Chris Illuminati: More Than A Message With A Bottle

Episode 68 features Chris Illuminati. Chris is an author, blogger, superstar on Instagram (that’s totally a thing), former stand-up comedian and a father of two. I was following Chris on his Instagram account (@messagewithabottle) for a while when one of our mutual friends reached out to me, dumbstruck that they had never suggested a collaboration between us for Daddy Unscripted. So, big shout-out to Jessica and Jose for paving the road for this to happen.

Let’s start this post with where we started our conversation: his name. Yes. His last name really is Illuminati. We spent some time talking about peoples’ names and how that has changed over the years.

We then jumped back into Chris’ family history. He has some really interesting stories about the age difference between his Dad and his brothers and the trickle-down effect of that from his Dad’s siblings and Chris as a child. Chris’ family came to the east coast originally, and he has spent nearly the entirety of his lifetime in New Jersey. He discussed the unique melding of New Jersey and how a lot of its influence comes from both Philadelphia and New York.

This ended up becoming a very odd segue into us talking about my having seen Fast Times at Ridgemont High at the way-too-young age of 10. As the youngest of 8 kids in my family, I definitely got exposed to some things I never should have at the time I was. As parents now, Chris and I talked about some of the things that we cannot imagine our kids being involved in that we were during the ’70s and ’80s in our childhoods.

Chris talks about how his Dad owning a bar during his youth ended up really working well to keep Chris from being interested in drinking when he was much younger. We talked about the lack of “romanticism” of alcohol that Chris extracted from that experience and how different that was from my own youth, seeing my siblings throwing keg parties at our house when my parents were on vacation.

“…Being an only child never bothered me until I had kids. Then it bothered me because I see the dynamic between my son and daughter and I’m like, you know what? It probably would have been cool to have somebody around.” We talked a little bit about the feeling of having more than one kid for Chris, as an only child himself. This became a pretty interesting conversation about the thought process of parents who may have that deliberate decision-making to do regarding having one or more kids.

I actually got into some new territory in this episode, opening up on topics I haven’t touched on in any of my previous 67 episodes. It’s interesting to me when things come out like that… just entering conversations naturally by whatever guest may be on the podcast at that time who shares whatever experience they may have had.

Chris and I talked briefly after this episode and agreed that it kind of went in directions we really hadn’t been expecting at all. Not in bad ways, mind you. I think, due to his personality and the work he does paired with me on the other side of the mic, we assumed this might be a little more of a light-hearted conversation in its entirety. We did joke around a lot and there were definitely laughs. And part of me is not sure how I could have ever been surprised by this: but, we did get deep in this episode, as well.

I’m so excited for all of you to hear this conversation with Chris Illuminati. He’s a great guy and I truly believe there may be another conversation between us. It did feel like a lot was possibly left on the table after we were done recording. So, make sure, either way, that you check out Chris’ work and his social media accounts, too.

You can find Chris Illuminati in all of these places:
Chris Illuminati on Amazon at:
Twitter: @ChrisIlluminati
Instagram: @MessageWithaBottle

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