and a half years ago, in September of 2002, I got a call from
Chrissy O’Grady, my dear friend and reptile mentor.
She had received a phone call from a casting director at Disney,
one who is familiar with the Reptile Family’s animals,
and has used them for TV and film work.
“Do you know any camera-friendly kids with interesting
pets?” she asked. Minutes later, my phone rang. Chrissy
explained what Disney was looking for, and gave me their number.
I called the casting director and enlisted my ten-year-old
son, Evan, and his eight pets. A week or two later, the Disney
Cool Pets crew came to the house, and taped Evan and his critters
for a couple of hours.
did I know that Evan’s segment of Cool Pets would run
for two and a half years! Yes, it’s still on the air.
And Evan is a star.
Especially in the early days, children from all over the country
would approach him for autographs, but more importantly, information
about animals! And where do you think he learned how to love
and respect creatures? From Chrissy O’Grady and the
I feel that Evan’s experience has been a wonderful vehicle
for spreading the word to countless children. He loved sharing
his mouse, bearded dragon, baby tortoise, cats and fire-belly
toads with the kids of America. He also loved the attention,
and has gone on to become a professional actor. Chrissy gave
him the greatest gift an actor can receive – his or
her first break in the ‘biz. It has been Evan’s
joy to continue his wonderful friendship with the Reptile
Family. Just think – it all started with his sixth birthday
party, and now he’s thirteen!
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