Iguanas and Geckos and Frogs, oh my! I don’t think we’re in New York anymore, Morty.

News with a Twist

South Florida has too many critters – but not all are bad

“Iguanas and Geckos and Frogs, oh my! I don’t think we’re in New York anymore, Morty” was originally published in the November 2019 issue of the Valencia Palms magazine, The Breezes.

Visitors to South Florida are probably not aware of this, but the area is inundated with annoying critters. No, I’m not talking about alligators; they’re more than annoying, they’re scary, but are rarely seen. And I’m not talking about the kinds of obnoxious vermin found in other parts of the country like mice, rats and cockroaches. I am talking about giant iguanas, poisonous frogs and little geckos. But while iguanas and frogs have no real redeeming value, don’t shoo away the geckos gathered at your front door; round them up, and help make your speedy* little friends famous.

(*Side note – Forget what you’ve read about cheetahs being the fastest land-based animal. I’ve done the research. Pound for pound, geckos are the fastest creatures on earth.) 

Geico, who’s corporate advertising spokesthing is a Gecko, is going Hollywood, announcing an upcoming major motion picture, The Geico Gecko, A Beginnings Story. 

A Beginnings Story will be filmed in Delray Beach, Florida because, as executive producer Herbie Weinstein (no relation to Harvey) said in an interview with Variety, “not only is it home to millions of geckos, Delray geckos are world-renowned for being the most photogenic geckos in North America.”

Weinstein told Around the Block that the film’s casting director is looking for geckos of all sizes, shapes and colors for co-starring and featured roles, including one lucky gecko who will co-star as the Geico Gecko’s love interest. Weinstein said he wasn’t sure if geckos are male or female, so the co-star role will go to the “most beautiful” gecko regardless of sex. In addition, A Beginnings Story is looking for thousands of geckos to be cast as extras. 

Weinstein indicated that geckos will be paid union scale; co-starring and featured geckos will be paid based on SGG (Screen Gecko Guild) rules while extras will be paid SCEG (Screen Gecko Extra Guild) scale.

As a service to all Valencia Palms residents and their geckos, and to get a head start on your friends at Delray’s Valencia Isles, here’s a preview of the ad that will appear in the Palm Beach Post.

So, start corralling those geckos – who knows, a star may be born right at your doorstep.

And remember, Geico is an Equal Opportunity Gecko Employer – EOGC

One last tip: show business is tough and every little edge helps. So, after collecting your geckos, and recognizing that preparation is key to a successful audition, you might want to enroll a few of your most promising geckos in the Stella Adler Gecko Conservatory (SAGC) which, in anticipation the film’s Delray shooting location, just opened in downtown Delray Beach and is offering a one-day audition prep course. 

Published by Ted Block

Ted Block is a veteran “Mad Man,” having spent 45+ years in the advertising industry. During his career, he was media director of several advertising agencies, including Benton & Bowles in New York and Foote, Cone and Belding in San Francisco; account management director on clients as varied as Clorox, Levi’s and the California Raisin Advisory Board (yes, Ted was responsible for the California Dancing Raisins campaign); and regional director for Asia based in Tokyo for Foote, Cone where he was also the founding president of FCB’s Japanese operations. Ted holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Queens College and, before starting in advertising, served on active duty as an officer on USS McCloy (DE-1038) in the U.S. Navy. Besides writing Around the Block, Ted is also a guest columnist for the Palm Beach Post.

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