Mudcat Café message #764618 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #49818   Message #764618
Posted By: Marion
13-Aug-02 - 04:00 PM
Thread Name: Getting nursing home gigs
Subject: RE: Getting nursing home gigs
Rita, I'm working on my brochure too!

Here's another tip for finding facilities to call: I was looking for a "health page" in the newspaper, and I found the death notices and skimmed through them. I found half a dozen names of institutions.

I do have a paying gig once in a blue moon, but mostly I'm studying, jamming, busking, and dreaming. The reason that I'm planning on specializing in the senior's market right now is that while I hope to make my living from music, I feel a long way off from being able to play concerts as an "artist" or work as an instrumental hotshot. But maybe this way I can support myself as an entertainer while I work on becoming an artist; it's something I could learn to do in the short term, it wouldn't be smoky or sleazy, and it would provide me with some business/sound gear acumen. Although many of the songs that are seniors' favourites aren't really to my taste, some are, and I wouldn't mind singing the others if I see how much they are enjoyed.

Oh, and about volunteering vs. pay; for sure it is possible to get hired because of, or in spite of, playing for free. My friends' band got a monthly paying gig in a nursing home after volunteering there once the staff saw how much the residents loved them. However, I'm inclined to believe Genie and Mike when they say that volunteering is more likely to hurt than help your chances. My problem is that in the one nursing home where I've been volunteering regularly, the residents won't let me leave unless I promise to come back. I guess I have to keep volunteering there the rest of my life.