Mudcat Café message #759133 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #49818   Message #759133
Posted By: Genie
03-Aug-02 - 02:01 AM
Thread Name: Getting nursing home gigs
Subject: RE: Getting nursing home gigs
Here is some very good "do-as-I-say, not-as-I-do" advice, Marion. (I do some of this. I need to get better at the rest.)

Learn as many residents' names as possible, as quickly as possible.

If there is a resident who is especially exuberant about your music, send her or him a card after your gig to say how much you enjoyed meeting her or him and how much you would love to be invited back. Include a photo flyer or card, if possible, or mention the "favorite song" of hers/his that you so enjoy singing. The resident will enjoy getting the card, and your bond with that resident will be strengthened (as well as their memory of you stimulated).

Tell them your name often -- at the beginning and end of each program, for sure, and sometimes in between (e.g., when introducing yourself to individual residents).

Have some flyers or business cards with your photo on them to give to individual residents or their families. They will often ask for them.

When you contact the AD about re-booking, mention by name the resident(s) who told you how much they loved your program and really wanted you to return. (E.g., "I really enjoy doing music with your residents. Jack Murphy seemed so thrilled to hear "Where The River Shannon Flows" and came up to me afterwards to tell me he hoped I would come back again. And I promised John Ames that I would learn "The Sierra Petes" so I could sing it for him next time.")

At the end of your program, if (when) the residents are coming up to you and saying, "I do hope you'll come to sing for us again," --especially if the AD is present --, tell them, quite candidly: "I would love to come back. It's up to you folks, though. If you tell [AD's name] that you want be back, I'm sure s/he'll invite me back. S/he tries to give you the programs you vote for."

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Yeah, Marion, re price, I generally quote them a price RANGE and say it's negotiable within that range. Usually, unless I have reason to believe it's a really low-budget facility, when I'm negotiating I start with my "standard" (i.e., next to highest) price and say "Is that what you're accustomed to paying?" If they say they generally have a lower ceiling, then I negotiate downward.