Re: and what is the pay . . .?
It is interesting how many of the people in the position of hiring the bands would expect the bands to play for nothing.
Afterall (especially for you in New York), you have to pay for everything. It's like walking into McDonalds and expecting to get your food for free. Legitimate businesses are in the business to make money. For some reason, people think musicians are in the business of playing music.
Lately, when people have asked for my services, I give it about 45 seconds of chatter about what they need and then I jump into price negotiation. Unfortunately, I've had to adopt a "nothing is free" attitude and if that meant I don't get the gig, then that's what that means. I've met enough people who hire musicians to know that when they don't spend the right amount of money, they're complaining about it later on down the road, so I think the message does get through to some of them.
I have found that if I don't appear too desperate that usually works in my favor. If they get the vibe that I don't need their gig, they would rather have me for their gig. Thankfully, I have another career that pays the bills.