is no doubt that upon witnessing Christopher’s act, audiences
will he treated to a unique form of puppetry they have never
For nearly two decades, Christopher has been entertaining audiences
across the country and around the world with his unique and
original blend of puppetry and dance. When he performs, you
really believe you are watching 5 people dance simultaneously,
when in actuality there is only one person.
the artist, who was the 2002 Grand Prize winner in the “30
Minutes to Fame” TV competition, uses poles to move his act
into the realm of one of the most creative and unique self-invented
puppet tiers seen anywhere in the world. The only problem
seems to be that Christopher doesn’t quite know what to call
this new level of art.
“Because I invented my act, I have no point of reference for
it,” he says. “So I have one of those hyphenated careers,
dancer-puppeteer, because I don’t quite know what to call
it. It’s one of those things you have to see.”
Let it suffice to say that utilizing long poles and four adult-sized
puppets -- with Christopher in the middle – the talented artist
is able to be all five Village People at one time, full-fledged
dancing and other movements included.
It was the day after Halloween back in 1985 that Christopher,
then a factory worker, first came up with the concept, which
he thought was impossible at the time. He had entered a Halloween
costumes contest and had lost and afterwards pondered what
he could have done to have won.
the time, Michael Jackson was really famous and the song ‘Thriller’
was really big,” Christopher recalls. “I thought to myself,
what if I could have been all of the Jackson 5? I then started
thinking about how I could be five people and thought of life-sized
puppets. Somewhere in that thought process, I began to see
it less as a costume and more as an act.”
But not knowing how to build puppets, Christopher had no idea
of how to make them move. He realized that he had to be on
a level with them and that the use of strings would mean that
he would have to be above the puppets and also that he would
only be able to make their arms and legs move in one direction
at a time. He wanted to make them walk and dance, which meant
being able to move their arms and legs in both directions.
He realized that to do that, he would have to be in the middle.
He thought of using long poles but gave up on the idea because,
again, he thought it was impossible.
A year later, having left his factory job because he was making
a living performing in lip synch contests, Christopher once
again thought of the Jackson 5. He realized at that time that
it was not an impossible task to accomplish, just a difficult
one. He felt that while he might not be able to simulate every
body movement, he could still make them move. So on April
8, 1986, Christopher, with the help of some friends, built
his puppet act.
“Initially the body movements were as limited as I expected
them to be,” he recalls, smiling. “I just didn’t expect all
the body parts to fall off.”
As a result, Christopher ended up restructuring his invention.
He went to Home Depot and bought chicken wire, wrapped it
into body parts and wired them all together. He used wig heads
for heads but because Styrofoam couldn’t successfully be spray
painted, he had to put paper mache over the Styrofoam before
painting the faces. Jheri curl wigs and aviator sunglasses
completed the picture and poof, instant Jackson 5. (Audiences
will also experience this and some James Brown in Christopher’s
Christopher’s big break came shortly afterwards when his hired
a manager who booked him on “The Late Show” starring Joan
Rivers. Before he could go on, however, Rivers was fired and
the show continued with guest comedians. Christopher ended
up being on the very first show that Arsenio Hall hosted.
It was a show that Arsenio’s good friend Eddie Murphy was
watching. Murphy flipped over Christopher’s act and ended
up taking Christopher on the road with him around the country
as his opening act for his “Raw Tour” for three months in
Since that time, Christopher has performed at the Ford Theatre
for President George Bush Sr. (1990) and has been seen on
TV shows, including the “American Comedy Awards (1995), “The
30th Anniversary of Caesars Palace (1996) and, of course,
“30 Seconds to Fame” (2002).
He has performed for 2 US Presidents, Prince Rainier of Monaco
and Princess Margaret of England. He's
been featured at casinos in Monte Carlo, Switzerland, Bahrain
(in the Middle East) and Atlantic City. His indefinite engagement
in “Ovation,” however, is his first long-term gig in a variety
Amongst numerous television performances, he has appeared on "The
Tonight Show" with Jay Leno, "The American Comedy
Awards", "Caesar Palace's 25 Anniversary Special",
as well as being a $25,000 winner on Fox's "30 Seconds
to Fame." He has performed for 2 US Presidents, Prince
Rainier of Monaco and Princess Margaret of England.