I am originally from Riggston, IL, a town of about seven houses. My great grandfather started a John Deere dealership there, and it’s still a dealership today just under a different name. We’re on Sauer Rd. b/c we’ve been there for so many years. I think the Riggston post office left in the late 80’s. I went to grade school and high school in Winchester, IL, a town about 8 minutes away from Riggston. I currently live in Naperville.
As an Actor and Model moving to Chicago from LA is a big change. What inspired you to do so?
It was a big change moving to LA more than anything. I went from doing clinical research in a lab, teaching fitness classes, to pick up and leave to do something for myself and take a calculated risk. I was 27 and didn’t want to look back and think, “I wish I would have tried that.” I had NO experience in acting, so the work involved in this career, and thrusting myself into the hardest place for show business, really prepared me for anything. The transition from LA to Chicago was an easy one since I had lived in Chicago once during college attending the U of I there, and I was a shorter drive away from my family rather than a plane ride away. It’s been the best decision I’ve made in all my years. It’s been hard getting myself out there and meeting people in the smaller niche community of fashion and entertainment, but slowly it’s coming along. I can’t wait to see what happens, I have a good feeling about the future.
I saw your latest work as the sole lead in the Swiffer commercial. You looked adorbs. I’m loving what you’re wearing today. Can you tell me about the designer you are wearing?
That commercial was a lot of fun to shoot. It was my first national commercial. I’m still pretty excited that after acting for only three and a half years, I was able to achieve that. Hard work pays off.
I am wearing the designer Allison Parris. Here’s the website: http://www.allisonparris.com Her designs are so flattering and girlie that I can make the looks ultra chic or rocker chic. I am also wearing a Kate Spade belt, Betsey Johnson black suede pumps, and mesh jewelry provided by Duncan & Hoots jewelers in Jacksonville, IL. Duncan & Hoots has been our family jeweler for about 40+ years, they’re pretty awesome.
Let’s get to the BIG NEWS. You’re publishing a book about dating. What made you decide to write it?
It started out as a friend and I swapping stories, about five or so years ago, and we were simply joking about writing a book. Then I decided to continue to jot down ideas and experiences. I added more in LA because that is where most of the hilarity ensued. I say it in the book, but that is where my mom refers to it as my, “serial dating stage.” I ended up making more friends than anything there, no serious relationships. I left Oklahoma City to LA in order to leave a long-term relationship that was going nowhere; the ending of the relationship still makes me laugh to this day and is described in the book. :) There were some experiences that a lot of men and women would take as being horrible, but I’ve never taken anything too personal, I simply put a humorous spin on it and forget about it. So much easier that way, and when I look back, I would much rather bust a gut laughing than becoming sad or irritated. I enjoy making people laugh and making them comfortable, so this is my way of telling men AND women that going through this stuff is OKAY, it’s not the end of the world-so laugh about it and have a grand ol’ time enjoying life. I joke that “I’m built like a German but thankfully have the humor of an Irishman.” I’m only German and Irish, so the Irish, dry, sarcastic, witty part came through. We forget everything but the grudge, so make the grudge funny and laugh about it.
Tell us, how have you grown since you’re dating experiences?
I won’t necessarily say I’ve “grown up,” I’ve simply become wiser and more understanding. I most certainly don’t get as irritated by games anymore, I just put the kibosh on it, that’s how I solve those problems. :) I’ve always been the person that others spill their deepest, darkest, secrets to (I really can’t tell you why this phenomenon occurs) so these experiences only give a greater depth to me understanding how people work. People are terribly fascinating to me, I LOVE the sport of people watching! To answer your question, I’ve grown in gaining a larger amount of knowledge and insight as to how people in society work and their reactions.
Any wise Jenny-isms you can give us?
Don’t post your complaints on social media for all your friends to see. This is like drunk texting or posting statuses while drunk, big no-no. If you think a guy or girl did something shady, pretend you’re “Sherlock Holmes the dating sleuth,” be careful, particular, and concise. Whatever you do, do NOT react with your immediate emotions. I’ve done it, I can admit it, and your responses are never good, for either party involved. :) Besides, when people see your post about how angry you are, it doesn’t make yourself look all that fantastic to your followers or friends.
My biggest complaint I hear from women is men and “manscaping.” Now I’m just sayin’, but a man can still be a “manly man” and manscape. The guy doesn’t have to go and shout it out to his guy friends, but women REALLY appreciate a guy that keeps things clean and tidy because that means, more than likely, that he is clean and tidy in other aspects in his life-at least one would hope so. the guy doesn’t have to get a mani-pedi every week and women be disgusted that they didn’t get their cuticles trimmed. If a woman is upset over cuticles not being trimmed, I think she has some other major issues that most men would not like to find out what those may be.
What would you like your readers to take away from reading your book?
That it’s okay to mess up. It’s okay if you picked a real loser, just learn from your mistake and don’t make that same mistake over and over again. The huge “take away” would be to laugh about it all. Laugh about a break up, find stuff to make fun of, it really will make you feel better. When I make fun of an ex with my man and girl friends, it always makes me feel better. Do it in the privacy of your own home with very close friends, don’t announce it to the world. It’s like I say in my upcoming book, my mom, sister, and I do the right thing and talk about people behind their backs. :)
Lastly, any favorite boutiques or designers in Chicago?
One of my new favorites is Borris Powell because I simply love his personality. He provided a beautiful silk taffeta skirt for me to wear to the Naperville Film Festival. It was so gorgeous, I felt like a princess. Besides his amazing, wearable designs, he has an uber hilarious personality. His smile and laughter is infectious. Since I live in Naperville, there is actually a boutique called “Hot Mama.” It isn’t just for moms. They have some pretty good stuff in there. I’m more of a Free People/BCBGMaxAzria girl, so “comfy, flowy chic?” Downtown Naperville where I live is quite beautiful and has an amazing array of boutiques.