Arts & Entertainment, Home & Lifestyle

Bonus Chapter No. 1: Advanced Student Coaching

Penn & Teller

Lesson time 14:27 min

Matt Donnelly is a co-host of the podcast Penn’s Sunday School and has recently started to learn magic. Penn & Teller team up with legendary magician Johnny Thompson to coach him on a chop-cup routine that requires a lot of practice and technical skill.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Bonus Chapter No. 1: Advanced Student Coaching


[MUSIC PLAYING] - Matt Donnelly is a really interesting case in magic, the only one I know of. He has 25 years experience in improv, professional comedy, and we've known him for about 10 years. And he had no interest in magic. He didn't have an interest in magic as a child, nothing. But he started writing on our show, "Fool Us," just giving jokes to the magicians, and then just decided, that since he had access to magicians, he would become a magician. So we had Johnny and Teller and me and Mac King and a bunch of other people in Vegas each give him a trick-- and learning magic for, what, a year? - Like a young baby, I still measure by months. So yeah, I've been doing magic for 14 months. - Okay. - Yeah. - And magicians always learn the tricks, get obsessed with all the moves, and then add in the show business and comedy. And this is one of the only cases I've ever known where someone had all the show biz and all the comedy and wanted to add in the magic. So show us. - Yeah, yeah. So I took every favor I could call in, and I asked each magician I could find to teach me one trick. Johnny taught me three. He handed me this thing; he called it the chop cup. Right? And I was learning six or seven tricks at the same time for my show, and this was the only one that actually involved doing magic moves. Right? So like everything else, I went to someone. I said low magic skills, high performance would be great. You know? And then this one you gave me a year ago, Johnny, and it was too difficult for me to do. I cut it from my show and replaced it with another trick. I decided to bring it back. The Ballantine ale thing didn't seem contemporary, and I want to be contemporary. So I had a solo chop cup made. - And why? - I've been meaning to talk to you about that. - All right. So this trick involves-- - Why don't you get the beer can out of there? - Yeah. - Yeah. - Okay. Do you want me to just do the routine? - Yeah. - Yes. - Okay, great. All right. Now, as I said, I'm a Vegas magician. Okay? And a lot of people think, oh, you live in Vegas, you must be all about drugs and gambling and prostitution. And the truth is I've never been much of a gambler. But there is one game I do like gambling on. It's a simple game. It involves a ball and a cup. And I'm looking for somebody here who has the same pension for games of chance that I do. Sir, did you dress yourself today? - Yes. - And then you picked out that shirt and those shoes? - Yes. - Well, you're the type of gambler I'm looking for. All right. Now, what I want you to do here is just pay attention-- ball in a cup. Ball in a cup. Now, no Vegas casino has these dealers sittin' around with a ball in a cup, do they? No. - No. - That's because I learned this game in Jersey. This is Jersey gambling, where I grew up. And I want you to tell me ...

About the Instructor

With more than 40 years performing together, Penn & Teller have sold out shows around the world, earned a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, and created the longest-running headline act in Las Vegas. Now the legendary magicians are taking you behind the curtain. Learn fundamental magic tricks and the psychological tools that create amazement, at home or on stage. Expand your perception of the possible.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Penn & Teller

In their first-ever MasterClass, Teller breaks his silence as he and Penn teach their approach to creating moments of wonder and astonishment.

Explore the Class
Sign Up