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Topic: Close-up pad, should I purchase one?
Message: Posted by: Gulyás Imre Miklós (Oct 5, 2009 04:28AM)
Hello people

I am a newcomer to the magic world (started ~1 month ago).

I am mainly practicing card sleights and flourishes (I've got still only 1 blue Bycicle deck). That's the most available magic besides coin magic for a beginner I think.

I am still trying to find out which area fits me well, though I can imagine myself as a card flourisher/card magician in some years of practice.
[ http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=59324&forum=41&51 ][This is an invaluable thread!]

What are the pros of a close-up pad? Do you think it is worth getting one for me?

Message: Posted by: molsen (Oct 5, 2009 05:25AM)
If you are doing more than a bit of (sitting) tabled work, you really deserve to have a close-up pad. If most of your work is standing up then I think that cards/coins/books should be higher on the list than a close-up pad.

The advantage is that 1) it looks nice and presents the items you put in it well, and 2) you have a uniform and suitable surface to work on which allows you to spread / pick up / etc. cards coins &c.

Just my $.02
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Oct 5, 2009 06:55AM)
If you are doing a parlor or stage show, the close-up pad provides a nice bit of theater for the routine. For walk-around or real-world close-up work I seldom find the need for one.

When you whip out the pad, it sets a certain ambience that I prefer to avoid. I like to come across as not all that adept at cards. I do not try to impress with flourishes, etc. Why give the specs reason to burn your hands? I want my card magic to look like MAGIC and not years of misspent youth.

I do use the pad when the need requires, however. For me, the "store bought" pads are a little bulky and fairly expensive for what you get. So, I have used carpet samples, and shelf liner to good effect and at way less (or no) cost. I particularly like the thin, rubber shelf liner, as you can fold it and carry it around incognito, so to speak...

Message: Posted by: MMark (Oct 5, 2009 07:56AM)
I like the pads because they make a good focal point. They are also useful if you want to get a really inexpensive portable table. It's very much personal choice, but for myself I prefer a pad or performing table with a soft surface.

Message: Posted by: Gulyás Imre Miklós (Oct 5, 2009 09:16AM)
Thanks for the tips!
Message: Posted by: DomKabala (Oct 5, 2009 09:17AM)
If you are doing card magic I suggest you buy a mat in a contrasting color of the deck you are using. I like all colors of decks so I went with a green mat, 16" x 20" (Gibson).

DOM :) ;)
Message: Posted by: HerbLarry (Oct 5, 2009 10:35AM)
Hi Gulyás,
Make one. An old towel, some new cloth and some thread. The towel provides cushion the new cloth (any color you like) provides aesthetics. It's personal, functional, washable, affordable, and it will get audience attention. After a trick people wanting to inspect the mat is much better than the cards and it will happen, wanting to see the mat that is. After all they saw nothing you could have done with your hands so there has to be magnets or something hidden in the cloth. If you decide to go pro you can always buy a "real" one. Save money for things you can't make like one of those accessories that helps with a coins across.
Message: Posted by: Gulyás Imre Miklós (Oct 5, 2009 11:27AM)
Thanks Larry for the idea.
I will ask my aunt to make one. (She likes to sew)


Gulyás is my family name, Hungarian names work like Japanese or Korean ones, family name first
Message: Posted by: JamesTong (Oct 5, 2009 12:44PM)
Its good to make the close-up pad yourself. That way you can customize the size you want and the materials used are very cheap. Use the money on other things.
Message: Posted by: MMark (Oct 5, 2009 02:07PM)
Pattrick Przysieecki offers very high quality mats and the prices are pretty decent. His site: http://www.pmsmagic.com/mats.htm#

Message: Posted by: HerbLarry (Oct 5, 2009 02:25PM)
Hi Imre,

Thanks for the correction. Here is one for you, my family name is Larry and Herb is my given name. :) Now that we are on the same page.......your Aunt could be very handy with other projects as well. Egg bag, Devils hank, :cups: bag, etc. Wish I had an Aunt. I find women at Quilting B's that are very helpful though.
Message: Posted by: pearljamjeff (Nov 17, 2009 03:27AM)
I've been in magic almost 20 years since my first magic set, and I am only now thinking about purchasing a close-up mat.

You will know when you need one. I would not bother for now. You don't want to get used to having the "perfect surface" all the time. It could become a crutch.

I couldn't agree more with what Jim stated above regarding the use of a mat setting a certain tone for your magic. It definitely removes some of the "organic" nature of a magical effect, turning it from a potential miracle to a demonstration of sleight of hand. All is merely my own opinion, of course.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Nov 17, 2009 06:20AM)
Suggestion: Consider getting it made of real leather like the tops of the good Tabman tables.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: rjthomp (Nov 18, 2009 12:36PM)
I would highly recommend one for beginners who are serious about magic. It will really set you apart from Uncle Joe who knows a couple of card tricks... Even the 21 card trick looks much better on a close-up pad ... though perhaps not enough better to actually make you want to do it...

Learn a couple of simple flourishes, use a close up pad, and do simple, self-working card tricks to get yourself started and used to performing...

Message: Posted by: James Crosbie (Nov 20, 2009 06:36PM)
I agree with PearlJamJeff. I've only just started out, and bought myself a pad straight away. While it is really great to practice with at home, I've noticed I've become quite accustomed to it, to the point that when I present tricks to others on a smooth surface, I occasionally lose a little control (ie when spreading the cards or even just picking them up!).

My opinion is, by all means purchase/make one and it will help in practice, but do not grow too accustomed to its feel, to the point where other surfaces become unworkable.
Message: Posted by: Spellbinder (Nov 20, 2009 08:32PM)
On 2009-10-05 07:55, mandarin wrote:
I particularly like the thin, rubber shelf liner, as you can fold it and carry it around incognito, so to speak...

One way to have an "incognito" pad when you need one: check out cloth placemats at the Dollar Store or other places where placemats are sold. If you find one that works well for you, you can bring it with you and toss it down someplace close to the spot you imagine you'll be working. When you need the pad, just say (to no one in particular) "Can I borrow this? Thanks." Use the pad and put it back when you ate done. If you can retrieve it later, fine. If not, it only cost you a buck or so.