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About BillinDayton

  • Birthday 08/19/1960

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  1. Removed as this is adversting.
  2. What part of Ohio are you in?
  3. Thanks GCL...I feel strongly about my nursing home accounts and how they should be treated by entertainers. To give away complimentary shows tends to create problems for entertainers. If you do it for one, why not do it for others? For everyone? Where do you draw the line? As this is my pure source of income, its not really a direction I want ( or need) to go at this time. That said, there's a handful of AD's who I've worked for for many years...who have called me telling me up front..."Bill...we really need some good entertainment for such and such...I'm sorry I don't have any money in the budget for it...can't you help us?" I've said yes every time...These clients have been great to me over the years and its just good business to help them out. As far as knowing when to hire someone or not...its a tough thing. Don't trust demo tapes or CD's 100%...References form other nursing homes would be great, if you can get them...sometimes NH's will share entertainer's names, which helps cut down the mystery of it all. When I was starting out...I'd walk into the facility and ask to see the AD...after giving her my card and a bit of small talk...I'd suggest if she had a piano handy and a few residents, why don't I show you what I can do right now...I'll play a song or two...say hi to a few residents and we'll go from there...If you/they like what you hear-we can talk...if you don't, no problem...I appreciate your time... It never failed...I had a 100% success rate... If you'd offer an entertainer...especially a piano player/vocalist ...this type audition and they shy away-that tells you they're not what you're looking for... Thanks again... Bill
  4. Bsnook- I hear exactly what you're saying...its amazing what AD's are expected to do with so few resources...For the musician to say "Well, we only charge half that" tells you right away that they aren't very knowledgeable about working with clients like yourself. Just because you get big money in a bar or club doesn't mean beans with nursing homes. I've had calls from many facilities that have limited budgets as well. I know of at least five in the Dayton area that have $100.00 or less for the whole month. That's crazy...Often, their budgets are based on census, but not always. Usually I, and many entertainers, will try and lower our fees to a point that does work. There are other facilities in the area that have amazingly generous budgets (over $1000/mo.). Sometimes...it just doesn't work... For the facilities that don't have much, like I said-some entertainers will try and reduce the price. However, this is what many of us do for our living. Can you name many other businesses that will agree to cut their prices simply because the customers don't have enough funds? I get at least one call for free entertainment a week. Where do we draw the line, when its how we feed our families? I do several free performances for the American Cancer Society, Hospice and the Alzheimer's Associations annually. I donate more than $1000.00 in free performances every year...as many of the other quality and more established entertainers do in this area. I've been told by many AD's over the years that live entertainment is one of the most popular activities the residents have. The generation we're serving holds live music in high regard..Putting a Sinatra CD on for them doesn't evoke nearly the same reaction as a good quality musician. That's the value in hiring good quality entertainers... As an AD your hands are tied, when you don't have the budget, what are you to do except fight for more money and then make sure you're spending it as wisely as possible. Seems like Administrators expect you AD guys to pull rabbits out of a hat. Its a shame... The things you guys do are impressive so often and not recognized nearly enough by management, family members, community, etc. Here's a few suggestions I've seen work for facilities that have very limited budgets: 1) Ask for more money...Sometimes communication isn't what we'd like to to be and mgt. may be more open to the idea than we think. 2) Let the State Survey help you...If your calender is getting comments for a lack of entertainment, use that in making your case... 3) Marketing assistance? For some larger events like Open Houses, the Marketing Department usually has some monies allocated for PR which can be used to cover the costs for a quality entertainer. 4) Fundraisers... Bake sales, arts and crafts fairs, etc. are all annual events I've seen bring in several hundred dollars for facilities activities departments. One NH covers all of the entertainment for their monthly birthday parties with one of these type events. 5) Negotiate with your performers... If someone wants $100 per show, ask if they offer a discount if you book multiple shows. It's normal in this area for entertainers to drop their fees anywhere from 15% to 25% for multiple shows over the course of a year. 6) Partner with area businesses... Some local businesses are always looking for good PR and Advertising with Seniors...(Insurance Agencies, Physicians, Fraternal organizations, Funeral Homes, etc.) I've seen where AD's will get local businesses to underwrite monthly entertainment in exchange for relatively small but tasteful advertising. Good luck... Bill
  5. Most PC's purchased in the last few years all come with a CD burner. Many but not all laptops also can burn CD's... If you have a mp3 player like an Ipod or Zune, you can play them through the "aux in" input of most stereos or cd players... Bill
  6. Miike- While the entertainer section is probably best for more detailed descriptions of your services/act, I think the Moderator would approve of some basic / general info on what you do so we can comment more relevantly. That said, I'll try and offer up some general thoughts. You're stated goal is to be the "go to guy" for Anniversary referrals, special events, parties, etc. You comment on providing additional services that border on what's called "party planning services." I see you're also in Orlando, Florida... My first thought is that a large percentage of residents, especially at nursing home may not have a surviving spouse any more. That leaves a fairly small pool of potential clients, however in Florida, I'd think that's still a lot. Realistically, only a small percentage of residents will actually request a referral from their AD for a special event. Commonly, I've seen where family members in tandem will try and set up something nice for their loved one. In my neck of the woods, this doesn't happen that often...perhaps once a month, if that...In Orlando, I'll bet there's a zillion acts all trying to pick up these type gigs. So, with increased competition, that usually drives down what you can charge for your services. Would these additional "consulting" type services include an extra charge? I would strongly suggest not to. Most AD's have put on so many birthdays/anniversaries, etc. they can do so with their eyes closed. They're not likely to pay for this...what "special knowledge" about these type events do you possess that AD's don't may be a question to think over.. That said, adding these services without charge, will slightly increase your value to them. Time, budgets, resources, (room availability, staff availability, etc...) all factor into planning these kind of events. Usually, they have only a hour or two to hold the function, so keeping it extremely simple is appealing to them. There's a certain "drill" to holding these events...there's a certain room, a certain time during the week that works best, etc...Most of the details are already in their heads... In general terms, and I'm sure most of the AD's here would agree, whatever you do entertainment wise, you'll have to be very good at whatever it is you do. "ETB" covered alot of the most important points. Be on time, do what you say you will and have been hired to do, interact genuinely with the residents and be musically enjoyable. Secondarily, your fees will have to be in sync with your local market. I've been entertaining at Retirement Communities/Nursing Homes/ etc. for over 14 years full time and average just under 400 shows a year. I've never...ever...put together a brochure to market my services. I've never sent out a demo cd or tape to get in somewhere. Why? Because AD's have told me its a waste of time. Most AD's have piles of this stuff from people they've never heard of and don't always read or listen to what someone has put some money behind to produce. The biggest reason is it can be misleading. Too often, what the AD hears on a demo bears little resemblance to the guy now stinking up the joint in their dining room. I promise you, within the ranks of ad.net, there's dozens of stories the gang could share about an act not coming close to their demos... Referrals for private parties come from being hired in the first place, and then impressing the AD's over time. Keep your show fresh, keep it upbeat, don't play "nursing home songs" (The volunteers usually do that.) Our job is to stimulate the residents, not give them a concert. Marketing wise, its always a good idea to look for ways to benefit your clients and grow your business. In my experience, AD's will refer a good talent with great interpersonal skills with their residents over a spectacular talent with marginal people skills every time. Its more about creating a comfort zone or level of trust that they have as long as you're there. This also takes some time. Most AD's already have "go-to" people in mind and someone new selling something they already have covered may not tempt many to change their habits. For me, I use my website as a single stop for any referrals that I get. If a client is asked for a good quality entertainer, they usually give them my website, which contains everything an interested party could want. Contact info, bio, testimonials, schedule, list of places played, audio samples, pictures, a way to book me on line, etc. Combined with the actual referral from the existing client to the potential one, this almost always gets it done. Regards, Bill
  7. DJ- Can you explain a little further what services you provide? Tell us about your act... Thanks-
  8. If the activity staff is getting this "executive" work done while still in the room where the activity is occurring? If not... 1) Who's responsible for the residents? 2) How are accurate assessments of the entertainer themselves done if activities is off doing paperwork? 3) Were you really serious when you said you prefer your entertainers bring their own water? Generally, I'd agree 100% with you about what you should be able to expect from your entertainers. If you're paying for an hour, that shouldn't include set up or break down time.
  9. What is your name? Bill Corfield What is your occupation? Professional Entertainer specializing in LTC Facilities... •What are you listening to right now? POTUS 08, the Political channel on XM... • What was the last thing you ate? A slice of pizza... •Do you wish on stars? Not often enough... •If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Green •How is the weather right now? Overcast •Last person you spoke to on the phone? My Boss, err, Wife... •How old are you today? Turned 48 last week... •Favorite drink? Non-alcohol: Milk •Favorite sport(s) to watch? Hockey •Have you ever dyed your hair? Yes, when I was 20 and on the road with a band, lol... •Do you wear contacts or glasses? Glasses... •Pets? 2 Pugs, 5 fish and a gopher in the back yard... •Favorite month? December... •Favorite food? Bread Pudding... •What was the last movie you watched? Patch Adams... •Favorite day of the year? Christmas and Thanksgiving... •Fall or Spring? "Autumn..." •When was the last time you cried? Teared up on my bday when kids sang happy birthday... •What did you do last night? Painted wife's office and worked on a podcast for a online baseball league I run... •What inspires you? Good music, literature, film, people... •What are you afraid of? Heights... •Favorite car? One that's paid for, lol... •Favorite dog breed? Pugs... •How many years at your current job? 13... •How many states have you lived in? 3-PA, MD and OH •How many cities/towns have you lived in? 4 Pittsburgh, PA, Waldorf, MD, Monroeville, PA, Troy, OH...
  10. Probably a case by case basis... There are some residents you can give the occasional hug of support to with no problems, but there are also some residents that you just can't do that with.
  11. My understanding is the AD never suspected them of doing this before. She's feeling a little duped and not sure what to do. The residents never suspected anything, but when AD asked me for my opinion, I suggested she definitely talk with them. I asked about his health that day and she said she spoke to him and his voice was just fine... Given that his wife also sings, it kind of rules out that he needed a break... I asked her what she would do if they denied it...she's not sure. I told her in my opinion she's the advocate for the residents, right? If she doesn't look out for them, who will? There may be a perfectly legitimate reason for this happening. There have been plenty of times when my voice is on the rocks and it drives me crazy. But, I would never pull a stunt like that without alerting the AD and getting their approval. Again, I hope there is a good explanation for this. If there isn't and an entertainer got caught trying to take short cuts at the residents expense...well, I don't know how you tolerate that... ps-(I do not stand to gain anything regardless on how she handles this...Its not like I'd be handed his gigs. He's only there 2-3 a year...I'm there monthly...)
  12. *No, he's singing over sequenced tracks / cd's of background music...famous songs, not his own works... *Volume wasn't really an issue at all.. *The keyboard you mention is called a sequencer...they can push a button and read the paper and it sounds glorious, lol...
  13. Gang- A client of mine believes a musical entertainer lip-synced some of his last performance at her facility. Several other employees of the facility also saw the same thing. This entertainer is well liked, but not one of the "favorites." He is hired, along with his wife who also sings, to sing over recorded CD's. The AD spoke to the entertainer before and after the gig, not about his lipsyncing, but enough to not suspect any health or throat issues that day. The residents apparently had no clue it was happened... A ) Would it bother you? B ) Do you think its fraudulent or deceptive at all? C ) Would you continue to use them again? D ) If they denied lipsyncing, would that change anything? Thanks-
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