A lone musician stood outside Castillito Yucateco at 2052 Mission St. plucking the strings of his guitar. Alan Augustine Aguilar, 29, was getting ready to play inside the Mexican restaurant, which specializes in Yucatecan cuisine.

“I sing and if people want to help me out with any coin or bills, that’s great,” he said.

Aguilar, a Los Angeles native, has been living in the Mission for two years and lives off the money he makes performing at small venues. Twelve years of constant practice has made him skilled enough to pay his bills through music.

He also plays piano and the bass, but wherever he goes, his guitar goes with him. “The music helps me with my emotions,” he said. “Sometimes I write or listen to a song and I practice a song and I sing the song— and I feel much better.”

One of the songs he performs was written for his wife.

“The song says, ‘When I saw her eyes for the first time, I felt everything in my heart.’”