Tom Crowl is a Kids Entertainment Hub contributor. In the photo, he is smiling while holding a duck puppet with a large, orange bill right next to his face

Hi! Once again, it’s Tom Crowl at your service.

Last time we talked about what you can do to help kids not to get scared of puppets. This time, we’ll discuss something else, but first you have to guess what’s wrong in the video below.

Can you tell what it is?

No, it isn’t the background. No, it isn’t my clothing—although I’m not exactly a fashion expert. It’s not me—although in a way it is. It is the puppet.

Can you tell by looking at it? What is wrong with the puppet? Yeah, it is kind of ugly. I wouldn’t suggest it for a kids show. In fact, this one scared a child at a family show one time. It happens. That was because the distance rule wasn’t followed and he freaked out, a 12-year-old. Yeah, 12. Puppet phobias come at all ages. If you don’t remember the distance rule, go back to my previous article.

But the puppet, other than being ugly, looks okay. It’s not torn or damaged. In fact, that gives me two ideas! This month’s article has just changed.

Don’t work with torn or damaged props. Every time you step in front of an audience—any audience—you are not just representing yourself. You are representing entertainment, and people judge us by the way we look and act. Especially when you are on a stage.

So if you work with a puppet, keep it clean. Make sure it isn’t ripped or damaged, unless that is the character’s look. Always take care of your props. Treat them with respect. The quality will reflect on you and give people a better opinion of your performance.

So, that was a side step but a pretty important one. Now let’s get back to this puppet. Something is wrong with it. Can you guess what it is? It’s the same thing that is wrong with hundreds of puppets used in shows.

Vocal Versatility for Puppets with Tom CrowlOh wow, look at the time. I’ve got to go. So here is what we can do. First, remember what we did talk about today and take care of your props. Second, I’ll get Julian and Ken to put a comments field below the article. The first person to correctly guess what is wrong with this puppet will get a prize. I’ll give them a free membership to Vocal Versatility. Vocal Versatility is an online course that teaches people how to create unique puppet voices.

So start guessing and I’ll finish this article next month!