After remaining sub-rosa for decades...
To them, the only magic that has any general appeal is spectacle. But, most magicians don’t have the budgets or opportunities for high production values in their shows, let alone informal performances, for spectacle.
The purpose of this series of studies is to convert “Show and Tell” tricks into character pieces. Why? People are more interested in people than in things. A character piece directs the interest to the uniqueness of the personality played by the performance artist—a person—revealed through action.
To overcome this general opinion and compete in the mainstream, magicians must bring in other theatrical elements, or resign themselves to remain on the fringe.
Mainstream performers, such as actors, singers, comedians, dancers, and so on, you see, have access to writers, directors, producers, and technical specialists in related fields.
Trying to single-handedly manage some level of expertise in ALL those areas, while simultaneously becoming a master performer, is beyond reasonable expectations.
That’s why Ron Bauer is releasing twenty-four Performance Scripts. These have been completely worked out and tested by a variety of magicians who perform before the public in various venues.
While most of the material is meant for small groups and “table top” staging, the strategic and tactical thinking included in every one applies to performances under nearly all conditions.
Your stage may be a table, in the round, or the traditional proscenium situation. Possibly, it may be determined what a camera lets the audience see.
What matters, though is your ability to capture the interest and acknowledgement from the public without the benefit of spectacle, and entertain.
In “technical terms,” a completely worked out script provides you with all the elements for an entertaining magical presentation.
“My magic was good, but my magic was definitely falling short of its impact. I could not figure out what I was doing wrong, a friend told me to check out The Ron Bauer Private Studies Series so I did. These may be the best secret to performing fun successful and entertaining magic. I HAVE THE PAY STUBS TO PROVE IT!”
1. Some half dollars jump from one place to another.
2. Show a packet of spot cards, then change them all to picture cards.
You can see immediately how the second two are dramatically more appealing to the public! Believe it or not, the first two started as the same “tricks” as the second two. But, imaginative premises made all the difference.
Next come the words. They’re written in a style for talking, not reading. Just like in real show biz.
“Ron Bauer has done the hard work for us and he offers his results on a silver platter! He found the tricks, he’s perfected the handling, he’s created the presentations and he’s even written the script! All we have to do is read, follow Sandra Kort’s crystal clear illustrations and practice. At ten dollars a piece, I think the Private Studies are an excellent value!”
Well, they’re woven into the narrative, and hidden between each point in the plot.
Then, you’re provided with direction and misdirection to unify all these elements. Direction is about narrative and the thread of unity that holds it together. Misdirection is about hiding secrets out in the open.
It’s how to do what must be done, and why to do it that way; and what to say and when to say it!
So, you don’t need them all to get started.
But, you should know that the series of twenty-four, taken in order, is an entire, step-by-step course in learning to Think Like a Conjurer:
In days not that far in the past, people admired those traits in the personas of Dunninger, Blackstone, Houdini, Devant, and Robert-Houdin.
They devotedly followed the magical adventures of Chandu, Merlini, and Mandrake, though these fellows never really existed!
“Ron Bauer Private Studies Series offers you several professional routines, with outstanding presentations for professional and amateur alike. The production is first class and nothing is left out. You’ll want the whole series, it will make you a better magician.”
32 Video Clips of RB
Demonstrating the Secret Moves.
“The discerning performer owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to Ron Bauer for making available his unprecedented Private Studies Series. Never before has the magic fraternity been offered such a variety of quality professional routines replete with every word of dialogue, crystal clear illustrations and the psychology necessary to insure each effect a masterpiece of theater.”
“Ron Bauer is one of the legends of magic, a true underground icon. Unlike many who publish untested tricks and ‘pipe dreams,’ in the Private Studies series Ron has released his pet routines. Note that I used the term ‘routines,’ for that is what these are—fully fleshed out, real-world, knock-‘em-dead polished routines! Each booklet teaches you more than just a trick. It includes a complete professional performance script along with the all-important ‘whys’—the theory behind the routine; the psychology that makes the piece seem like real magic to the audience. This is rarely seen, especially by someone of Ron’s stature, and it is what makes these pieces worth their weight in gold. In my opinion, it would be impossible for the true student of magic not to become a better magician as a result of careful study of these releases. I give them my unreserved absolute highest recommendation.”
Scott F. Guinn
Great Scott! It's Magic!
“Ron Bauer is a master of scripting and handling. The routines, practical and brilliantly polished, will bring your magical thinking into new dimensions.”
“I highly recommend The Ron Bauer Private Studies Series. For a mere ten bucks you get a fully scripted routine along with Ron’s complete breakdown for the why- and why-nots of performing magic. Ron goes into great detail and covers every nook and cranny. Read them, study them... then go perform them. The Ron Bauer Private Studies will change your way of thinking... it did mine!”
#1 Gadabout Coins Revisited
This is a simple trick with three “lucky coins” that becomes gradually more puzzling until the surprise, stunning finish.
LEARN Setup & Payoff • Repetition • Comedic Exaggeration • and More!
#2 Sudden Death Gypsy Curse
This is a packet trick that makes sense. It uses Tarot cards and offers a prize to any winner. You show how one of your relatives’ game of Seven Card Monte backfired because he tried to cheat a Gypsy!
LEARN Subtext • Direction & Misdirection • The Ideal Situation • History (Who’s Monte?) • and More!
#3 Tony Chaudhuri’s Feminine Side
From a regular deck of cards, you help a male spectator show everyone that he is VERY SENSITIVE because he can somehow(?) separate eight red from eight black cards.
LEARN Planting • Performing for Men vs. Women • Rehearsal • Exposition • and More!
#4 Butch, Ringo & the Sheep
You act out your favorite Urban Legend with seven quarters and a ring that never stay where you put them, especially the third time.
LEARN Lead-ins • Borrowing Delays • Plot Construction • Narrative • and More!
“The booklets are excellent. No one can claim to know all the work on these classic effects without first reading Bauer’s take on the subject.”
#5 Hornswoggled Again!
You SHORT CHANGE a spectator out of a dollar, but when you show him your “sure-fire” defense, he has his revenge!
LEARN Suspense & Emotion • Immediacy • Casual Handling • and More!
#6 Owed to Poker Dan
This is a packet trick that makes hilarious and mystifying sense. With the actual hand of cards played by an unfortunate gambler named Poker Dan, you illustrate how he used uncanny skill to win his last Poker game.
LEARN Dramatizing a Narrative • Melodrama • Delivering Rhyming Patter • and More!
Using faux antique keepsakes of the Confederacy, three Dixie Cups, and a completely worthless $1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000+ bill, you perform a streamlined, fast and funny version of the “Cups and Balls.”
LEARN Simplifying a Complicated Narrative • Pacing • Energy • and More!
#8 The Cursed Ring
You demonstrate how you can’t give away your ring that carries a family curse.
LEARN Subtext • Avoiding the Dead Giveaway • Plot Construction • the Feint • and More!
#9 Fair & Sloppy
This is a whimsically convincing “Triumph-type” effect without resorting to Riffle Shuffles or excessive cutting.
LEARN Using the Narrative to Kill Tells • Rehearsing Tips • and More!
#10 Charlie Miller’s Left-Handed Hank
This is a great, visual quickie! You’re right-handed, but you bought a scarf that’s LEFT-handed (or visa versa). How do you know? You can’t tie a knot with your left hand, only your right!
LEARN Rationalizing the Ridiculous • the Interlude • and More!
#11 Mechanical Deck
Make any deck of cards do your work for you. Shuffle a selection among the other cards, and the deck finds the card. Let the audience see how it works in slow motion! Astonishing visual magic.
LEARN Flexible Lead-ins • Denouement • Transition • and More!
#12 Paul Chosse’s Bar Bill Stunt
You try to teach a trick. It’s almost magic; advanced Origami, but the audience is unimpressed until too much oversell results in the bill turning inside out!
LEARN Versatile Premise • Cause and Effect Relationships • Comic Irony • and More!
“Real world practical material that you can make money with.... I actually use some of it myself!”
#13 Senator Crandall’s Cut-Up Card Trick
This is an amusing and mystifying card revelation founded on interactive behavioral pseudo-psychobabble (that’s the best kind).
LEARN Sham Psychology • Running Gag • Jokes in Narrative • Energy • and More!
#14 Four Squares & a Knot
This is a test with two pairs of hanks that you give to audiences to see how sympathetic they will be during your performance. It’s another sterling example of interactive behavioral pseudo-psychobabble (still the best kind).
LEARN Opening Effects • Switching Character • Play on Words • and More!
#15 Siamese Goose Egg Bag
After years of searching, you have finally obtained an authentic Siamese Goose Egg bag from which you can produce a real Goose Egg! You get a Goose Egg, all right. But, not the way you intended.
LEARN Theme • Intrigue Value • Play on Words • Planting • and More!
#16 Ed Marlo’s Time Machine
This time, you demonstrate that there’s no physical sensation when one goes back in time other than astonishment. Somehow, you arrange 3 piles of cards in 3 unique ways, and one minute later (?) they haven’t been arranged.
LEARN The Moment • Pacing • Unity Control • and More!
#17 Second Finger Top Deal
By replacing the Second, Bottom, and Middle Deals with something brand new, you can deal yourself a winning Poker hand (or just rely on your old standby).
LEARN Audience Involvement with Demonstrations • Running Gag • Planting the Payoff • and More!
#18 Xerox Money
Somehow you’ve come into possession of a supply of high-tech Xerox paper, and you’re going into the business of making your own money. Until a new inspiration jolts you and your audience into a state of unavoidable uprightness!
LEARN Changing Character for Effect • Repetition • Comic Irony • and More!
#19 Milt Kort’s All-Outs Think-of-a-Card
Despite the fact that a spectator merely thinks of a card, you can immediately discern his thought, and PROVE that you can do it anytime you choose!
LEARN Rationalizing Mentalism • Prepared Improvising • Ambiguity • and More!
#20 That’s the Spirit!
Somehow you have captured a spirit in a bottle in a bag, and you prove it by provoking the little creature into manifesting his powers by poking him with a pencil.
LEARN Comedy Mistaken Belief • Interlude • Blocking • and More!
“The Ron Bauer Private Studies Series give a performer first class effects, with great routining and well thought out presentations all presented in a first class package. What more can you ask for? All you have to add is YOU!”
#21 Brother Hamman’s Final(ly) Aces
Finally, a Four Ace Trick becomes an absolutely entertaining and intriguing Poker Deal Trick. How? By using it to show how a cunning magician will always overcome a cheating card hustler. And, guess who gets to play BOTH ROLES?
LEARN Natural or Real • Pacing Repeated Actions • Tempo • and More!
#22 Jim Bergstrom’s Hat Trick
This sophisticated and colorful version of tearing tissues, and magically transforming them into a lady’s hat is a tested sensation for adult audiences.
LEARN Women and Double Entendre • Filling Low Spots • and More!
#23 Bob Longe’s Worn Out Deck
Egads! You want to do a card trick, but your deck is worn out. All card tricks have been used up. As a temporary measure, you UNcut and UNshuffle some of the cards so you can do at least one more card trick before you discard the deck forever.
LEARN Creating Interest • Plausibility • Play on Words • and More!
#24 Don Alan’s Sneaky Nudist Rides Again
In an attempt to save a few bucks, you have purchased such a cheap deck of cards, and almost all the ink has been shuffled off of the faces and the backs. However, you’re perfectly willing to TELL them about a trick, which is almost as boring as having to watch one!
LEARN Informal Performance Energy • Tempo and Pace • Unilateral Narrative • and More!
“The turn of the last century saw the publication of Lang Neil’s Modern Conjurer, a compilation of superb tricks by the leading magicians clearly described by a professional journalist. This was followed mid-century by the acclaimed Stars of Magic series, featuring the best tricks of the best performers. Both books are deservedly classics still worthy of thoughtful study. Now they are joined by Ron Bauer’s Private Studies Series. Ron is an influential creator and performer of magic and a confidant and mentor to many of today’s leading professionals. His selection of material, clear exposition and Sandra Kort’s superb illustrations make each booklet in this series an outstanding lesson in the performance of commercial magic. When the series is complete, it will be an essential course of study for any serious student of the art of magic.”
H&R Magic Books
“I’ve seen Ron Bauer, whose close-up is flawless, and whose stage routines are in the same category.”
“Brilliantly thought out, vibrant, attractive packaging, and, the most important thing is the spectators love the effects. And, they’re fun to do!”
“I like Number 12 best.”
“I feel that the manuscripts are the finest instruction manuals to be released in magic. The value of them puts most typical magic books to shame. I look forward to lots more.”
“Ron Bauer’s Private Studies Series contains some of the cleverest, commercial routines that I have witnessed-each booklet is truly a gem. Ron is to be highly commended for making such a unique series available.”
“Analyzing necessary details, Ron’s educational writings distinctively and knowledgeably offer tremendous attention to the nuances crucial to performing great magic.”
The Miracle Factory
“No one understands magic better than Ron Bauer. He brings to The Ron Bauer Private Studies Series his rich imagination and meticulous attention to detail. Every trick in the series is a magical treat.”
“Ron Bauer’s Private Studies Series is as deceptive as its subject. Slim works with broad insight into the details and psychology that make a magic effect entertaining, memorable and baffling. Each ‘study’ is a compact lesson in great magic.”
“The illustrations are great; the covers are exciting and inviting; your scripts get the tricks off the ground and make their points perfectly. And the tricks themselves are wonderful: entertaining, entertaining, entertaining... and foolers!”
“If you think that $10 is a lot to pay for a trick, you must realize that the items in the Bauer series are not just tricks. Each booklet consists of an excellent magic effect combined not only with a solid presentation, but also with a detailed LESSON in how to CONSTRUCT solid presentations. You don’t just learn a trick. You become a better magician.”
“I have read a number of The Ron Bauer Private Studies manuscripts. I must say they are great. For someone looking to add performable routines, my recommendation would be to explore the great variety of routines offered by Ron Bauer. Each manuscript is thoroughly and clearly illustrated by Sandra Kort (I love the full color covers). The routines, once rehearsed, are complete and very entertaining. The information contained in each of the manuscripts can also be applied to other material. My current favorite is The Cursed Ring. I am glad these booklets are in my library.”
“The Ron Bauer Private Studies Series is a course which will make you a better magician... period. I consider this to be one of the most valuable investments I’ve made in magic as a working performer. Ron Bauer is a very successful businessman outside of magic and certainly did not put this course together to make money. Instead, he has worked on this with the help of a few close friends mostly out of his love for magic. Each booklet covers an effect in an extremely detailed manner discussing not only the how but more importantly the why. Now you may think ‘So I'm paying $10 per booklet and each only contains one trick?’ And the answer to this is simply ‘No.’ Each booklet is a lesson, a piece that has been carefully crafted and honed down through years of thought and use before audiences. These are not simply tricks but instead carefully constructed routines. I consider it amazing that Ron would even share these pieces as he has obviously put so much time and thought into them. For a mere $10 each you are getting a steal. Each booklet also contains a thorough script that has been worked through and through and thought out in meticulous detail. In addition, each booklet discusses Ron’s thinking on various important facets of performing. These alone are worth the price of the series. If you don’t do any of the routines discussed but only gain some insight through these ideas you will have gained something of tremendous value. I find myself going back over these booklets time and time again and always find more. The booklets are beautifully illustrated by Sandra Kort, written in a fabulously insightful and meticulous manner by Ron, and put together with a great deal of care and pride by Ron, Sandra, and John Dowdy. These are truly one of the all time bargains in magic... these are pieces you will have and use quite possibly for the rest of your life.”
“When it comes to an overview of The Ron Bauer Private Studies Series, my inclination is to compare it with the only similar series of efforts magicians are likely to be familiar with: the Tannen Stars of Magic series. It might be proper to say The Ron Bauer Private Studies releases are better written, better illustrated, and do a better job of teaching. All of this is true, but it is not enough. The effects feature more effective presentations, higher production values, and cost far less in today’s dollars than the Stars of Magic series did in its day. This is clear, but is still incomplete. The important part is not that Ron Bauer teaches well in an exemplary format, though he certainly does just that. What IS remarkable is that Ron Bauer connects his powerful presentations with an uncanny understanding of audience interaction, timing, and theatrical considerations ignored by the bulk of the magic literature in any form! It is Ron Bauer’s knowledge of the give and take, the core performance elements that transmute a piece of magic into an experience worth remembering for your audience that elevates The Ron Bauer Private Studies Series beyond the rest. Ron Bauer knows what is truly important in Magic; fortunately for us he conveys that understanding in a clear, powerful way. Not only is it an enjoyable ride through the mind of Mr. Bauer, it is material of lasting value for anyone that seeks to entertain an audience by baffling them. For engaging instruction that easily eclipses any previous series of magical monographs, The Ron Bauer Private Studies Series is an easy choice for anyone that cares about their Magic.”
“Your routines are funny, commercial and practical. I ordered your Cut-Up Card Trick and added it to my performance within a week. I’ve never had a routine polished and rehearsed this fast before. Your course explains all of the subtleties that would normally take weeks of experimentation to figure out. Thank you for offering such a great line of products to the magic community. I will be purchasing from you again in the future.”