If you passed Donald Gould on the street in Sarasota, Florida, you might not give him a second glance. You might think of him as anything more than yet another homeless man. But if you paused and looked at the human being beneath the scruff, you’d discover a few things: he’s a former Marine. He has a son. And he’s a talented, beautiful piano player. Inside Edition gave him a makeover. Now we’re going to hear his amazing story and his beautiful playing.
Donald’s story starts with him taking a seat at a piano set up outside at a Sarasota art exhibit. That day, Donald wowed the world with his gorgeous piano playing, and images of this scruffy man making gorgeous music quickly went viral. When Inside Edition got wind of the story, they knew they had to give this man — and former marine — the break that he deserves.
The transformation would begin with a new wardrobe, supplied by Sarasota clothing store Island Pursuit. Next, Donald went for his first haircut and shave in 18 months, where his scraggly beard and long hair were shaved away, leaving him with a handsome, clean-cut look. All in all, Donald loved his new look, his only complaint being that he’s certainly “not used to all this attention”.
But he wasn’t quite done having all eyes on him.
The final step of the makeover? Giving Donald a chance to play piano in front of his first live, paying audience. We don’t have to tell you that he absolutely nailed it. Donald claims that his success at his very first gig definitely comes from his brand new look.
“Before, with my scruffy face, people would be like, ‘Who is this ragged looking homeless man?’ But now I can just walk in here like a pro and get no flack at all.”
From this day, Donald has a whole new sense of self-respect, and feels like he can pursue piano playing as a full-time job. What’s more, Donald feels like this might be the beginning of a new chapter for him and his son. Before his transformation, Donald was too embarrassed to reach out to his own child, but now he feels that this fresh start could mean a second chance with his flesh and blood.
We wish Donald all the best with his son and with his piano career! Hopefully he uses his big break to make a whole new life for himself, one that he undoubtedly deserves.
What do you think about this makeover? Share your thoughts on Donald’s look before and after in the comments section below.