Mudcat Café message #762024 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #49818   Message #762024
Posted By: Genie
08-Aug-02 - 02:36 PM
Thread Name: Getting nursing home gigs
Subject: RE: Getting nursing home gigs
Well, at least try to avoid proprietors who are nut cases. ;- )

RE phone books: try "nursing homes," "convalescent homes," "retirement communities," "adult day care," "senior centers," and "assisted living" facilities.

Also contact whatever agency regulates nursing and adult foster home in your county. There may be a state agency, a county agency, and a city agency involved. They will have lists of facilities. Approach it as though you were looking for a home fo an aging parent, to get the widest array of facilities.

Do ADs talk to each other? If the facilities are owned by the same parent company, they often do. And some ADs know each other. They do sometimes ask each other for suggestions as to whom to hire (even occasionally calling another facility where they don't know the AD). In San Diego, there are a couple of associations of activity directors.
As in any business, remember that bad news travels faster than good. Unfortunately, when people like you or your product or service, they tend to tell YOU; when they hate it, they tend to tell EVERYONE else. (I'm talking about going out of their way to tell people about you. I think they will always tell someone what they think of you, good or bad, when they are ASKED.) This is why I advise getting letters of reference from folks.

I haven't joined the union. (I brought up some of my concerns in one of the other threads.) Still considering giving it a try.

Some place use contracts (at least confirmation forms), and I sometimes use them. Unfortunately, they're not of much help beyond being a reminder. If would cost you more in time and money to try to collect on them legally than your fee would have been, in most cases. I would strongly suggest signed booking confirmation forms for special occasions like St. Patrick's and New Year's Eve, though.

Most places either pay me at the gig or have me sign an invoice of their own and then send me a check. Quite a few others with which I have an ongoing relationship just send me my check (usually afterwards, occasionally beforehand) without my being involved in the paperwork. There can be as many as 5% of facilities that sometimes get real flaky about sending payment, and I've been stiffed a few times when a facility has gone out of business or gone into Chapter 11 while still owing me money. Try to get paid at the gig if you can.