This article “Penn And Teller Masterclass Review” will provide you with the opportunity to read an in-depth evaluation of Penn And Teller’s Masterclass, including information on how the lessons are presented, who the course is best suited for, the cost, what I enjoyed about it, etc.
The MasterClass ad interrupting your YouTube browsing experience is one of the most difficult things to get around on the site, especially if you’re looking for your “try not to laugh challenge” video. As a MasterClass member, I find it difficult to move on without them.
I recently came across an ad for a MasterClass in chess that I had never heard of before. So enticing was the MasterClass that I completely forgot about the Italian Opening and added it to my queue instead.
Of course, I’m referring to Penn and Teller, the world-famous magic duo who have defied the Magicians Alliance by disclosing their trade secrets.
Having seen the trailer, I had high expectations for the film. Penn says in the class trailer, “We’ve got stuff here for you no matter what level you’re at magic.”
This MasterClass would have been worthwhile if it taught me even one or two new magic tricks to wow my family and friends. “Once you know a few simple principles, you can build your entire magic routine,” Penn and Teller tell their students.
Who Are Penn and Teller?
Penn And Teller, Penn Jillette, and Teller are American magicians, entertainers, and scientific skeptics who have performed together since the late 1970s. They are noted for their ongoing act that combines elements of comedy with magic.
One of the world’s most famous illusionists, Penn & Teller, have been performing together since the 1980s.
On top of that, they’ve appeared on numerous TV shows, including Saturday Night Live and The Late Show with David Letterman, and hosted their own specials, including Fool Us and Bullshit, in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Aside from the American Writers Guild awarding Bullshit Best Reality TV Show in 2004, the Independent Investigations Group also recognized Bullshit’s role in promoting scientific and critical thinking in mainstream entertainment in 2008.
Regardless, Penn and Teller are more than qualified to teach a Magic Masterclass, and their skeptical, analytical approach provides a surprising and thought-provoking perspective!
Knowing that Penn and Teller are on Twitter may make you feel more at ease; they both have some great advice to provide on the social media platform that you should definitely check out.
What Is MasterClass?
MasterClass launched in 2015 with the simple premise that everyone should have access to genius.
Inspiring MasterClasses are available on the online education platform, taught by experts in their fields of expertise.
If you’re interested in learning how to cook like Gordon Ramsay or make films like Martin Scorsese, check out MasterClass.
Additionally, MasterClass is adamant about the quality of its content and learning materials. This is a rare opportunity for students to learn in a new and interesting way.
More than twenty-five MasterClasses later, I can say with confidence that many of them were excellent and insightful in some way.
Some, on the other hand, are unquestionably superior to others. Also, make sure the course you’re considering is the right one for you by doing some research first.
Course Overview – Penn And Teller Masterclass Review
The 17 lessons in the Penn and Teller MasterClass range in length from 5 to 15 minutes. It lasts just under three hours in total.
To give you an idea of what’s in store, I’ve outlined the lesson’s content here in this article “Penn And Teller Masterclass Review” which will provide you with the opportunity to read an in-depth evaluation of Penn And Teller’s Masterclass, including information on how the lessons are presented, who the course is best suited for, and the cost, what I enjoyed about it, etc.
Because I’ve combined practical and theoretical lessons, my summaries don’t follow a traditional lesson structure.
Introduction, Sleight of Hand: The French Drop and Cup and Balls
A short intro tells us that “the blast you’re about to get, ‘is a high you’ll want to chase for the rest of your life,'” and that the French Drop is the building block for many magic tricks.
Penn and Teller break down The French Drop’s physical, dramatic, and psychological components in their work with three complete novices.
As a first-timer, I found it extremely beneficial to watch Penn and Teller work with novices in order to better understand the progression of a trick.
Magic happens when someone masters the trick and can’t believe what they’ve just witnessed. This is truly an incredible moment of magic.
Continuing from the French Drop, Penn and Teller show their students how “each magical surprise covers the next move” in Lesson 3 by teaching their students a cup and ball routine.
Slow-motion replays and close-ups of hands-on demonstrations solidify student understanding in both settings.
Coin Magic, Card Magic, and Rope Tricks
Penn and Teller work with their novice students to teach them a variety of stunning coin, card, and rope tricks that use various techniques, such as the ones listed below:
- Sleight of hand and palming
- Sound misdirection (coin tricks)
- Card force and card location (card tricks)
- Destruction and resurrection (rope tricks)
Penn and Teller are joined by the late Johnny Thompson (who sadly passed away since this MasterClass was filmed) for several sessions, including those on card magic.
One of Thompson’s most well-known card tricks is explained by Penn and Teller and their former mentor.
Card force is used in each trick to trick the picker into picking a specific card when they think they have a choice. With the addition of a duplicate card in later tricks, the magician can perform an unlimited number of “miracles” with just a little creative thinking (see more).
The coin magic lesson was a particular highlight for me. These tricks can be used in any social situation because you’re always going to have some spare change. So many ideas for taking coin tricks to the next level were available.
These classes flew by, and I had many “well, I’ll be damned!” moments during them. Lastly, seeing the Silver Fish trick performed in front of a live audience was one of the highlights. Furthermore, this trick’s heart is a simple coin trick, so it only goes to show how far the fundamentals you learn in this course “Penn And Teller Masterclass Review” can take you!
What is Magic? Misdirection, Magic vs Lying, Mentalist or Crook? Exploiting the Best of the Human Brain
The focus here shifts from Penn and Teller’s approach to magic to philosophical and ethical considerations.
They talk about magic’s connection to:
- And the audience – since magic can’t be performed in isolation!
Penn and Teller reject the notion that deception is merely a means of diverting the attention of the audience. Using this technique, your audience can help you avoid the pitfalls of the magic by following along with your every move.
They argue that since magic involves deception, you owe a duty of candor to your audience.
As an illustration, Penn and Teller show how magic tricks can be used to imply that you possess psychic abilities. As well as the ways in which this can be exploited to profit from people’s grief.
It’s also explained how they use the strengths and weaknesses of the human brain to create an expectation in the audience’s mind, before pulling the rug back to confound that expectation.”
Despite the fact that these lectures were primarily theoretical, they were concise and focused. Inspiring, thought-provoking, and eloquently conveyed Penn and Teller’s decades-long contemplation on the morality of magic.
As always, there was an in-depth demonstration following each step of the process in addition to the theory presented.
Advanced Student Coaching (Matt Donnelly & Piff the Magic Dragon), and Penn and Teller Live
Penn, Teller, and Johnny Thompson help more advanced students of magic (Matt Donnelly and Piff the Magic Dragon) fine-tune their chosen routines at the MasterClass’s conclusion.
Seeing how even a professional routine can change as a result of collaboration with others was extremely helpful.
Toward the end of the MasterClass, Penn and Teller perform their mind-boggling CellFish trick in Las Vegas.
Who is this MasterClass for?
Fans of Penn and Teller
For Penn and Teller fans, this course is a treasure trove of information about the duo’s individual lives, their collaborative endeavors, their beliefs, and their show. It’s possible that you, too, will be delighted to hear Teller speak for the first time, as many others have been.
Anyone who wants to learn magic from the ground up will benefit greatly from this book because you’ll be exposed to magic principles that underlie nearly every other trick.
Even more advanced magicians will find plenty to do. You can make a simple trick your own by incorporating your own personality traits and mannerisms, as Penn and Teller demonstrate. In addition, there are two advanced student coaching sessions in the bonus content.
If you want to get into magic, this will help you gain more self-confidence and creativity. You can also benefit from Penn and Teller’s theories and philosophy even if you don’t watch the show.
Even if you’re a seasoned magician, this course probably has nothing new to say to you – but you’ll still appreciate the course’s polished presentation, wit, and entertainment value.
Course Prices – Penn And Teller Masterclass Review
When this article was written, there were three different ways to subscribe to MasterClass. The monthly cost of these is:
- Individual (1 user) $15
- Duo (2 users) $20
- Family (6 users) $23
All of these services are billed annually, which may appear to be excessive at first. Taking as many classes as possible, on the other hand, can significantly reduce your expenses.
With more than 150 courses available, you’re sure to find something you like. Even if you purchase an individual membership and only use 10% of the courses, you’ll only pay $12 per course.
$180 / 15 courses = $12 per year for an individual membership. If you sign up with a group of friends or family, the cost of each course is significantly reduced. Our MasterClass review and cost articles will tell you more.
Considering that these classes are taught by world-renowned experts, the value is unbeatable. Over $100 can buy you an online course from someone you’ve never heard of, and that’s before you consider the quality of the instructors on MasterClass.
If you’re not satisfied with your purchase for any reason, you can get a full refund from MasterClass within 30 days of the date of purchase.
Things I liked about the Penn & Teller MasterClass
The snippets of genuine shows that Penn and Teller have performed are one of the aspects of the Penn and Teller MasterClass that I enjoy the most. For instance, after instructing you on the fundamentals of coin magic, Teller will perform a solo show for us in which he will first make coins come out of the water and then transform the coins into actual live fish.
After this, you will have learned how coin magic works. Even after learning the fundamentals and being aware that there is an evident element of deceit at play, I was still able to derive a great deal of pleasure (and appreciation) from magic.
In addition to having the excitement of a child, one of the things that particularly struck me about Penn and Teller is how introspective and profound they are. They all quote or refer to Christopher Hitchens, Sartre, Aristotle, and Macbeth in just one class.
I was under the impression that this was going to be a straightforward and straightforward course of study; however, Teller added a layer of complication to what I thought was going to be a straightforward and simple course of study by having extremely in-depth views into art and philosophy.
Above all else, this is a really enjoyable class to take. Penn and Teller are entertaining and hilarious, and the magic tricks that they teach you are going to blow the minds of at least a few of your close friends.
Does the class keep its promises?
Yes, I had an interest in picking up some basic sleights of hand, and this MasterClass has been able to provide me with that opportunity. Despite the fact that I still need more experience with the tricks that entail sleight of hand, I was readily able to learn how to do the card tricks after only two attempts because they are so straightforward.
Penn also guaranteed that students would acquire knowledge regarding human behavior, and this promise was fulfilled. In Lesson 10, you will learn how magicians make use of the fact that human brains are wired to function on autopilot. According to Penn, “magically gets into those things that you’ve taken for granted” and “made little modifications that you can’t see.” This part of the article was something that really piqued my interest.
Penn And Teller Masterclass Review: Alternatives
It’s likely that watching older episodes or shows of Penn & Teller would be one of the finest choices. They’ve made a profession out of illuminating the inner workings of magic, so it would make for an excellent point of departure in our investigation.
Having said that, those shows surely had to strike a balance between educating their audiences and entertaining them, which is not an issue that Masterclass needs to worry about. Therefore, there isn’t really a decent alternative to learning magic from Penn & Teller if you want to do it the right way.
You can learn magic, in general, using a variety of resources, including YouTube, magic guides, and the purchase of tricks at magic stores.
Although quality magic tricks can be expensive, you can watch them for free on YouTube.
The quality of the videos that are available for free on YouTube varies widely from video to video. It is impossible to predict in advance what kind of instruction you will be given. In addition, YouTube does not include a workbook, a curated course, or a Masterclass community as part of its package.
In a nutshell, YouTube may be helpful for learning one or two tricks, but the selection and organization of content that Penn & Teller’s masterclass offers is incomparably superior.
The Pros: Penn And Teller Masterclass Review
As is the case with anything I evaluate, I found a great deal that I appreciated and want to make certain you are aware of those aspects.
- Awesome subject. Even if this one is a little bit open to interpretation, it’s still “magic!” Who among us hasn’t at some point wished they could perform magic? When it comes to the topics covered in lessons available on Masterclass, I’ve found that magic is one of the most fascinating subjects available.
- Well-taught. Well-taught. It should not be surprising to learn that Penn & Teller are excellent instructors. They teach you how to become a master of the tricks by combining stage presence with sensible explanations and bringing in a cast of novice magicians to assist you in the process. One of the most enjoyable aspects of the class was getting to know all of the new students. Observing other people successfully do the tricks was an essential component of my education, and it gave me the impression that I, too, could complete them.
- Cool Tricks. This course bridges the gap between academic theory and real-world application. The section on “what is magic” and the section on “mentalism” are both quite compelling, however, most of the time is spent on actually learning the tricks themselves. This is wonderful. You don’t just sit there and listen; you actually get the chance to pick up real skills that you may later flaunt in front of your buddies.
- It’s downright fun. Penn & Teller are entertainers. Observing them is a lot of pleasure. This is not a boring lecture at all. Their rhythm is usually upbeat and interesting to listen to. They are always up to some type of pranks, and you never know what the next one will be.
The Cons: Penn & Teller MasterClass review
Nothing can be considered flawless. As this is an honest assessment of the Penn & Teller MasterClass, I feel obligated to point out a few aspects that, in my opinion, should have been improved.
- It’s not a long class. This masterclass falls on the shorter end of the spectrum when it comes to the total number of courses offered. Even though the 17 lessons cover a lot of ground, I think I might have benefited from attending a course that was around 50 percent longer.
- Some of the lessons could be deeper. In the mentalist class, one of the lessons focuses on demonstrating how a mentalist might take advantage of another person’s sorrow. I see that they probably don’t want to inspire dishonest people by teaching them too many sneaky ways, but I would have enjoyed it if they had spent a little bit more time going through the various strategies that mentalists use.
- The workbook was harder to follow. The fact that this is a magic class is partly to blame for that observation, but the lessons in the workbook came across as being somewhat difficult to understand. Fortunately, all it does is act as a supplement to the video lectures, so I never had the impression that I was missing out on anything. However, if the grandmasters ever get around to it, it could be a good idea to provide that workbook with an updated version.
Is This Course Content Unique?
A lot of Penn & Teller’s shows are available to stream online through services such as Netflix. However, keep in mind that the purpose of these items is not to instruct in magic but rather to provide magical entertainment.
There are also very brief videos of the duo teaching a single trick that can be found on YouTube. Teller does not talk in these videos.
However, in terms of a comprehensive program that is expressly meant to teach the principles of literally hundreds of different magic tricks, and with Teller talking about magic for the very first time, MasterClass does deliver information that is one of a kind.
In addition to this, it does it in a polished and expert manner that allows for the gradual development of skills, promotes learning, and paves the path for speedy advancement.
Penn And Teller Masterclass Review: Is It Worth It?
This was by far the most enjoyable of all the MasterClasses I’ve ever attended. It was also a class that allowed me to learn and build skills in a logical manner, which enabled me to make rapid progress and accomplish actual results.
It provides a solid foundation of the fundamentals as well as clear direction regarding how to develop these from simple routines to more complex ones.
My thoughts on magic, as well as reality, truth, and lies in general, were given a whole new unexpected dimension as a result of this theory, which I found to be fascinating and thought-provoking.
You will gain the ability to:
- Master a wide range of basic, yet cool, magic tricks
- Understand, and make use of, misdirection
- Get creative and build on the foundations with your own ideas
- Use your personality to individualize your performance
- Use acting, psychology, and brain science to add credibility to your act
- Appreciate the ethical and philosophical approach that informs Penn and Teller’s magic
Your time and money are well spent if you consider how much you can learn from the MasterClass as well as how much fun you will have while doing so.
I strongly suggest that you investigate the other opportunities that are available on MasterClass. If you think you might find other classes that pique your interest (and given the options, it’s highly likely that you will), then the all-access pass, which costs $180, is a fantastic deal for you.
Thank you for reading this article “Penn And Teller Masterclass Review.” If you have any concerns, questions, or suggestions regarding this article, please write them in the comment section below. And don’t be hesitant about passing on this piece of knowledge to others.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does the Penn and Teller MasterClass cost?
A single lifetime pass for individual costs $180. This will grant you access to all of our more than 150 classes for a period of one year.
Are Penn and Teller MasterClass free?
Sadly no. The Penn and Teller MasterClass is not available for free download or streaming.
Can I get a refund if I don’t like the Penn and Teller MasterClass?
There is a 30-day money-back guarantee available through MasterClass.
How long is the Penn and Teller MasterClass?
It is comprised of 17 individual lessons, with a combined length of 2 hours and 52 minutes.
Is the Penn and Teller master class worth it?
Is it a good idea to sign up for the Penn & Teller MasterClass? Yes. This course is ideal for those who have never tried magic before but would like to learn the basics.
What is magic Penn and Teller?
Performers Penn and Teller. The duration of this lesson is 6 minutes and 7 seconds. Magic is an intellectual art form that necessitates participation from and suspension of disbelief in the audience. In this section, Penn and Teller dissect the psychological and intellectual underpinnings of their magic.
What is Penn and Teller’s most famous trick?
What are Penn and Teller known for?