From: NY, United States
Genre: Jazz, soundtrack, ballads
1- After moving to NYC from Florida in the 90‘s while having a rough start, you then started working as a secret agent. Some of your assignments were to sing at bars and cabarets to relay code words in your songs. After that, you started a spa and was a massage therapist to the stars. What was your calling to become an entrepreneur?
Being an entrepreneur comes natural to me for it was not something that was “decided” to be. It just happened. "Regular" jobs quickly bore me so the most interesting avenues are chosen. The first real job was at the age of 15 that had the task of washing the dishes in a Florida restaurant. Always singing my lungs out while working in the kitchen, the manager fired me for making too much noise. I always wanted to be a singer, so my career at the time as an undercover agent was a way to express myself musically and to catch the bad guy. The song "Come Fly With Me " was able to tell the field agents where the jewels were in the coded messages sung by me for Elizabeth Taylor about her stolen jewels. This was specifically sung to allow the field agents to hear the location of the stolen jewels, who took them, where she was going (yes a woman stole them), the time it occurred, and what she looked like all in one song.
2- I know you started singing officially not too long ago and on the very first week of starting a singing career you landed a TV appearance and then invited to sing at events. In the back of your mind, did you always have the desire to be an entertainer or it was something that you realized later?
I always knew I would be a recognized celebrity for my singing. The question wasn't if, BUT when. I am one of those types of people that manifest to create their own destiny, it is visualized and then it happens. I remember when I opened my first Day Spa in NYC. It was on a Monday. That very day, I announced to the staff that we would be on Regis and Kathie Lee, however; there was no connection to them whatsoever. By 6pm that night, I received a call from a PR company, they needed a spa the next day to appear on Regis and Kathie Lee at 6 AM. Since they had heard about my spa and thought the name and concept was amazing, this spa was called “Life is Beautiful”. I agreed and wham, we were on Regis and Kathie Lee. The same thing happens with my singing. One day, sitting on my office chair, I made an announcement to be a professional singer. Playing a karaoke song to sing along to and recording it on my computers built in microphone, I then posted it to youtube. The next thing that happened was the phone rang. A man from Long Island that was recording an album of Broadway songs heard my track and hired me to sing. The same type of thing happened with all the TV shows. I verbally announce my intention and then it happens.
3- You created your own line of skin care before becoming a singer. What made you want to start creating and manufacturing the products yourself?
Let’s understand that although I have my hand in many different types of careers, I began working in the spa arena as a Licensed Massage Therapist. Voted number one and the "Best of New York" in my field, countless times in magazines such as Vogue and Allure, and even on TV. My celebrity following was an amazing blessing to have been able to massage Cindy Crawford, Uma Thurman, John Travolta, and Julia Roberts to name a few. An additional side job working in a spa or resort is the skillset in selling skincare. I understood the importance of skincare being that I was raised in Florida during my teen years and implemented that knowledge into my sales routine. Having a business mind and always knowing exactly what was missing in the skincare lines, I made suggestions to Estee Lauder who used some of my ideas. These are still being sold today in the Origins stores. My own lines came later when I branched out on my own. My latest is SpaLab Snake Venom. it’s a topical facial moisturizer that uses real snake venom as the active key ingredient. The venom works like a topical botox, although it does not paralyze the muscles. It simply relaxes them so that you can still move your face but reduces the lines in your forehead and crowsfeet. I use it every day. I would drink it if I could. Ha ha. So far, to the best of my knowledge, it is the only skincare line that uses snake venom. I am sure I will be copied soon enough.
4- You participated in a documentary in which Lady Gaga was featured. Can you tell us a little more about your connection with the pop star?
The documentary, Chasing Gaga, was produced and directed by Ian Halperin, a famous Canadian director. He had almost finished his project when we met in New York City. Ian wrote me into the film as myself and we filmed it at my spa in NYC while I was making a line of GAGA skincare products and merchandise for retail sale. Stefani needed items to market to the masses and I was the man that could step up to the plate and produce. The film was shown on the TV Guide Channel and has won awards I am told.
5- You are known for being a Renaissance man. Handsome and elegant, however; back in 2003 when participating in a TV show called "What Not To Wear" as the name already suggests, this is a show about helping people to improve their fashion style. Did the show helped you to build the Larry Costa we see today or it was all part of show business?
I was asked to participate on the show as the first male “make over victim”. It was the first season before the second host took position on the show. This episode was the deciding factor on whether or not the show would be picked up as a series depending on the ratings the episode would receive. I promised the producer of BBC that I would deliver a show like no other, and apparently I did. Although it was an “unscripted” show, I was able to lead the way to have the show go in the best possible direction and to hold the viewers attention. It worked. My episode is the highest EVER rated lifestyle show on ANY ad-supported network to this day. I did my job and that show went on for a full 10 year run, thanks to me. Ha ha
6- You also have written 2 books that went on to be on The New York Times best seller list, starred in several independent films, and even started producing some films as well. Earning the title of "King of the Indie Movies" for your work, having a skin care product line, AND are a great crooner (whose voice has been compared to no other than Sinatra),Tall and handsome, Charity work, even a secret agent!!! Is there any thing you don't do?
This is a difficult question to answer because I really have done most of everything that I have set out to do. You forgot to include that I was a University Professor, which is one of the most rewarding of all jobs. I love to teach young minds, to help shape them and mold them into the person that they want and should be. Looking at life from a different stand point of other people, I have a motto, “If anyone else can do it, so can I”. For the most part, we are all born with the same brain. It's how we use it that sets us apart.
7- With all of your talents, it sounds like you are possibly the most interesting man in the world. What is next for Larry Costa? Is there anything still missing for you to be able to say "I have it all"?
I am a man with a plan! I am creating the Larry Costa brand of music as we speak. As we know, I have been singing American Standard songs since going pro, however; that’s all about to change. I will still sing the same type of romantic and beautiful songs, but now they will be original. I have searched high and low to find the right composer and lyricist that understands my voice and my passion while singing. My search ended with John Balnis of Nashville. Balnis is amazing. He plays the piano like Beethoven and even uses some of those techniques in the songs he is writing for me. Not meaning that my songs sound like Beethoven, but the feeling of that robust sound that is full and complete that is in my songs. It feels like a finished work of art rather than a simple bubble gum song of love and prose. Another ambition of mine is to sing a duet with Barbra Streisand, this should happen now that I put it out there in the universe and manifested it.
8- Philanthropy work is something you are also involved with so how important to you is it to give back?
A part of Philanthropy is not boasting about it. I do receive great pleasure in helping others. So far, I have helped set people up in business, started careers, trained and schooled people for free, donated money and my working man hours to help the needy or even sometimes, the not-so-needy as all they need is a kick in the ass to get in gear and get their life together. I wrote a self help book called "Reversing the Invisible Person Complex". This book deals with some cases from my self help groups held at my spa. It’s a good and easy read while most people can say that they found themselves somewhere in the book and got the strong and solid advice they needed, to just simply take life by the horns and do what you need to do. Another aspect of my work comes in the form of a non-profit organization to be announced late 2014 that will focus on assisting adult survivors of child abuse and being a survivor myself, I know what these people go through on a daily basis. At present, there is nothing out there for the adults that had to endure the tortures, physical and mental pain that went under the radar that need to understand and learn how to cope in an adult’s world while this dark and dirty secret is always on the mind. This work will assist with therapy and life building coaching.