FAQs

This FAQs section answers all of those questions everybody wants to know – From our payment methods to how puppetry works. And everything in between!

Troggg the blue monster FAQ section

What are your prices?

All details and prices are stated under the drop-down menus of each show/package option (Parties, Childcare, Public Events, etc.)

What are your payment methods?

We accept PayPal, Direct Deposit/Online Bank Transfer and Cash. Sorry, we do not accept cheques of any kind.

Payment & Cancellation Fees

a. A non-refundable deposit (down payment) of 50% of your chosen show/package cost will be required to be paid at the time of booking. This secures your booking. A performance cannot be booked until this fee has been received. This payment can be made online as a direct deposit to our bank account or PayPal account prior to the event.

b. The remainder of the payment can be paid anytime before the event by online transfer or credit card or is otherwise required on the day of the performance as a cash payment to the performer. Larrikin Puppets apologises but we do not accept credit cards or cheques (neither bank cheques or personal cheques) on the day of the event from clients.

c. Cancellation Fees – Once a client has booked in a time for a performance, then that time is set aside for their event exclusively. This means that Larrikin Puppets will turn away other work wanting the same date and time. Clients do need to be aware that the 50% deposit taken at the time of booking is non-refundable if the party is cancelled at any time after it is booked in with Larrikin Puppets. A party is deemed to be booked in once the 50% deposit has been received by Larrikin Puppets.

d. If the booking is cancelled by us (due to sickness or emergency, etc.), you will receive a full refund of the 50% deposit.

 

 

How many children/people are included in the price?

Up to fifty at children’s parties. There are rarely more than ten or fifteen at most parties. It’s a fixed price for an unlimited number of attendees at schools, public events, wedding receptions and corporate functions.

What are the appropriate ages for your shows?

The recommended ages for each of the shows are listed in the different package/show options in the drop down menus. Most frequently requested is For Kids, Childcare/Kindy and Fetes/Festivals. For the kids’ shows, ages 3-5 get the biggest thrills and enjoyment out of the puppets. But we do cater the shows to any age and all kinds of events, carefully scripting and rehearsing specific material. We’ve successfully performed puppet shows at an 8th birthday party, a 21st, a 40th, a 60th, several seniors clubs (and a nursing home), and many 1st birthday parties where the audience consists mostly of babies and 1-2 year olds (plus their parents).

 

Are your puppets scary?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And similarly, fears differ between individuals. Most children are not afraid of Troggg, Frizzby and their furry friends, reminiscent of characters seen on Sesame Street and The Muppet Show. The photos and videos displayed throughout this site reveal how friendly and amusing our characters are.

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Do you use bad language?

No. Especially not at the children’s shows. Even the 18+ shows tend to avoid using vulgar language while still being able to entertain at a mature adult level. Light-hearted references to current news and pop culture may appear during all shows, for the amusement of parents at children’s parties. But certainly, children will not be subjected to any swearing.

 

How can you talk without moving your lips?

I can’t. I’m not a ventriloquist. That’s a different kind of puppeteer. I’m the sort of puppeteer who mostly performs hidden behind a set, a puppet stage, or dressed in black.

Are you a ventriloquist?

No.

Quote: “I guess the only real difference (between ventriloquism and puppetry) is that the puppeteer is hidden during performance and a ventriloquist is a part of the show”.
– Ryan Templeman (http://portraitsofayoungmanasanartist.blogspot.com.au/)

Have you received any formal training?

Brett is initially self taught since the age of three, but has received formal training in the USA at the ‘Beyond The Sock‘ advanced intensive puppetry workshop at the University of North Texas under Marty Robinson (The Jim Henson Company, Sesame Street; performer of Telly Monster and Mr. Snuffleupagus) and Noel MacNeal (Sesame Street, Bear in the Big Blue House; performer of Bear), with puppet construction training from Pasha Romanowski (Project Puppet, The Moe Show). Marty Robinson has been a Henson puppeteer since 1981, and has trained most of the puppeteers of The Muppets and Sesame Street since the early 1990s. He also trains puppeteers for international co-productions of Sesame Street. Brett has also trained and rehearsed on a casual and informal basis at ‘The Puppet Kitchen’ in Manhattan, New York under Michael Schupbach (Sesame Street, The Jim Henson Company).

Do you make your own puppets?

No, I do not build my own puppets. But I do design some on paper, and have them made by professional puppet builders. However, I did make one chicken puppet in 2016, under the supervision of puppet builder Pasha Romanowski at the ‘Beyond the Sock’ puppetry workshop’s construction component at the University of North Texas, USA. My strong point is in the performance of puppets, rather than the construction. Here’s a list of some of our puppet characters and who built them:

Troggg

While Troggg (blue monster) was my own design, I had him professionally built in the USA by Mike Lisa at “Creature Clones”.

 

 

 

Frizzby - Photo by Aramas Photography.

Frizzby (orange monster) wes purchased from “Silly Puppets” in the USA, but altered by myself to personalise him a bit. I trimmed the fur, made my own tongue out of felt, and dressed him in baby clothes. Frizzby has a few outfits.

 

 

Flossy_CakeFlossy (pink monster) and the Singing Cheesecake were both made in Adelaide, South Australia by Shannon Cooke at “The Puppet Workshop”.

 

 

 

MossMoss (green monster) was made by Michael Harris at “Nutty Puppets”, also in the USA.

 

 

 

Frazzamatazz Frazzamatazz (green monster with wild purple hair) was made by Jarrod Boutcher at “Jarrod Boutcher Puppets” here in Queensland, Australia.

 

 

 

Freerange the Chicken is the one puppet that I built myself, under the supervision of Pasha Romanowski from “Project Puppet” in Denton, North Texas.

 

Do you have Elmo?

Unfortunately we do not have permission to use copyrighted/trademarked characters like Elmo, or any of the other characters from Sesame Street or The Muppets. We are inspired by the work of Jim Henson and his team, and that is the style of puppetry we enjoy performing. But we create and perform our own original characters.

What should I expect on the day of my event?

The puppeteer arrives to set up the stage, sound equipment and puppets ready for the show. The puppet show itself is 30 minutes of songs, games, sketches and comical interaction with the audience. This is followed by an additional meet and greet lasting up to 15 minutes, where the kids have an opportunity to have their photo taken with Troggg, our main star. Then the puppeteer packs up the stage and equipment.

Further details of what to expect are provided within the specific drop-down menu items about each show/package.

Can we leave the kids in your capable hands while we parents/adults gather elsewhere?

We remind customers that the puppets are not babysitters, and that the performer cannot see if a child is approaching the stage, the puppets or other equipment. We ask that young audiences are supervised by at least one adult at all times for the duration of the performance, and during the set up and pack up. We can all work together to prevent accidents, injuries or damage to any property or equipment.

As for the show itself, the adults have just as much fun and laugher as the kids.

Do you have a Blue Card?

Yes. Blue Card holder ID: 1161011/2

Do you have insurance?

Yes. Larrikin Puppets has Public Liability Insurance through Duck For Cover Entertainers Group, Inc.

What is your ABN?

Our ABN is 96884134902.

What are the dimensions/measurements of your puppet stage?

Used for birthday parties, child care centres, schools, festivals, etc., the portable puppet stage usually takes around 40 minutes to set up (along with the props, scripting, puppets and sound equipment). It has an overall height of 1.8 metres, and an overall length of 2.4 metres. The puppet stage is only a front-on facade. About a metre and a half to two metres of space is required behind it to lay out the puppets, props, and the puppeteer for performing. Here are some examples of how the stage looks at various indoor and outdoor events:

PuppetShowMainStage

Outdoors: Puppet stage on a larger stage at a festival.

Where is Troggg?

Indoors: Puppet stage inside a dance school.

Backyard Birthday Party

Outdoors: Puppet stage at a back yard birthday party (shade marquee not part of Larrikin Puppets’ setup).

Childcare Centre

Indoors: Puppet stage in a childcare centre.

Puppet Show Street Festival

Outdoors: Puppet stage on a smaller outdoor street festival stage.

School Hall

Indoors: Puppet stage in a school hall.

What’s your Stage Plot / Technical Requirements / Input List?

Puppet Stage: 
It’s a portable puppet stage with an overall height of 1.8 metres, and an overall length of 2.5 metres. The puppet stage is only a front-on facade (as opposed to a box or a tent). We require about a metre and a half to two metres behind it to lay out the puppets, props, and two performers.

Puppet Stage/Show Setup: 
It takes 45-60 minutes to set up the puppet stage, props, puppets and sound equipment. At some events where we are scheduled as a main stage act, we set up the puppet stage at the back, side or behind the main stage, then get a few hands to help us strike on to the main area just before our act is about to commence. It isn’t very heavy to carry, but does require more than one person to lift when it’s all set up. Then we can quickly lay out the puppets and get mic’d up for the performance.

If we are set up in one spot for the day (to perform several puppet shows throughout the day), we set it all up – including our two P.A. speakers – before gates open, and then pack down at the end of the festival. A powered site (generator or other) is ideal so we can plug in our P.A. speakers, music/sound effects and two wireless headset mic receivers.

Sound Equipment and Use:
We can provide our own P.A. speakers if we’re set up in our own spot at the festival for the day with access to power. We require 1 powerpoint. We plug in an iPod containing music and sound effects (which we start and stop throughout the performance), and headset mics that we wear. We are usually happy just to use this equipment. However, events with a much bigger stage and larger audience usually provide us with the means to plug our two headset mic receivers and the iPod into their mixing desk so that our show can be projected via their main P.A. We still need to be able to control the iPod from behind the puppet stage throughout the show, though. Some events place a D.I. box (direct input) close to us to plug the iPod into. Other events have very long cables stretching from the mixing desk to the puppet stage. Many festival events provide us with their headset mics. We require two.

Music:
We supply music for our act, coming through an iPod/iPhone 4, which we start and stop throughout the performance.

Sound Check:
We do not require a sound check unless we’re to be amplified through the event’s main P.A. system. If it’s just through our own P.A. speakers, we can do our own sound check.

Stage Requests:
Whilst performing, we cannot see if a child is approaching the stage, the puppets or other equipment. We ask that young audiences are supervised by at least one adult at all times for the duration of the performance, and during the set up and pack down. A bit of crowd control is good, as the kids can get rowdy and excited when unsupervised. We also ask that paints, scissors, crayons, pens and pencils aren’t being used by the kids close to where the puppet stage is. Kids sometimes like to throw lolly wrappers, cupcakes, toys, stones or icecream at the puppet show. Please supervise to prevent any damage to equipment or injury to performers.


Public Liability Insurance:

Our public liability insurance is through Duck For Cover Entertainers’ Group, Inc. The only company in Australia willing cover this style of act.

Car Parking:
We require only one car park for this act.

 

What is a DI Box / DI Unit?

D.I. Box

D.I. stands for Direct Input or Direct Injection. For the music and sound effects used in our puppet show, we use an iPod device that we start and stop regularly throughout the show from behind the puppet stage. At large festival events, school fetes and school halls, a DI Box is what the sound engineer lets us plug our iPod device into, so our music/sound effects can be transmitted over the event’s main P.A. speaker.

The small speaker we use for puppet shows at small birthday parties and childcare centres does not project loud enough at large outdoor festivals and in large halls and theatres.

Puppet Show Street FestivalA DI Box converts unbalanced signals to balanced signals. Unbalanced connections (such as iPods, iPhones, keyboards and synthesisers) transmit a signal via a single connection, with a ground. These are susceptible to background noise and interference, particularly when run over long distances. Many larger festivals have their sound engineer and mixing desk set up all the way at the back, behind the audience. The DI Box has super dooper long cables that stretch all the way back this far. It also has an input slot for us to plug our iPod into.

Puppet show on small festival stageIn summary: The DI Box sits up on stage behind our puppet theatre with us. Our iPod is plugged in, and we operate our music and sound effects ourselves – on and off throughout the performance. Our puppet dialogue and vocals are live and interactive (we wear headset microphones too, also connected to the mixing desk), so it is impossible to arrange a pre-recorded CD or USB with prompts and hand signals to the sound engineer – particularly if he’s far away – and also because we’re hidden behind a puppet theatre.

Woodford4The cables from the DI Box are long enough to stretch all the way to the mixing desk so that we can operate our own music/sound effects. The DI Box helps to eliminate interference and background noise, and broadcasts our music and sound effects in stereo sound through the event’s own P.A. speakers, along with the headset microphones we wear whilst performing our live puppet vocals.

Behind the Puppet StageFor the technologically minded, Wikipedia describes everything one could wish to know about DI Boxes. Those who work as sound engineers but still haven’t used or been taught about how to use a DI Box may find this very informative: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DI_unit

 

 

And here’s a video of someone showing us how a DI Box works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCXHsLf2urI

 

 

Just who is this blue monster named “Troggg”?

Troggg MCTroggg Wedding MC

One could be forgiven for thinking that Cookie Monster or Grover has come to visit various events around Queensland lately. From charity events like Project Pink and The Brisbane Zombie Walk, to childcare centres, parties, the Supanova Pop Culture Expo, festivals like Woodford Folk Festival, Cooroy Fusion Festival, and comedy shows in theatres – particularly “Show Of Hands” at the 2018 Anywhere Theatre Festival. Troggg’s even been to the USA and met Steve Whitmire (former puppeteer of Kermit the Frog) and Marty Robinson (puppeteer of Telly Monster and Mr. Snuffleupagus). He also performed at the Puppetry Arts Festival of Brooklyn.

Brett_Troggg_High_Res (1)

                                                           So who is this big blue monster? What’s his deal? Well, his name is “Troggg” – Rhymes with ‘log’ or ‘fog’, and is spelt with three Gs (the middle G is silent).

A creation of Brett Hansen, founder of and principal puppeteer at Brisbane-based entertainment company, “Larrikin Puppets”, Troggg is the main star of a cast of fuzzy puppet friends who have been bringing joy to people of all ages around Queensland at events big and small.

MX Magazine, Wednesday 7th May 2014Troggg has not only appeared on stage (performing puppet shows and MC duties) at various events and parties, but also as a wandering, roving character, meeting with children and adults, and posing for photos with them. You may have seen Troggg pop up in your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram feed now and again, smiling in “selfies” with your friends.

Jim Henson Company 1

Troggg at The Jim Henson Company in Hollywood, USA.

He’s appeared a few times on community TV station 31 Digital (formerly Briz 31), had a role in a short film (Heart of a Thousand Souls). He has featured on Network Ten’s Totally Wild, and appeared in two episodes of kids’ television show Juiced TV (including as host of one episode). He’s appeared in puppet web series’ such as The Hobble and Snitch Show (Brisbane), The Fuzzy Beard Show (New York) and Sam The Ham (Los Angeles). He’s chatted with Hollywood stars Stanley & Jax (from The Ultimate Nerd-Ament) and Toiley T. Paper. He’s discussed the word of the day with New York star Mo Monster (The Mo Show), and appeared on the front cover of many newspapers!

Juiced TV

The character was designed by Brett Hansen, but constructed in the USA by a professional puppet builder named Mike Lisa from Creature Clones, who has previously worked on Sesame Street and other Muppet productions.

So, while most Larrikin Puppets characters are inspired by the look and feel of Jim Henson’s Muppet creations, Troggg is about as close to a genuine Muppet as we’re likely to see here in little old Queensland, Australia.

We like to bring the same kind of puppet joy and magic to Queensland residents and festival goers that folks in New York and Los Angeles take for granted.

Troggg is fast becoming a local celebrity, much like Australian puppet megastar Agro was in the 1980s and 1990s. “Agro is actually a hero of mine!”, says Troggg. “I’ve even met him a couple of times!”.

Troggg and Agro.

Troggg with puppet TV star Agro.

TrogggRegular updates on Troggg can be found online at:
Larrikin Puppets Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/LarrikinPuppets
 Larrikin Puppets Instagram page – https://www.instagram.com/larrikinpuppets/

Larrikin Puppets Twitter page – https://twitter.com/larrikinpuppets?lang=en

Kaufman1

Troggg at Kaufman Astoria Studios (NYC), where Sesame Street is filmed.

Have you won any awards?

Yes. Larrikin Puppets won the 2015 BizCover NEIS Change Award at the Small Business Development Conference in Melbourne.
Details here:
http://www.larrikinpuppets.com.au/2015-bizcover-neis-change-award-winner/

Larrikin Puppets was a finalist in the Best Party Entertainment category at the 2017 What’s On 4 Kids Awards in Brisbane.
Details here:
http://www.larrikinpuppets.com.au/whats-on-4-kids/

Have you been on TV?

Yes. A few times. Troggg hosted an episode of kids’ show Juiced TV. We’ve also appeared on The Late Nite Show and Showreel. Information and footage of our film and TV work can be found here: http://www.larrikinpuppets.com.au/film-and-tv/

What is Avenue Q, and how is Larrikin Puppets involved?

Avenue Q is an American Broadway stage musical conceived by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx. It is an adults only parody of Sesame Street, and won the 2004 Tony Award for Best Musical (beating Wicked). Our own Brett Hansen was “Puppetry Consultant” in Brisbane (providing puppetry training to all puppeteer cast members) and performed as part of the 2012 Brisbane Arts Theatre cast. Brett co-puppeteered the characters Trekkie Monster and Nicky, and also performed two dancing rats.

Brett provided puppetry training again for completely new Brisbane casts in 2014 at the Brisbane Arts Theatre, and in 2017 at Sunnybank Theatre Group Inc.

Brett was not involved in the 2015 Brisbane Arts Theatre production, or the various Phoenix Ensemble productions in Beenleigh.

In both 2014 and 2016, Brett and Elissa attended the off-Broadway production of Avenue Q at New World Stages in New York City where it all began. In 2016, they were taken on a backstage tour where they were able to explore the set and the puppets. 

Trailer for the 2012 Brisbane production: