He used charm, others’ personal tragedies and fake celebrity endorsements. How Christopher LaVoie cast his reality show and reeled in successful entrepreneurs.
“I had no idea what I was doing, but I had everything together. I had a great portfolio. I had a great platform.” That’s what Chris LaVoie told me when we met for coffee on a chilly Saturday morning before his first appearance on his second season of “Made Up” on the Oxygen Network.
Chris has all the qualifications — he was born in Canada, had been to USC as a young man — and yet here he was, in Los Angeles. And suddenly, he was a showman, an alluring celebrity, a success who could sell anything he’d ever claimed to sell. He could sell his own skin: his personal history, the tale of his own personal tragedy. He could sell anything: his stories, his product knowledge, his brand name. If you didn’t believe he was who you thought he was, he’d show you a different side, he’d show you a different side, he’d show you the other side.
How Chris LaVoie Caught On
“So he had this great product to offer,” said Michael Lewis, the vice president of programming at Oxygen. “And he was kind of a real star, I think in the sense that even though he wasn’t exactly a celebrity, people thought he was.”
The reality that Christopher LaVoie was a fake, and that his story was a phony, and that he was only pretending he was the one he claimed to be became crystal clear when I walked into LaVoie’s shop on the second floor of a brick building within the heart of Beverly Hills.
“I’m Christopher LaVoie … ” he says, “and I’m really good at … ” you know what he’s really good at?