12 years ago, executives from Station Casinos came to see “an unheard band with a funny name” from Arizona, and offered Chris Phillips an opportunity of a lifetime. Since 2006, Zowie Bowie has been a headliner at the core of the Entertainment Capital of the World. Their high-energy shows are a favorite among locals and tourists alike, and Chris’s talent goes far beyond his voice. He is notorious for his outlandish stage presence and outfits, life of the party personality, and late night music sets, but when Chris Phillips met his now-wife Jennifer, something changed.
“You go through many experiences and relationships in your life, and hope to find the one you know instinctively is the person you’d like to not only be married to, but be your best friend for the rest of your life. When you find that, it’s time to take things to the next level and create a family. Everything’s been so incredible that it’s been worth the wait. Having a child wasn’t something I was expecting, and it couldn’t have come at a better time or with a better person.”
Jennifer and Chris started giggling together as they remember when she found out she was pregnant. “Chris went silent for like, 10 minutes!” Jennifer recalled as she burst out laughing. He defended himself- “I didn’t even know what I was looking at! When I realized it was ours, I insisted we run to the store and get 10 more of those sticks!”
After some laughter, Chris got serious; “I’d say there was some shock, absolutely. It was a miracle I wasn’t expecting… but becomes everything in the world you never really knew you wanted, and then you can’t imagine life without it. After Ava was born, I had a realization that it’s the first time in my life I had a responsibility for someone other than myself- the reality that I brought an extension of myself into this world- it takes life to a whole other level. That’s when you understand what THAT kind of deep love is all about.”
Chris and Jennifer’s relationship has a distinct rhythm… they joke alongside each other, gush about their partner’s amazing qualities, and understand the importance of compromise as new parents. As we were chatting, they were a perfect multitasking pair- they make it look easy… even when it’s not. Their 16- year son Logan is a huge help to his mom. “He helps feed her, and was secretly so excited to have a little sister- he pinches her cheeks every morning before he leaves for school but he’s a junior in high school and has his own life- I don’t want him feeling responsible when he has his own life to live”.
Her husband was put to the ultimate test immediately after Ava was born: Jennifer had reconstructive foot surgery just six weeks after giving birth. She wasn’t able to walk at all- “My incredible husband did it all- would make me lunch, we moved everything close to the couch for me and he’d help with the baby all day, and then go to work.”
Chris works 5 nights a week, and needs ample rest to be able to provide the kind of high-energy performance that’s required of his job- the “party atmosphere” of his show is one of the main elements that people enjoy. Jennifer respects this requirement, so their daily routine is like a perfectly executed machine. Chris sleeps in while Jennifer takes care of morning rituals. Once he wakes up, he is hands-on with Ava until he goes to work. When he comes home, they enjoy quality time together and he is on “baby duty” while Jennifer goes to sleep. Once it’s time for him to sleep, they switch the responsibility again.
Of course it isn’t always easy- the biggest challenge Chris had to adjust to was adding so much extra time into his routine. “Things you do during the day become quite an operation,” he explains. “Just running a quick errand to a PostNet is no longer a 45 second drop-off when you have a baby to get out of the car seat, hold her in your arms, carry a diaper bag, have a bottle ready at all times, and wipes have become my new best friend. We’ve gone through thousands of wipes!!” But of course, “it’s worth every second, this life-altering miracle. It makes me appreciate what I’ve been blessed to be able to do for a living- you don’t take it for granted when you have a family- it adds a whole different importance to longevity and creating revenue doing what you love.
There’s an added pep in his step with his performances now, when most would be completely exhausted. “Learning to balance between being a frat-party delinquent as my character onstage for shows, and then being the most responsible person and father you can possibly be- both in the course of a day! If I don’t do one, neither would work. They feed and fuel each other.”
Before saying goodbye, I asked the couple to recall their fondest memory so far with their little girl. Jennifer immediately responded with “the first time I ever looked at her. I could cry just thinking about it- she was something I never thought I’d do again or have, and I always wanted a little girl. When Ava was born, to have her bless our lives- that moment was so special and beautiful.”
Chris took a little longer to respond, but then said, “this very exact second. Looking at my wife, holding my beautiful child, making dinner together, while we are talking to you- finally speaking about something we’ve been thinking about for months and experiencing for weeks, and now we are able to assess it out of nowhere- it’s so special for us to be able to do that.”. The more we spoke, the more emotional the couple got recalling the events that have taken place in just 12 months: Chris’s 50th birthday, a new home, a wedding, their first child together, surgery, and a 5 day a week headlining show. “It was a big year… with a lot of blessings.”
The most exciting news Ava Phillips had to share? She will be making her feature film debut in the movie "Bleach"- an upcoming Psychological Thriller Starring Mark Justice, Tito Ortiz, Mindy Robinson and Eric Roberts. Executive Producer, Lenka Fucikova and Co-Producer, Mark Justice say that the addition of Ava, will be the "Cherry on top" to an already extraordinary film!" “Bleach” is set to release early 2018.