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Life Behind the Microphone

Growing up, adults would consistently regale me with stories from their past. A recurring theme was how time passed faster, increasing in speed with each year. Looking back as I near thirty, and several years into the largest venture I’ve undertaken thus far, I understand.

Just over two years ago, I pressed record. I spoke into a microphone, kicking off my return to broadcasting. “Welcome to Dispatch,” I said. Looking back, those words framed my future, where thousands of listeners would hear my voice on a weekly basis, and even the experience of getting coffee would never be the same. My co-host, Joshua Wentz was present for this landmark moment, and has stayed the course alongside me for these past hundred-plus episodes.

That opening phrase was more than the beginning of a new show; it marked the beginning of a movement much bigger than myself, now known around the globe as The Machine. Over the last two years, we’ve created almost 400 pieces of innovative, educational audio programming — most of which, I believe, is the best in it’s class. We gathered the most intelligent audience too: artists, entrepreneurs, designers, musicians, and creative individuals of all types tune in every month for their weekly dose of stimulating conversation on some of the most pressing matters facing us today. We’re able to pull all of this off thanks to our fantastic team: Joshua, Anji, Ashly, and Kriss. We’ve even caught the eye of several talented acquaintances, Annabel and Kellie, who you will hopefully hear more from soon.

I’m frequently asked to describe our unique style, and every time I respond with something similar. The Machine a collective of fearless, risk-taking storytellers who are always willing to push the cultural envelope. No topic is out of bounds. Exploration and conversation are core elements in our DNA. We’ve always been driven by curiosity, and now that we’re well-established, it’s time for our second act.

In July, The Machine turned two. It was a celebration of how far we’ve come, but still, there is work left to be done: we established our new, nonprofit corporation, and soon, we will be soliciting donations tax-free. If everything goes as planned, this will remove the financial burden placed on me as the founder, and give everyone a chance to help us continue moving forward. We launched a donation platform in November of last year, and it’s been very rewarding so far. If you feel compelled to give, please do so — every dollar helps us continue providing educational and informative audio content to the masses.

But for now, I’m contemplative and honestly, a bit scared. Life has already changed so much, but our dedication to the audience has never wavered. Let’s see what we can do in 2016, and until then, I’ll step out on faith and keep pushing forward.


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Nicholas Young is a husband, father, technologist, and rare illness advocate currently hailing from Denver, Colorado. He lives amid the snow-covered mountains with his wife, Susan, and daughter, Sloan.


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