Admittedly I went a little extreme – no income for five years, six hours a day of intense practice, monthly four-day long lessons with a brilliant and psychopathic teacher in Verona, a hunger for something that was so necessary it cost me my marriage, nine months in a mental hospital, most of my dignity and about 35lbs in weight. And the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is not perhaps the Disney ending I’d envisaged as I lay in bed aged 10 listening to Horowitz devouring Rachmaninov at Carnegie Hall.
Concert pianist James Rhodes followed Charles Bukowski’s “find what you love and let it kill you” advice nearly to heart, and eventually signed a deal with Warner Bros. Records and is touring the world. He is one of the lucky ones! Hard work can pay off into something extraordinary, but it doesn’t for everyone.