Howdy TB. I've been freelancing (almost entirely orchestra) for the last 3 years and have never really had any problems with contractors. This particular person is one of the major contractors in the area, but I have only worked with him/her once. They have contacted me probably 10 times, but I have always been unavailable. Also, another time I had to cancel fairly close to the gig for personal reasons (but I provided a replacement player). The first time, when asking me to play, they did not list the pay so I politely asked about it, cartage, etc. This seems very strange to me for them not to list it, but w/e. There was no problem. I'm playing again, and once again asked about pay or any changes in cartage. The response was "you really have to ask?"
I responded politely, explaining my reasoning (which seemed perfectly obvious to me). Is this normal behavior on their part? I wasn't trying to imply that their wages were low or something, it's just that I'm a poor musician and when I'm playing a gig, the difference between a $400 and $600 gig means a lot.