Life sure can be a strange thing; sometimes it kicks you in the teeth with a bar of gold while you’re lying face down on the floor. This happened to a friend of mine once. You would never be able to pick him out in a crowd. He dressed and behaved the same as everyone else, but he was actually an awfully talented pianist. Gee, did he love music! He grew up fantasizing about filling concerts halls one day, so he spent every hour he had practicing his skills. After years of study he graduated from the conservatory with some pretty decent grades. Still, this wasn’t enough to land him a job as a musician. ‘Get some experience first.’ they said when he applied at the local orchestra. Therefore he kept rehearsing and played the public piano at the train station as often as he could. However, the study loan that the government had generously provided him during his studies needed to be paid back, so he went looking for a job on the side. ‘What have you been doing all these years?’ they asked him at the local coffee place after looking at his CV. ‘Get some experience first.’ It turned out no one wanted to hire a classical musician to do the dishes. Before long the pianist was out of money and down on his luck, so he replied to a vacancy at the sawmill. ‘No skill or experience required.’ it promised. However, the pianist cut off a finger with a saw blade on his very first day. He was quite upset about this, but the floor manager, a short man with a large beard and a tribal tattoo in his neck, assured him it was nothing to worry about: ‘Just wrap some toilet paper around it and come back tomorrow.’ He did, the next day and the day after, and all the while he kept playing the piano like a champ, kicking out Beethoven and Bach with only a tiny delay because of his missing index finger. The audience hardly noticed, either his handicap, or the performance in general. Time passed, until one random day, disaster struck again! My pianist friend hadn’t slept in a week, practising all night for a big audition at the philharmonic that weekend, and of course, this had its consequences; Blood all over the floor, and the piano, one finger less, but no problem... He could still do it! He astonished friend and enemy with a tormented interpretation of Mozart at his audition, but alas… it was still not enough to get him the job. The only thing he could do was to keep on playing, practising and working... And so he went, from the piano, to the sawmill, and back again. ZING! There went his little pinkie. BRUM-BRUM-BRRRRR! That was his thumb. WHER-WHER-WHER! No more ring finger (thankfully he had already sold the ring his mother left him at the pawn shop). After a couple of weeks he had no fingers left and playing Schubert was beyond the realm of possibilities… But what do you know? People loved to see him struggle with his bloody stubs on the keys! His screams of anguish were quite the turn-on for the artsy crowd who had never heard anything quite like it. Yes, somehow he had finally become the popular musician he always wanted to be. After becoming an overnight sensation, spawning several memes and sound-alikes, he signed a contract with a major label and never was poor again. So there you have it, keep working at it and your labour of love will surely pay off in the end!