning, and home from the bar at the end of the night. I drive people to the Alamo Drafthouse because they want to avoid driving inebriated, and I drive grandmothers who can no longer get around town safely on their own. I help the blind reclaim their mobility and independence with the push of a button, and students get home safely instead of walking home alone at night.
In exchange, I've been rewarded with an incredible amount of freedom. Freedom in which I began recording and releasing new music again in a record titled Go Let Go. Freedom that allows me to make any rehearsal and play any show, without having to find a coworker to cover for me. A freedom in which I have developed and, now, regularly produce a podcast called Make My Day. (I actually wrote the theme song in my car.) Freedom that allows me to leave town to visit family when I need to.
As an artist and an entrepreneur, I cannot imagine a greater gift than to be able to make a living by connecting with human beings on my own schedule. My passengers have enlightened me, made me cry tears of joy, and inspired me with lifetimes of stories, for all of which I am so grateful.
Austin is already struggling with an image of unfriendliness towards its artists, it seems logical that we will choose to help nurture our community rather than stifle it.
If you'd like you can enjoy my music, my podcast, and my blog at marcusbrown.me
Signup for Lyft: https://lyft.com/drivers/marcus1347
Signup for Uber: https://get.uber.com/drive?invite_code=l45u8