From Penn & Teller's MasterClass

Sleight of Hand: The French Drop

Penn & Teller teach the French drop, one of the most fundamental sleight of hand methods. With students watching, they break down the steps of the trick and explain how it’s a building block for hundreds of other tricks.

Topics include: Trick: The French Drop • Sleight of Hand: Adding Grapes

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Penn & Teller teach the French drop, one of the most fundamental sleight of hand methods. With students watching, they break down the steps of the trick and explain how it’s a building block for hundreds of other tricks.

Topics include: Trick: The French Drop • Sleight of Hand: Adding Grapes

Penn & Teller

Teach the Art of Magic

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[MUSIC PLAYING] PENN JILLETTE: We're about to teach you the real backbone of magic, the most important move you could learn, the French drop. We thought before we get some students together, we would show the way we use the French drop and a few other moves. But mostly this is all stuff we're going to be teaching. But this is our version of a trick that's known all over the world. Perhaps the oldest trick in all of magic, the cups and balls. And we've seen this trick in India, Egypt, China. And they all have different props that they use. They use metal cups handed down generation to generation, hand carved wooden cups, fancy little flock to balls. But we felt as we traveled around the world, we represent the United States of America. So we used red plastic cups and aluminum foil balls. So this is the totally disposable cups and balls. And it goes like this same way it does all around the world. Take the first ball. Place it in our hand. Vanish it. It appears underneath the cup. All around the world to the second ball, putting our hand, vanish it. It appears underneath the cup. To the third base a little variation. [INAUDIBLE] takes the ball placed in his hand, then shows you underneath the cup. It still appears underneath the cup. Now we're all set for the next phase. We have three balls, three cups to the center ball. [INAUDIBLE] cup to the two side balls. Put them away. But they rejoin the center cup. I'm just going to take a moment, do a little bit of juggling for you. But then a giant ball, the center cup, one more on either side. And of course, for the finish, it's an American baseball because that's the American cups and balls. After we've done that for a while, we thought we should do a more specific Penn and Teller version of the cups and balls. And we're known for breaking rules of magic. So we thought we'd break a few rules of magic. Now the first rule of magic is you never do the same trick twice. So we're going to do the same trick twice. Second rule of magic is you never tell an audience how a trick is being done. So I'm going to tell you exactly how this trick is being done. The third rule of magic is you never let the audience see your secret preparation. They must not know what is hidden in which pocket. And the fourth rule of magic is unwritten. But I believe any magician in the world would agree with this in a second that you never ever do the cups and balls with clear plastic cups. So here's the Penn and Teller version of the cups and balls. Get the first ball. Pretend to place in our hand. I've already snuck it underneath the first cup. Do the second ball simultaneously secreted beneath the cup. Pretend to place in our hand and show it. Do the third and final ball, pretend to place in our hand, pretend to [INAUDIBLE] cup, replace it with the cup, then secretly secrete it and reveal it. Now we're all set for the second half. The cups are loaded [INAUDIBLE]. The center ball, the c...

Open your mind with magic

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.

Reviews

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

They taught some great magic. Their students weren't cringy. It was interesting to watch them critique a beginner and a pro.

I'm a skeptic that routinely investigates ghost hunters and other paranormal "believers"... understanding how magic tricks are done is an important skill for me.

Would like to know the Cell Fish trick. Good entertainment.

I love Penn and Teller, so watching them and learning from them was a treat .I'm also a writer and a lot of what they saw can be applied to storytelling and any art form.

Comments

Seti J.

I have zero interest in doing magic... I am here for the writing classes. Decided to stick my head in and see what was happening in here. 100% worth the subscription price...

Brett G.

I really love these guys. Wish they weren't atheists though - magic tricks and sleight of hand is no replacement for truly awesome spiritual power.

Casie

PENN AND TELLER CONTEST!! Win two tickets to see P&T live. Enter a video of you performing a Penn and Teller-inspired magic trick into the Community thread: https://community.masterclass.com/t/contest-tickets-to-see-penn-and-teller-live/31360

Rich C.

Solid start. PDF makes a good point to practice in front of a mirror or record yourself.

Chris B.

I’ve been doing the French drop for years, but never had thought of how tense my other hand should have been, which in a way ruined the illusion. Just practiced in front of the mirror and this looks great

DJ J.

This is fantastic! Teller turns out to be a natural teacher. I've always loved these guys, so the whole idea of this class really makes me happy.

Clive G.

Loved it! Practicing with an egg as I have no tin foil, talk about pressure :-)

Larry

Liked it. Can't wait to try this. And flop. But still, everyone will laugh.

Mark

I was a volunteer from the audience for Penn & Teller years ago. Me and another guy bolted Penn, who had stripped to his underwear, into a box, and then rolled the box up onto a piece of sheet metal. Meanwhile, Teller was doing the bit where he puts darning needles and dental floss into his mouth and pulls them out all strung together. Then, he left the stage. Me and the other guy, alone with the box in front of 1500 people. Suddenly from the far side of the stage, Penn rushes on, fully dressed, and screams that we have to open the box. Where, of course, we found Teller in his underwear. I still can't figure it out.

A fellow student

Such a patient and well explained lesson. While I never met Penn, I used to buy coins from his father when I was a kid.