Fifty Shades of Gold: 50 Stagecraft Secrets
by Wayne Dobson
Reviewed by Ian Keable
Dobson's act was well-known for packing small and playing big. He has performed a similar scenario with his latest booklet, cleverly entitled Fifty Shades of Gold. The sub-title, 50 Stagecraft Secrets, says it all: Wayne has listed fifty bits of advice that he has picked up from other performers and learnt from his own experiences.
Although Wayne assumes that the reader is, on the whole, a pretty experienced stage performer already, many of the tips would still be useful for someone starting out down this path. So whilst how to sign an autograph, or to keep on the right side of television producers, might appear outside the realm of ambition of some of us, pointers on handling a microphone or dealing with hecklers are techniques that anybody who wants to move out of the close-up arena could benefit from.
Wayne realises that some might disagree with some of his advice. To take one example, his attitude on stage dress appears out of step with the likes of modern day performers such as Dynamo. But, as Billy McComb used to say, you have to thoroughly know the rules before deciding that you can break them. And, to be honest, what Wayne suggests you wear is going to work for more magicians than adopting Dynamo's attire.
The small 20 page pamphlet is topped and tailed by an amusing, and quite touching, foreword from Joe Pasquale and a message from Wayne's friend and business partner Mike Sullivan. But it is clear that the bits in-between are all authenticated Wayne.
Any advice that gets a man to the top of the magic business has got to be worth absorbing. I learnt several things that I will immediately apply to my own stage performance from this booklet; and I am certain the same will be true for you.
© Ian Keable, January 2016