We're the doogles

My name is Michael Jazbec and I'm the creator of The Doogles Puppets! I began puppeteering at a very early age performing puppet shows with my sister everytime we stayed over our grandparents house. My love of puppets came about because of one amazing man and his name was Jim Henson. I fell in love with Jim Henson's Muppets and it was something I knew i wanted to do!

Thanks to Jim Henson I was keen to learn about puppetery. I would watch every movement of the puppets while watching the Muppet Show, which basically became my training course in puppetry. It also helps that I have a natural talent and interest in performance and love being creative.

By the time I was 13, my old store bought 'basic' puppets looked a little worn and I was ready to try making my own puppet. With the help of my mum I created my first puppet called Chickem (yep who was a chicken). After this I created my second puppet, but this time on my own and it was a puppet called Miss Keren. Miss Keren was based on a 90s singer Keren Minshull who was the lead singer in an successful Aussie dance act called 'Euphoria'. Miss Keren was entered into a competition on popular kids tv-series Agro's cartoon connection and won!

Now that my parents had a video camera it was time to do some puppet shows. With the help of my friends Nathan de Graaf (doogle performer), my sister Cathy and Michael Russell, we filmed two Muppet Show tribute shows. At the time I had great difficulty in choosing a name for my puppets.

During the 90s they went under the name of Nuppets (1991/92) and then the Juppet Puppets (1993/2000). Alot of the characters created during the Nuppet/Juppet Puppet era were of similar design.

As you can see from the photo the Juppets were very basic and a simple hand puppet. Characters included Cosmo, Herbit, Sue Blue, Miss Keren, Holly, Lorinda and Parky. Some of these characters would be recreated in the 00's as Doogles.

In 1997, I began experimenting with the use of foam (same way the Muppets were built) and I created the character Mokely. The largest Puppet at the time who was a mix between a polar bear and reindeer. Mokely was just the begginning of what was to be 'The Doogles'.

From 1997-2001 I began to further experiment with building puppets out of foam and covering them with antron fleece (a fabric used to make Muppets). After creating a number of new characters I realised that these new-looking puppets could no longer be called Juppets. I needed a new name and so in 2002 'the Doogles' were born!

The Doogles were puppets who had their own individual look and feel, most with a foam shell and covered in either antron fleece or fur fabric. These new characters included Astra, Brain and what would become my signature character Lolly (who is based on a 90s UK popstar of the same name). Since this time, I have created and performed over 50 new individual characters and they keep coming!

I should say that while I have had no formal training in puppetry, my skills have been acknowledged by people all over the world. I was even asked to contribute to a university course that was being developed in Melbourne.

Throughout my career in puppetry I have written and performed a number of productions including 'Cinderella, The Frog Prince, Boomer saves Christmas, The Three Little Mice, A Lolly Christmas, The Doogles Variety Show', 'A Very Merry Doogle Christmas Show', 'Calamity saves christmas' and so much more!

I have also created a number of fun musical videos which you can view on our youtube channel.

In 2011 I celebrated 20 years of Michael Jazbec's Puppets! Which is amazing... In 2013, I look forward to more live shows, web-based videos, special projects and the creation of more Doogle characters.