My advice is to go to where the actual gigs are taking place. Talk to the musicians, the bandleaders, and the conductors. Offer to sub for a non paying rehearsal, for instance. Musicians often will sub out a freebie rehearsal to take a paying job that day. Expectations might not be as high in rehearsal (especially if you're doing them the favor of filling a chair) and you'll be getting a valuable insight into the workings of professional music.
If you want to work the pits, go to where the shows are in your area, finagle your way backstage, and offer your services as a sub. If you're interested in jazz, then you have to go to the jazz club, and maybe ask to sit in. Wedding bands are a good entry level vehicle. Go to the catering hall or local hotel ballroom on Friday or Saturday night and talk to the bandleader and the persons playing your instrument. Offer to sub, and to make whatever rehearsal they need you for.
When you make your rounds, dress well. As snakeman, I assume that you're male, so wear a jacket and tie, or a suit and tie. Get cards made. Nobody keeps phone numbers and other info that's been written on cocktail napkins and bits of paper. Get a nice business card with your name, your intrument(s), your phone number, email, and websight address, if you have one.
Once you get out there, as a working musician, be ready for anything. I've been a full time player for just about 40 years, and I can't for the life of me remember playing an easy gig. The musicians life isn't for the faint of heart. So you need to pick up your instrument and keep it picked up. You have to be able to play anything.....right now. So.....you need to practice, practice, practice.
One last thing. In order to be a really good musician, you have to know the realities of life. No drugs. No alcohol. Not even a little bit. The stuff dosen't make anything any easier, they just do the opposite. So if you run into any of these distractions, just go the other way. If the people on the gig are into that and they want you to be into that in order to make the gig, then you don't need that gig. There's always another gig coming! So stay clean.
Good luck and keep swinging!