Paulo Almeida

Paulo Almeida, drummer/percussionist, arranger, composer

Drummer/percussionist, composer and arranger of multiple music genres.

Cortisol is flowing

I recently felt rejection, again.  A music group from Nashville that I've spoken with in the past about playing percussion with posted a video of a rehearsal with another percussionist, which disappointed me.  They've talked to me in the past about hiring me to play with them.  For their upcoming gig, I did not get a call about playing with them.  What makes it tougher is that I've gone through this with other artists.  Before I moved to Nashville, another friend of mine mentioned that he was booking full band gigs and would hire me as his drummer.  He did not.  He went with someone else.  Yet another friend of mine did the same thing.  We even jammed together at my house and he recently had a show where he used another drummer, too.  This is tough for me because I really want to get working out there as much as I can with the people that I want to play with, but for some reason, they forget to call or actively do not call.  In my frustration, I decided to get back to reading a book that I started months ago and never finished, "Habits of a Happy Brain," by Loretta Graziano Breuning.  I just happened to leave off in a chapter about cortisol, where I picked up last night.  It was very interesting to read this particular section while going through this particular difficulty about missing out on this gig.  Cortisol is a chemical that the brain releases in connection to being in danger or social isolation.  It is what we feel when we are experiencing the dread of being left out and it really does feel like a life and death situation, even though a friend could easily say, "this is not a life or death situation".  The brain uses this chemical for us to know what situations to keep away from in order to maintain survival, which includes social status.  It's connected to the urge to feel special and it makes some people worry about what is wrong with them and want to figure out what to do to prevent it from happening again.  It's a quest for status, even if it's just the status of being a percussionist/drummer that people call on for gigs and that they want to work with.  I found consolation in learning about why I had such strong feelings about missing out on these gigs that probably didn't pay much in the first place.  I have no idea what the situations were with the band leaders when they went out and hired someone else instead of calling on me for my talents and what I could bring to the table so it's pointless to assume that they specifically did it out of malice towards me.  And even though it made me want to literally answer the eternal Facebook question, "What's on your mind?" with a snarky comment about band leaders making sure to keep to what they say they are going to do, they may be blessings in disguise that those band leaders didn't ask me to back them up for these particular gigs.  Am I upset about it, of course!  But I can't let these disappointments dictate my happiness and my purpose as a musician who has a lot to offer from countless hours, days, months, years of experience in all different music genres that I believe inform each other make me an awesome musician for whoever is up for collaborating with me.