Stage Business — Book Trailer

Author: Gerry Fostaty
Book: Stage Business

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Michael Dion is an actor, not a detective, but when Amanda, an attractive actress, asks him to help her find Kyle, her friend's rebellious son, how can he refuse? The gig turns out to be much more than Michael had bargained for. Kyle has fallen into the clutches of small-­time drug dealers. Egged on by Amanda, Michael bluffs and blusters his way to secure the boy's release. The thugs overreact, putting Michael's life at risk until his fellow actors and special effects artists come to his rescue.…more

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Norman Hall Gerry Fostaty's "Stage Business" is an easy, pleasurable read. Wrapped in the clothing of the theatre and its cast of characters the novel not only introduces the behind-the-scene world of the acting business but also takes us on a thrilling ride into the world of drug-dealers, raves and gangs in Toronto. There is lots of compelling action, but also wit an humour. The latter are used effectively to show the lighter side of acting, dealing with theatrical agents and the life of the book's main character.
The story takes place during the last angst-filled days of a play rehearsal. It is a first person account of actor Michael Dion as he is lured by his lust for fellow actor Amanda into helping her find Kyle, the missing seventeen year old son of her friend. Michael tracks Kyle through his Facebook friends, and is led to the Dragon Lady; otherwise known as Megan. She is a "Trustafarian"--Bohemian trust-fund brat, who is a symbol of what Fostaty sees as the current generation of self-centred 20 somethings who crave praise but without having to do the work to warrant it while posing as "rebels" and "tough guys" in front of their friends.
Megan directs Michael and Amanda to the site of a rave where Kyle had been taken away by a gang known as the Pack Boys for dealing drugs in their territory. Michael becomes increasingly nervous about his involvement in Kyle's disappearance and life-style. However, continued high hopes of winning over Amanda's affections make it impossible for him to avoid being drawn into Kyle's world.
In his theatre life, Michael still has to get off book--memorize his lines, which he does with the help of his friend and co-star Nigel. It is Nigel, along with Bid the stage manager and Tamara the costumer who are to play important roles in the drama developing off stage in the real world. Along with Michael and Amanda, Nigel, Bid and Tamara stage a real life drama to rescue Kyle using all their skills as actors and the props and special effects of their pr0fession. One thing is clear. Having a cadre of talent from a theatre company on your side when you are in a serious jam is a very good thing.
The novel occasionally becomes pedantic, dwelling too much on the details of the theatre and Fostaty's social commentary. These occasions are rare, however, and the pace eventually picks up. The story would have benefited if some of the action scenes had been less rushed.
"Stage Business" does succeed in creating enough tension and a few twists and turns to keep the reader uncertain as to the outcome. It also delivers a surprise in Michael's quest for love. As well as to glimpse into the world of politics. Fostaty's background as an actor provides genuine insight into the theatre world. The novel works, the characters are believable and the plot rings true. "Stage Business" is a worthy first novel. It is easy to envision meeting some of the characters again.

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