From being homeless and sleeping on the streets to becoming a music sensation, Donald Gould’s life has taken a complete turnaround.
It began with a video of him playing the piano along Main Street, which soon went on to become viral and heard internationally. So much so that he has added a significant feather in his cap – recording an album of his own.
As reported by My Sun Coast, the video shows Gould, a classically trained pianist, playing the instrument on a sidewalk as part of the Arts and Culture Alliance, Sarasota Keys Piano Project. Impressed by Gould’s performance, a passer-by recorded him and posted the video on the internet.
“I tell people the odds of me winning $100 million playing the Lotto are better than something like happening,” Gould said, a wide smile on his face. “You should always dream big.”
After the posting of the video, he became a sensation on YouTube. Featuring on the Inside Edition show, he said the attention he received gave him the motivation he required; subsequent to which he admitted himself into rehab. Two months in, he was presented the opportunity to play the national anthem for the San Francisco 49ers season opener in front of 75,000 people.
“While I’m actually up there performing, I’m nervous as a long tail cat,” he said. “But at the same time I’m working on actually concentrating on playing the national anthem with very few mistakes.”
His Facebook page can be viewed here.
The once homeless man has had his share of problems. Along with the stress of the transformation from a homeless man into a famous celebrity, he has suffered a heart attack and was seriously injured when he was struck by a car.
Gould’s story has been an inspiration for people around the globe. Jacqueline Bevan, a member of the Sarasota ministry group who helped him during his substance abuse, was one of the several who spotted Gould’s talent and potential. “We are so proud of him. This wasn’t easy, but he has turned his life around,” she told News Channel 8. “We just want to see a bright future for him.”