He used charm, others’ personal tragedies and fake celebrity endorsements. How Christopher LaVoie cast his reality show and reeled in successful entrepreneurs and influencers is the subject of this week’s profile in the “New York Times Magazine.”
He cast me for his show. He needed someone with a knack for making friends, a good sense of humor and a ready smile. I was a “lady reporter,” so to speak. A few years later, I’m sitting in the office of my old boss, on a Friday evening, drinking a cranberry juice and reading the NYtimes.com. The front page is filled with stories about what Chris LaVoie calls the “real people” of the “real world.”
That night my mother was at my door. I opened it, and she was at my legs. I looked down at her and said, “Hi.” She walked in and sat down at my desk. For a few moments we looked into each other’s eyes. She said, “How’s Christopher?”
I said, “Fine, Ma, how’s your daughter?”
She smiled, and she said, “I know, I know … the same old stories. But it’s good to hear from you.”
That is the power of the “real people.” What an opportunity to get to know the people most people have never met.
My mother died the next day. She had cancer.
A year later, I met Chris LaVoie, then a reporter at the New York Daily News and now the executive producer of the reality show, “How to Get Rich in 30 Days or Less.” We were introduced by my old boss at the Times. I was now the executive producer of the new show, which Chris had started with a friend. We hit it off. He invited me to be an associate producer the show, which meant I did some writing for the show and helped with other behind-the-scenes work.
I was with �