He used charm, others’ personal tragedies and fake celebrity endorsements. How Christopher LaVoie cast his reality show and reeled in successful entrepreneurs, including two former NBA stars.
By Peter Fischbach
NEW YORK — His face is smooth and puffy, his voice deep and booming. His movements are fluid and his gestures are fluid and his facial expressions are fluid and his body language is fluid and he’s doing a lot of nothing.
Yes, Christopher LaVoie has an image to sell. So, he has a brand to pitch.
LaVoie was supposed to land on a hot Broadway musical in 2013. He turned to reality TV for salvation, spending $2.5 million to become the star of the VH1-produced “Vanity,” which lasted two seasons, until he was dropped after the second episode.
He then launched “The Chris LaVoie Show,” a show about himself that lasted for only two weeks. After the first episode, he told the New York Times, “It was such a mess that I really didn’t know where to go from that. I didn’t know how to go forward.”
A ‘faux reality’ star
His life in show business began during an awkward teenage year in his native New Orleans. LaVoie played the lead in a production of “The Fantasticks” at a local high school. He was too tall for his part, but he was the star, with a big smile and big voice.
“I knew I had been picked because I knew how to sing,” he says.
The part of Fantasticks was LaVoie’s first major exposure to the world of show business. He was playing Fantasticks to pay, but he had a feeling he could be something more.
“There were a lot of people that played the lead in the Fantasticks,” says LaVoie, who had a small part in other theater productions, including “The Little Mermaid” and “The Pajama Game.” “But I had the talent.”
He was too short, but he had the talent. — Christopher LaVoie
Instead of going to college, LaVoie became a high school teacher, teaching theater to a local high school student drama club