Mudcat Café message #763032 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #49818   Message #763032
Posted By: Ferrara
10-Aug-02 - 12:08 PM
Thread Name: Getting nursing home gigs
Subject: RE: Getting nursing home gigs
First, Marion, Thank you for your link to the Heart and Soul Music thread.

(If anyone missed it, see Heart and Sould Music ... which I hope will end up as a blue clicky....)

The biggest factor I'm aware of right now in planning to do nursing and retirement home gigs is ... Sheer Terror. An old feeling of "Why would anyone want to have me come and make music for them?"

I think that deep down, I felt that if I sent a flyer to retirement/nursing homes offering to do music for pay, it would be seen as, "Doesn't she have a lot of chutzpah!"

Anyway, reading the Heart and Soul Music web site, I'm feeling less insecure. It is reinforcing the idea Genie and Mike have stressed, that you are doing a valuable service and should be paid for it.

After my first not-for-profit gig, there was a kind of snowball effect where I was called by people who had seen me, or read about me in the retirement community's newsletter, and asked me to sing for other organizations.

When the flood of referrals eventually dried up, I never pursued it. I always felt embarrassed and not worthy of all the praise my music was getting....

(At that time I was taking a lot more medications including prednisone for my heart transplant, and they do funny things to your emotions.... Besides I've been asked to a bit of performing at festivals since then and have developed a lot more confidence -- I think. :-)

BTW, Mike and Genie, my gigs two or three years ago were not for nursing homes but they did seem to contradict the "never sing for free" rule.

Most of the people I played for realized I should be paid for my time. If they didn't have an entertainment budget they said so up front. A few gave me the choice of being paid or not, understanding that if I didn't, the money would be available for the group's charity work. Others, who were not service organizations, just paid me. They were aware that I had been playing for free, and were aware of the kinds of not-for-profit organizations I played for, but they didn't assume I would -- or should -- play free for other groups.

Still, these were service organizations, not retirement, assisted-living, or nursing homes.

At one of my first gigs I was asked whether I was booked through a theatrical agency, so I know some organizations in this area do set up programs that way. Worth looking into.

Rita F