School Holidays with Larrikin Puppets

If you’d like to take the kids along to see a puppet show these school holidays, here’s where to find Larrikin Puppets:


Saturday 24 June: The Woodford Show
Woodford Showgrounds
38 Neurum Road, Woodford
Puppet Shows at 9:30am and 11:15am


Sunday 25 June: Vibe Markets
Bribie Island Community Art Centre
191 Sunderland Drive, Banksia Beach
Puppet Show + Mini Puppetry Workshop at 10:00am


Monday 26 June: Burpengary Library
101 Station Road, Burpengary
Puppet Show at 10:00am


Monday 26 June: Deception Bay Library
9 Bayview Terrace, Deception Bay
Puppet Show at 2:30pm


Tuesday 27 June: Woodford Library
1 Elizabeth Street, Woodford
Puppet Show at 10:00am

 


Tuesday 27 June: Bribie Island Library
1 Welsby Parade, Bongaree
Puppet Show at 2:30pm


Wednesday 28 June: Logan Hyperdome Library
66 Mandew Street, Shailer Park
Puppet Show at 11:00am


Saturday 1 July: Mary Poppins Festival – Day In The Park
Excelsior Band Hall
Macalister St, Maryborough
Puppet Shows at 10:30am and 1:00pm
Puppetry Workshops at 11:30am and 2:00pm


2017 Queensland Small Business Week

Support Larrikin Puppets entry into 2017 Queensland Small Business Week social media competition by liking our video

Puppets at Work_smallerLarrikin Puppets wants to bring play to workforces with Puppets At Work, our new corporate arm. To help make this happen, please support our entry into the 2017 Queensland Small Business Week social media competition by LIKING our video entry on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The more likes and shares the post gets, the more chance we have to win a $10,000 grant to help us fund and launch the project! Competition ends on May 15, 2017.

The direct link to the video on Facebook (where you can “like” and “share” it) is: https://www.facebook.com/LarrikinPuppets/videos/901302536675069/

If you’re on Twitter, the direct link to “like” and “retweet” is: https://twitter.com/LarrikinPuppets/status/862653090897448960

If you’re on Instagram, the direct link to “like” it there is: https://www.instagram.com/p/BT88ssIhDuC/

Thank you for your support!

Brett and Elissa

Big thanks to Business Queensland!

#QLDsmallbiz #Time2thriveQLD

What’s On 4 Kids 2017 Awards Finalist – Larrikin Puppets

Bribie Weekly close up cover pagePreviously we wrote a blog post about how Larrikin Puppets was nominated in the national What’s On 4 Kids Awards in the ‘Best Party Entertainment’ category.

Well, thanks to all of your votes, we are now a finalist in that category! Thank you very much, everybody!

What's On 4 Kids Finalist

We’ve answered some interview questions and are looking forward to attending the big What’s On 4 Kids Conference and the Awards Dinner, both being held on Saturday, 10 June at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Brisbane.

Larrikin Puppets Deja Voodoo WoodfordTroggg and Fossy (with Brett and Elissa) will be attending too, and meeting several other great entertainers and educators from around Australia.

 

 

The Best Children’s Party Entertainer category (Party Planners and Entertainers, Clowns etc) sponsored by Lah Lah’s Big Live Band has been narrowed down to seven finalists. They are:

 

  • Happily Ever Laughter Children’s Entertainment
  • Kids Disco Parties
  • Larrikin Puppets
  • Strawberry Fundae Kids Parties
  • Superstar Parties
  • SuperSteph’s Super Party Heroes
  • Unreal Kids Parties

Childcare Centre1A lot of competition here from some truly amazing and hard working entertainers. So please keep your fingers and toes crossed for little old us! 🙂

Whatever the outcome, we’re looking forward to spending a full day and night listening to guest speakers who are industry leaders in the children’s entertainment biz, and cheering on our fellow finalists who all share our passion for bringing smiles and laughter to their little faces, and making life fun and full of wonder and joy.

 

 

Short Australian documentary: The Puppeteer

The Puppeteer posterCaboolture film maker Gabor Kukucska set himself a challenge to make 52 short documentaries in 2017. That’s one per week! These documentaries are about inspirational people. And one of these people is Queensland puppeteer Brett Hansen – founder of Larrikin Puppets.

From childhood bullying and awful workplaces to personal difficulties like unemployment and the end of his first marriage, this 13 minute film tells the whole story. Strong encouragement from his loving family helped shape Brett’s life, and eventually he met the love of his life Elissa Jenkins, whose support has meant the world to Brett in the continuing growth of Larrikin Puppets.

The film also talks about the types of bookings Larrikin Puppets receive, including puppet shows and puppetry workshops. We learn about the Small Business Development Conference in Melbourne, and Brett’s advanced training in the USA with puppeteers from The Muppets and Sesame Street.

This is the teaser trailer that was shown in the lead up to the film’s official release:

The full 13 minute film is available to see now for free at https://inspireflix.com/docos/the-puppeteer/ by creating a free (and quick) login or signing in with Facebook. The login gate is because film festivals don’t accept films with full public access on YouTube or other such video sharing sites. We would love to see this film accepted and screened at festivals around the world. But we would also love you to login and see the film here and now at the InspireFlix website (formerly My Doco Club). 

Here’s the preliminary video from Facebook starring Troggg the blue monster: https://www.facebook.com/InspireFlix/videos/1795284477458119

NOW LIVE at https://inspireflix.com/docos/the-puppeteer/ – “The Puppeteer” – Brett’s dream to become a working puppeteer, and the struggles and triumphs along the way.

The Puppeteer poster

FILM CREDITS

Brett Hansen, Elissa Jenkins, Ross Hansen, Sandra Gartner, Troggg, Freerange the Chicken, Frazzamatazz.

PRODUCTION CREDITS

Production – Buyah Media
Cinematography – Gabor Kukucska

The Puppeteer

 

 

 

What’s On 4 Kids 2017 Awards Nominee – Larrikin Puppets

WO42017_winner_with sash

Larrikin Puppets What's On 4 Kids Facebook CoverLarrikin Puppets is a nominee in the national What’s On 4 Kids 2017 Awards sponsored by Di Bella Coffee. We’ve been nominated in the ‘Best Children’s Party Entertainment’ category, sponsored by Lah-Lah’s Big Live Band. Voting opens Thursday 23rd February at Midday EST, and you can vote here: http://www.whatson4littleones.com.au/award-voting.asp

Scroll down and look for ‘Best Party Entertainment’. Then scroll down the drop-down menu to find Larrikin Puppets. You may vote in the other categories too for entertainers or classes or activities that you also like. But for the Best Party Entertainment category, please do us a huge favour and give us your vote. Screen Shot 2017-02-23 at 12.02.31 PM

Voting closes on Friday 17th March 2017 at 6pm EST.

The 2017 Di Bella Coffee What’s On 4 Kids Awards reward, recognise and celebrate the very best in children’s activities, classes, clubs, volunteers, family days out and kids’ party entertainers across Australia. #whatson4kidsawards

The 2017 What’s On 4 Kids Awards will be held on Saturday, June 10, 2017 at the Hotel Grand Chancellor.

 

What's On 4 Kids

The full list of What’s On 4 Kids Awards nominated entertainers in the Best Party Entertainer category are:

Balloon Artistry by Aaron Smyth
Cleo the Clown
Easy Breezy Parties
Emabella Rose Face Painting
Ever After Parties
Face Painting By Starface
Fly By Fun
Funtime Kids Parties
Gecko Sports
Glass Slipper Entertainment
Happily Ever Laughter Children’s Entertainment
Jack Sharp Magic
Jelly Tots Perth
Kids Disco Parties
Kids Entertainment Sydney
Kids Love to Cook
Larrikin Puppets
Laser Warriors Mobile Laser Tag
Lil Busy Bodies (Anita Nichols)
Lilly’s Body Art
Little Builders Entertainment
Parties Kids Remember
Pinta Crafts
Strawberry Fundaes Kids Parties
String of Beads Parties
Super Hero Parties – Super Steph
Unreal Kids Parties

Voting in the What’s On 4 Kids Awards closes on Friday 17th March 2017 at 6pm EST.

 

 

 

Monitor Puppetry Fun

13138838_692674444204547_5162928063159616197_nMonitor puppetry is the style of puppetry developed by Jim Henson for performance on film and television productions. Unlike traditional live performance puppetry, the puppeteers don’t look at their puppets. They perform their characters up high above their heads, and watch their puppetry in a TV monitor. This enables the puppeteer to see if the puppet has good eye focus, good lip sync, and is able to walk correctly into a frame, and perform many tasks within that frame without looking stupid.

13138825_692674597537865_4605362707860616108_nThis is why the puppetry on The Muppets, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock and all associated TV shows and movies look so good on screen. It’s because the puppeteers are able to see exactly how their puppets will look to the viewer at home. This is a perk that most actors don’t get to enjoy. A human actor must perform their scenes without ever looking at themselves on any monitor. Whereas puppeteers are blind on set if they have to crouch and hide behind tables and props without being able to see what they’re doing. The puppet is the star, and so the puppet (like human actors) still performs its scenes as normal. But the hidden puppeteer is the one controlling the puppet. So the puppeteer is allowed to watch their puppets on the TV monitor to make sure the movements are perfect. It wouldn’t be fair to expect the puppeteer to perform blind.

Beyond the Sock Brett with Chicken1Monitor puppetry is a great way for puppeteers to practice their movements. From subtle facial emotions to wild arm movements, watching your puppetry skills on a monitor is a very good way to practice and improve.

 

 

BeyondTheSock_PerformanceBrett Hansen at Larrikin Puppets has been practicing and perfecting his puppetry skills since the age of three, and has taught many workshops in theatre, film and schools on the basic movements of Muppet-style puppetry. He even produced a live monitor puppetry improv show, where audiences could watch the cast of puppeteers at work, while also being able to watch a large screen displaying only the puppets being performed into the camera. This was a live example of how the puppeteers see their puppetry on the monitor, and then that performance is broadcast/displayed onto the screen for the audience to see.

Puppet Workshop003

Puppet Workshop005But as there has never been any formal training in monitor puppetry in Australia, Brett’s only training has been both at The Puppet Kitchen in New York City (under Sesame Street’s Michael Schupbach), and at the advanced, intensive ‘Beyond the Sock’ puppetry workshop at the University of North Texas (under The Muppets and Sesame Street’s Marty Robinson and Noel MacNeal).

Brett now provides this kind of training through Larrikin Puppets for specially arranged class bookings.

Brett, Elissa, Michael SchupbachBrett’s wife and business partner Elissa Jenkins also received some training at The Puppet Kitchen in New York, and this was her first training. She has since continued to practice her skills and has also started joining Brett as a secondary puppeteer at some of the larger events (such as Woodford Folk Festival and Paradise Resort Gold Coast).

So here now is a hilarious outtake video where Brett (as Troggg) and Elissa (as Flossy) are practicing some monitor puppetry, and working on the challenges that arise, such as trying to avoid heads and arms appearing in shot. Lots of laughs during this quite challenging activity. It’s certainly not as easy as it looks. But it’s definitely as fun as it looks!

2016 Recap – A puppet filled year

larrkin puppets.jpg– 2016 started with a series of school holiday and vacation care puppet show performances.

– The Richard Bell film I performed puppetry in (“5 for 35”) screened all Summer at GOMA as part of the 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT8).

 

5 for 35 Richard Bell

– I provided puppetry training (and puppets) for ImproMafia’s “Not 4 Kidz” at the Brisbane Comedy Festival.

– A new puppet character, Frazzamatazz, joined the Larrikin Puppets cast in February.

– I began sewing lessons in preparation for the puppet building component of the upcoming intensive puppetry course I was enrolled in at the University of North Texas.

Interstate International Touring– I performed MC duties (hidden under a table – Troggg was the MC!) at the official Ipswich Festival media launch. Troggg got to introduce Mayor Paul Pisasale to the stage. I also performed puppet shows at the actual Ipswich Festival, and was informed by several friends in the lead up that they noticed big roadside billboards with Troggg on them!

 

 

Beyond the Sock Frazzamatazz on set

– I also performed puppet shows at the Paradise Resort in Surfers Paradise, the Redcliffe Sails Festival, a Bunnings store in Warwick, an Indian restaurant, a nursing home and several childcare centres, schools and birthday parties.

Brisbane Comedy Festival

– Elissa helped me run some puppetry workshops at a few schools, including a full week (three workshops a day) at Belmont State School.

 

 

 

Shannon, Troggg, Brett - The Puppet Workshop– We went down to Adelaide to visit Shannon Cooke at The Puppet Workshop.

– We lived in Brooklyn, New York for three months. We saw lots of live theatre in NYC – including many puppet shows for adults, improv comedy and “Avenue Q” off Broadway (with a backstage tour thanks to puppeteer contacts).

Kaufman1

– Much of my time overseas was spent networking with other puppeteers, which included frequent visits to The Puppet Kitchen for monitor puppetry sessions run by the awesome Michael Schupbach. Between there, several puppet shows/events and a few Muppet screenings at the Museum of the Moving Image it was really great to meet, perform and practice with so many great NYC puppeteers and fellow Muppet fans – including Marcelo Bottaro, Arlee Chadwick, Musa ‘Fuzzy Beard’ Bradley, David Bizzaro, Zach ‘Wackiman’ Woliner, Nicola ‘Callie & Izzy’ McEldowney, John Papovitch, Kevin Hale, Tau ‘Being Elmo’ Bennett, Christina Rodriguez Stone, Matthew Soberman, Sam ‘Mo Monster’, Tania Lopez, Tim Young, Erin Finnegan, Spencer Cohen, and so many more amazing people!

MoWallyTroggg– I performed my full puppet show at the Puppetry Arts Festival of Brooklyn (yes, I transported my whole puppet stage and all the puppets to America).

– Troggg guest starred in an episode of The Fuzzy Beard Show.

– We attended a convention called “Morning with the Muppets” starring Steve Whitmire (with Kermit the Frog), Eric Jacobson (with Fozzie Bear and Animal) and Peter Linz (assisting). I asked a couple of questions during the Q&A, and was lucky enough to have a brief chat with Steve Whitmire afterwards. He fluffed up Troggg’s fur as he spoke to me about a trip to Australia they were taking soon.

Fuzzy Beard01– We spent a week in Los Angeles, staying just off Hollywood Boulevard. We walked to the Jim Henson Company and checked out the big Kermit statue out the front.

– We spent a day with Henson puppeteers Grant Baciocco (whom I’d met in Brisbane a couple of years earlier during “Puppet Up!” and stayed in contact with) and Russ Walko. Troggg of course came out on all of these puppet-related excursions in both New York and Los Angeles.

Jim Henson Company 1– We spent a week in Denton, North Texas where, at the University of North Texas, I received advanced, intensive, life changing training in film & TV monitor puppetry from Henson puppeteers Marty Robinson (Telly Monster, Mr. Snuffleupagus) and Noel MacNeal (Bear in the Big Blue House), and a puppet construction component lead by Pasha Romanowski (Project Puppet, The Moe Show). Elissa came with me to all the casual nights of drinking and chatting with the puppeteers. She also attended the special performance night we did on the final day. The whole thing was an unforgettable experience. This kind of training simply doesn’t exist in Australia. I was so happy to not only get some of my existing skills validated, but also to learn so many valuable new skills, and better ways to perform my craft from the best in the business – my heroes!

Grant and Russ 1– Since returning to Australia, I performed both puppet characters in a short comedy film called “Kev”, plus shows at schools, childcare centres, festivals and parties every week!

 

 

Marty Robinson, Pasha Romanowski, Noel MacNeal– There were more shows at the Gold Coast’s Paradise Resort, and even a few shows at New Farm Cinemas, which included some Larrikin Puppets cinema advertising before screenings of “Moana” and “Sing”. I even got to perform my first puppet show at the famous Brisbane Powerhouse!

Larrikin Puppets Deja Voodoo Woodford– And we spent the final week of the year performing three shows a day, every day at one of Australia’s biggest festivals – the Woodford Folk Festival.

It’s been an absolutely huge year! Here’s to more puppet fun in 2017!

Brett Hansen

Larrikin Puppets in The Bribie Islander

Larrikin Puppets in The Bribie Islander:

Towards the end of our stay in New York, Elissa and I decided to base ourselves on Bribie Island upon our return to Australia. I wrote a post on a Bribie Island community Facebook page about our decision, and was approached via that page by a journalist in The Bribie Islander who was interested in writing a story about Larrikin Puppets and the puppet adventures we had in the USA. This is the article that was printed in the September 2016 edition of The Bribie Islander – Issue 26. Click on the article below to zoom in and read it:

The Bribie Islander - Bribie Island - Larrikin Puppets

Working as a journalist for a community paper has proven to be a wide and varied creative experience! It’s rare to have an interview with a puppeteer! Rare and magical, it immediately brings out the child in you! Brett Hansen gave us a demonstration of his incredible gifts as we watched in awe and fascination! Brett has just returned to the island from New York and was gracious enough to share his experiences with us.

Brett attended the ‘Beyond the Sock Workshop’ featuring puppetry teachers: Marty Robinson (a Jim Henson puppeteer famous for performing Telly Monster and Mr. Snuffleupagus on Sesame Street), Pasha Romanowski (puppet builder who made the characters on popular New Zealand show, The Moe Show), and Noel MacNeal (a Jim Henson puppeteer famous for performing the lead character on Bear in the Big Blue House). He held a solo puppet show at the Puppetry Arts Festival of Brooklyn – an annual festival in New York celebrating all kinds of puppetry. “I had a really big crowd on the day”. His main character Troggg (that’s Troggg with three Gs, the middle G is silent) – is pictured here posing with New York puppet troupe ‘Team Lopez’. “We attended so many night time puppet shows for adults and the theatres were packed! It’s part of the culture over there that puppets are not just for children. Grown adults flock to see these shows”. Team Lopez performs ‘improv’ comedy (known in Australia as ‘impro’ or ‘theatresports’). While we were based in New York for most of the three months, we did spend a week in Los Angeles and a week in Texas. The Beyond the Sock workshop was held at the University of North Texas. And in Los Angeles, I spent some time with some Jim Henson puppeteers over there – Grant Baciocco and Russ Walko.

Brett’s business Larrikin Puppets is available for bookings locally. He is available to perform puppet shows for birthday parties, childcare centres, libraries, fetes and festivals, seniors clubs and nursing homes, and primary and high schools. Schools are also able to book him for Puppetry Workshops. He is also available to perform as a Puppet M.C. for wedding receptions, film festivals, product launches, talent nights, gala dinners and media launches. So if you want your event to stand out from the crowd, you can contact Brett for bookings.

Article by Kellyanne O’Hare in The Bribie Islander. Issue 26, September 2016.

The Bribie Islander website – https://issuu.com/thebribieislander

The Bribie Islander Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/thebribieislander/

Bribie Island based Larrikin Puppets Perform Almost Everywhere!

Puppet Show Frizzby and FlossyHere’s a list of all the places we’ve performed with puppets so far. 
Acacia Ridge
Albany Creek
Alderley
Alexandra Hills, Redland City
Annerley
Arana Hills
Arundel, Gold Coast
Ashgrove
Astoria, Queens, New York, USA
Balmoral, QLD
Banksia Beach, Bribie Island
Bardon
Beaudesert
Beenleigh, Logan City
Beerwah, Sunshine Coast
Bellara, Bribie Island
Bellbowrie
Belmont
Benowa, Gold Coast
Berserker, QLD
Birkdale, Redland City
Blackbutt, QLD
Bongaree, Bribie Island
Bowen Hills
Bracken Ridge
Bray Park
Bribie Island, QLD
Brighton, QLD
Brisbane Central
Broadbeach, Gold Coast
Brooklyn, New York, USA
Buderim, Sunshine Coast
Buddina, Sunshine Coast
Bulimba
Bundaberg, QLD
Bundaberg Central, QLD
Burbank, California, USA
Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast
Burleigh Waters, Gold Coast
Burpengary
Burpengary East
Caboolture
Camira, Ipswich
Camp Hill
Cannon Hill
Carindale
Carrara, Gold Coast
Chermside
Chermside West
Childers, QLD
Clayfield
Cleveland, Redland City
Clontarf
Collingwood Park
Coomera, Gold Coast
Cooroy, Sunshine Coast
Cornubia, Logan City
Currimundi, Sunshine Coast
Currumbin, Gold Coast
Currumbin Waters, Gold Coast
Currumbin South, Gold Coast
Daisy Hill, Logan City
Darra
Dayboro
Deagon
Deception Bay
Denton, North Texas, USA
Docklands, VIC
Dutton Park
Eaglby, Logan City
Eagle Farm
East Brisbane
Eight Mile Plains
Elanora, Gold Coast
Everton Park
Ferny Hills
Flinders View, Ipswich
Forest Lake
Fortitude Valley
Gin Gin, Bundaberg, QLD
Gladstone, QLD
Gold Coast
Goodna, Ipswich
Gordon Park
Gracemere, Rockhampton, QLD
Grange
Greenbank, Logan City
Griffin
Gympie, QLD
Hamilton
Hawthorne
Heathwood
Heritage Park, Logan City
Herston
Holland Park
Hollywell, Gold Coast
Indooroopilly
Injune, SW QLD
Ipswich Central
Jimboomba, Logan City
Kallangur
Kangaroo Point
Kearneys Spring, QLD
Kelvin Grove
Kenmore
Kenmore Hills
Keperra
Kilcoy, QLD
Kingston, QLD
Kuluin, Sunshine Coast
Logan Central
Manhattan, New York, USA
Manly, QLD
Manly West, QLD
Maroochydore, Sunshine Coast
Maryborough, QLD
Meadowbrook, Logan City
Middle Park
Minyama, Sunshine Coast
Moogerah, QLD
Moorooka
Morayfield
Morningside
Mount Morgan, Rockhampton, QLD
Mt. Coot-tha
Mt. Gravatt
Murarrie
Murra Murra, SW QLD
Nerang, Gold Coast
New Farm
Noosaville, Sunshine Coast
Norman Park
North Lakes
Ormeau, Gold Coast
Ormiston, Redland City
Pacific Paradise, Sunshine Coast
Pacific Pines, Gold Coast
Paddington
Pallara
Palm Beach Heights, Gold Coast
Palmwoods, Sunshine Coast
Parkinson
Park Ridge, Logan City
Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York, USA
Parkwood, Gold Coast
Petrie Terrace
Raby Bay, Redland City
Red Hill
Redbank
Redbank Plains
Redcliffe
Robina, Gold Coast
Rochedale, Logan City
Rochedale South, Logan City
Rockhampton, QLD
Runcorn
Salisbury
Scarborough
Shailer Park, Logan City
Shorncliffe
Silkstone, Ipswich
Sinnamon Park
Sippy Downs, Sunshine Coast
South Bank
South Brisbane
South Rockhampton, QLD
Spring Hill
Stafford
Strathpine
Sunnybank
Sunnybank Hills
Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast
Taigum
Tarragindi
Tewantin, Sunshine Coast
The Gap
Thornlands, Redland City
Tiaro, QLD
Tingalpa
Toowong
Toowoomba, QLD
Tweed Heads, NSW
Upper Coomera, Gold Coast
Wakerley
Warana, Sunshine Coast
Warwick, QLD
Wavell Heights
Wellington Point, Redland City
West End
Witta, Sunshine Coast
Woodford
Woodridge
Woody Point
Woolloongabba
Woombye, Sunshine Coast
Woorim, Bribie Island
Wynnum
Wynnum West
Yeronga

We’re currently based in Bongaree on Bribie Island, so if anybody lives in the Sandstone Point, Caboolture, Ningi, Morayfield, Beachmere or Bribie Island areas – we can get to your party or event really quickly!