Contact: Charles Tant

Beautiful and Elegant Custom Close-up Stages, Close-up Pads, and Custom Ball Sets for the Working Pro, Serious Amateur, and Magic Collector

All magicians know what a close-up pad is, but too few know what a close-up stage is and how it can add so much to their show. Close-up stages are like close-up pads on steroids. Dai Vernon and Gary Ouelett were known for using close-up stages rather than the flimsy, cheap looking close-up pads used by most magicians today. My beautiful close-up stages will set you and your magic apart from other magicians, making you and your magic look better, more polished, and more professional. Our custom made close-up stages are beautiful and made especially for the working pro. Many months of research, testing, and searching for the perfect materials have gone into creating the ultimate close-up stage.

Each stage is built of the highest quality material available and work perfectly whether you’re working with cards, coins, cups and balls, or whatever kind of props you use in your act. Card workers will love how the cards spread so easily, and are easy to control. Coin workers will love how the coins slide effortlessly and smoothly, and with our special padding, routines like Matrix are a breeze. Not too hard, not too soft. Try the Schneider move once and you will fall in love with our stages.

Do I even offer close-up pads? Yes, but my custom close-up pads are not your typical pad sold at most magic shops and online. My close-up pads are built only when ordered and are made for working pros. What is the difference between a close-up pad and a close-up stage? My close-up pads are thinner and lighter weight than the stages, but are still made from the same high quality materials. The close-up stages are thicker and heavier. The stages rise higher from the tabletop and give the magician an extra special place to demonstrate his magical miracles. It truly is a close-up stage and is perfect for experienced pros wishing to add to the aesthetic appeal of their show. But these pads and stages are not only beautiful they are also functional. They are designed to work perfectly with cards, coins, cups and balls, and any other type of close-up props. The padding is designed to make secret pick ups easier and undetectable. These are the perfect close-up pads and stages.

I am also proud to offer to the magic community the finest CUSTOM BALL SETS to be found anywhere at any price. These are not your typical crochet balls. Our balls are made of super durable nylon crochet and feature our own unique crochet pattern. They are visually more beautiful and more interesting to look at. The unique texture also helps make sleights even easier.

We worked for months developing this unique pattern so that I could offer my fellow magicians balls with a totally unique look and feel. Our balls are heavier than most as they are made with a solid rubber core. No more super lightweight balls. These balls are heavier and handle much easier.

I also offer a ball specially designed for the more experienced pros, my Ultra-Balls. Ultra-Balls have the same solid rubber core,but are specially weighted making them even heavier. Once you use Ultra-Balls with your cups routine you will fall in love with the cups all over again.

“Beautifully made and I love the weight of them. Perfect size. These balls are great.


World's Best Street Performer, Master of the Cups and Balls

I officially debuted my stages at the 2018 Winter Carnival of Magic in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.  Within three minutes of walking in the door of the convention center a crowd of magicians had formed around me asking me questions about the close-up stage I was carrying. Everyone thought it was beautiful, and felt great, but were concerned with how it would perform under real world performance conditions. I urged the other magicians to feel free to try it out, and they did. They really put my close-up stages to the test, performing with cards, coins, sponge balls, cups and balls, chop cups, the three shells, you name it.

The photo at the left shows Josh playing around with the cups and balls on my custom stage, using my custom balls. The photo is special to me for a couple of reasons. First, he had very high praises for my products. And second, he said this may be the only photo of him doing the cups and balls. He doesn’t do a three cups routine. He only performs a chop cup routine. That makes this photo twice as special to me.


“These [stages] are beautiful and have the perfect padding. They look and feel amazing. I love the balls too. The weight and the texture is great. I have never seen a texture like this on a set of balls. Keep making these because they are awesome.”

Joshua Jay

Magician, Author, co-owner of Vanishing Inc. and all around nice guy

Meet a few of the other working pros who love my custom close-up stages.

Now it’s time to take your performances to the next level too.

Mike Kaminskas produces some of the finest cup sets and chop cups in all of magic. Cups this beautiful deserve to be performed on the finest surface available. My custom close-up stage makes Mike’s beautiful cups even more beautiful. One look and the audience knows they are in for something special.

Mention the name Losander and it immediately conjures up images of levitating tables, bubbles, and nearly anything else you can imagine. Losander’s magic looks like real magic and leaves audiences breathless. Regardless of your performing style I can design a close-up stage you will be proud to use and proud for your audience to see. Here Losander is seen with one of my Executive stages.

To see Gazzo perform is to see a master of magic, sleight of hand, misdirection, audience control, and entertaining. In the photo above you see Gazzo performing an amazing card effect for the legendary mentalist, Lee Earle (left), a couple of other magicians, and me. After this impromptu performance I was able to spend almost two hours talking shop with Gazzo and Lee.  Gazzo loves the unique performing surface on that particular close-up stage saying “it’s perfect.” It’s the most requested surface, and for very good reason.

Andrew Hyder from Tennessee Magic Emporium shows those aces who’s the boss. After serving our country in the Marine Corps Andrew has returned to magic and I’m glad he did. He has a great selection of magic and my favorite thing to collect…MAGIC BOOKS GALORE. Andrew took one look at my custom stages, gave them a test run and ordered one for himself immediately. He is seen in the photo performing on his stage I call the Hyder Vampire. It is made of a deeply embossed heavy black vinyl base topped with my super sexy leather-look black suede. His stage also has antiqued silver corner braces with paw feet, raising it slightly off the table, making it easy to conceal coins or cards until needed. The top fabric allows for perfect card spreads, and coins slide effortlessly. What a statement this one makes.

I met Landon Roberson for the first time at the Winter Carnival of Magic. He did a hilarious version of bill in lemon trick. Instead of a lemon he used a large, whole dill pickle. It was 8 minutes of solid entertainment and side splitting laughs. Landon’s delivery and timing was perfect and everyone present immensely enjoyed his performance. If a big ol’ jolly guy with a mischievous smile walks up to you and asks, “Would you help me? Would you hold my pickle?” Just do it. You will not regret it. I should probably add that you should only agree to do that if the guy behind that smile and odd question happens to be named Landon Roberson. Landon may be all about laughs and good times, but don’t let that fool you. He has some serious chops.

Chad Long is one of magic’s most talented and nicest performers. Known for his incredible sleight of hand and his hilarious sense of humor Chad knows how to entertain an audience. Whether performing a classic effect or one of his amazing original creations Chad will leave you wanting more. My custom stages are perfectly suited for performing comedy card effects or the most difficult of coin routines.

Dan Garrett is a living legend and one of my mentors. I have known Dan since my early teen years, back when we both had a lot more hair. I used to spend many hours with Dan in his magic shop in Atlanta, and those were some of the happiest times of my youth. It is an honor seeing Dan perform on one of my custom close-up stages. Dan will always have a very special place in my heart and I owe him many thanks for all he has taught me through the years. Who knew legends could be so modest and so kind?

Bruce Amato is a great guy, not to mention a great magician. Skilled and very knowledgeable, Bruce entertains an audience with classics and original routines. I met Bruce for the first time recently and it was a pleasure to get to know him and see him perform. As you can tell by the big smile on his face, Bruce loves my custom close-up stages. He is pictured here with the Victorian model. Its unique performing surface is unlike anything most magicians have ever seen. It’s a dream to use.

Brian Reaves is an award winning magician from the deep South…Alabama. Magician, ordained minister, and a motivational speaker, Brian is not only a well rounded person, but a very versatile performer. Brian ordered a custom close-up stage with a purple performing surface. I searched high and low for several weeks, buying and discarding one fabric after another until I finally found the perfect one. Recently, I was fortunate enough to see Brian perform his version of Dean Dill’s famous Explosion routine. He nailed it! Dean would have been well pleased with that performance. I know I was thoroughly entertained. The luxurious purple fabric makes his explosion finale really POP.

If you are a professional magician or a serious amateur and you would like for your photo to be included here among these other hard working pros just let me know. Send me a photo of you performing with one of my custom close-up stages and I will gladly include your photo in the Wall of Fame. If you use my custom balls in your cups routines or chop cup routine send me a photo and I’ll include it also.I hope to see your photo here soon.

Top pros, well known throughout the magic community for their acts, marketed effects, books and videos, award-winning champions of magic, magic shop owners, serious amateurs, and collectors of quality magic have all fallen in love with my custom close-up stages and my custom ball sets. If you want to perform your magic on a close-up stage that lets your audience know immediately that you are a pro let us create one for you. Contact me and let’s discuss your performing style and what kind of stage is best suited for your individual needs.

My custom close-up stages and custom ball sets are being used by professional magicians appearing at the world famous Magic Castle, various shows in Las Vegas, and major touring shows in America, Europe, and Asia.

Finally, custom ball sets hand-crocheted in durable nylon and made specially for working pros and serious amateurs. These balls are larger and heavier than the typical balls that come with your cup sets. Solid rubber cores with strong nylon crocheted covers featuring our exclusive “Chaos Pattern” gives these balls a unique look and feel that you will love. Heavier than wood and cork core balls for superior handling.

My desire is to breathe new life into the oldest trick in magic, the cups and balls. I plan to do this by offering magicians magical options never before available to them. Look at the photo to the left. It is a first in magic – a crocheted CUBE.

We offer cubes, cylinders, disks, pyramids, flattened balls and flattened cubes, and even chopped cubes.

We make beautiful final load balls to fit any cups and they can be made to match the regular balls. From 1″ to melon-sized, we offer the working pro nearly unlimited options in custom ball designs. Have an idea for a great ball set or amazing final loads? Contact us and let us help you bring your ideas to life.

Watch the video below to see me performing a short One Cup Routine featuring some of my custom ball options. I hope you enjoy what you see and will be inspired to develop new routines for this ancient and beloved classic of magic.

Pick Your Color

On the right you will see a chart showing the many different colors we have available for you to choose from. The thread used is nylon for strength and durability. They will not fray or break easily. If they get dirty simply wash them. These balls will last for many years and will remain looking great for thousands of performances.

The top two rows of balls are solid colors. Classic Red is the most popular, but don’t be afraid to experiment and try a new color.

The royal blue is beautiful and the pink shows up so well, even on the largest stages. Pewter is another color you rarely see, but looks great with brass and copper cups. Pewter would not be a great choice for aluminum or polished steel or silver cups. The natural color, like pewter looks amazing with darker cups and really stands out on our custom close-up stages.

The bottom two rows are solid nylon with metallic silver or gold woven into them.  The most popular metallic balls are the Ivory/Gold, Turquoise/Silver, and the Red/Gold. The metallic colors really grab your audience’s attention and look super professional. Look at the photos below to see various colored balls on top of a variety of cup styles and colors…stunningly beautiful.

All colors are available for regular ball sets, matching final loads, our exclusive and original special effects balls, cubes, cylindrical, flat smash balls, and our “karate coin” style balls. Yes, you can do do the karate coin effect within your cups and balls routine. It is something no audience has seen…until now!

Custom Storage Cases

I also offer custom storage cases made to perfectly fit your custom close-up stages and special custom drawstring bags to store your custom ball sets.

The storage cases are made of soft, but very durable vinyl and like the stages and balls, are made to order.

The ball cases are made large enough to store not only the balls, but most cups and balls sets also.

Storage cases are recommended and will protect your close-up stage or pad and ensure that it looks great for years to come. These custom cases do not have carrying straps. A simple solution to make carrying your close-up stage easier is to purchase an artists portfolio case available at arts and crafts stores. Hobby Lobby sells these heavy duty carrying cases for less than $30.

I’m proud to offer a very special set of custom balls made EXCLUSIVELY FOR WORKING PROS.  Introducing my ULTRA-BALL SETS. My Ultra-Ball Set looks exactly like our standard rubber core balls, but are specially weighted making them much heavier. Most magicians will think the Ultra-Balls are too heavy, but experienced cups works will instantly fall in love with the heavier balls. These balls also have a solid rubber core, but also contain a special weight inside to give it that extra weight you will love. Sleights that are difficult with standard wood and cork balls almost happen on their own with the Ultra-Balls.

I am pleased to offer magicians nearly unlimited possibilities in custom ball designs. Watch the video below to see me during a recent practice session performing a short One Cup Routine using some of my custom balls. Enjoy.

Shakespeare wrote: “All the world’s a stage.” It’s true. In nearly every part of life, including our daily routines, we are on a stage giving a performance. We play the part of a successful and persuasive person of power in business meetings. We play the role of a compassionate and loving individual when we are with family and friends. Every role we play during any given day is a type of performance.

As a magician you often perform before an audience of strangers who may not know you personally. You may worry that your audience is judging you and your performance, and rightly so. Every audience, whether colleagues in the board room, or on stage performing magic and grand illusion in a beautiful theater for the performing arts, you are being judged, or more accurately, your performance is being judged. The stage, large or small, is a big part of every magician’s life. Laymen look at the stage as a magical and terrifying place. Magical because of the great performances they witness on the stage. Stories are brought to life on stage and in the audience’s imaginations by talented performers. The stage is also a terrifying place for laymen due to the number one fear in the world, the fear of public speaking. Laymen see magicians as being even more amazing because of their ability to perform before audiences of all sizes without passing out, freaking out, crying, or dying of a heart attack when the curtain rises.

There is a mystique about the stage and as a performer you would be wise to understand that and exploit it during your performances.

Too many magicians think of stage magic only from the perspective of performing grand illusions costing many thousands of dollars. Magicians specializing in close-up magic often don’t think of themselves as stage performers, but they are stage performers. All performers, regardless of the size of their acts, are stage performers. A close-up performer’s stage is simply a lot smaller than the illusionists are used to performing on, but that doesn’t mean the close-up performers magic is any less amazing and worthy of an audience’s admiration and appreciation. In fact, as someone who has performed a full evening show of grand illusion, I can assure you that it is often the small, close-up effects that generate the deepest emotional connection with an audience. More often than most illusionists are willing to admit, it is the close-up routines that create the most powerful and lasting memories of your show long after the final bows have been taken. Close-up magic is, without question, the most magical for the audience because the magic takes place right under their noses or in their own hands. There are no large fancy boxes, or special lighting effects. There are no dance numbers to distract your audience. It’s a very personal performance between you and them. It’s great magic up close and personal.

Close-up pads act as the close-up performer’s stage. I have seen many world class magicians perform their miracles on what looks like a large mouse pad or a dining table place mat. Their magic was amazing, but their “stage” left much to be desired. I have also used these glorified mouse pads in my own performances because that is what has been universally available for magicians to use.

You no longer have to perform on flimsy, cheap looking close-up pads. Now you can have a custom, hand made close-up stage that lets your audience know that you are a professional entertainer. Our close-up pads are made using the finest materials available. The performing surface is perfect whether performing with cards, coins, or the cups and balls, and comes in several beautiful colors and patterns. The base has a wood core covered in your choice of a variety of beautiful and durable materials.

Our custom, handcrafted close-up stages are currently available in 4 sizes 12×18, 16 x 22, 18 x 24, and 24 x 36 inches.

You work hard at perfecting your craft. Countless hours of practicing in front of a mirror or video camera just to learn a new sleight. You want your performance to be perfect and leave your audience with a memory that will last a lifetime. Don’t cheapen your magic by performing on what looks like a cheap rug or fancy mouse pad. Let us make a beautiful close-up stage for you that you will be proud to perform on. Let us help you and your magic look better than ever .





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