A Drink With…Christine Jennings (aka Cissy J.)

By March 18, 2015Uncategorized

Bartender, I’ll have a…Tito’s and soda water.

I’m SURE you remember me from such Factory shows as529 S Something, Fat!, White Trash Wedding and a Funeral, Clean, Battleaxe Betty, The Barbara Walters Interviews, Herb Stabler! Wandering Spirit!, Surface Dwellers, Factory Match Game 99, Menage A Trailer, Toast of the Town, Lonesome Hobos, Janice Dutts Goes to Life Camp, Shameless Shamuses, Bustin’ Out of the Hell, Mop Top Festival, Hunky Dory, and Jenny and Jenni.

I got involved with the Factory because… Steve Walker. A bunch of us were studying at Columbia College together. Walker got to know the folks at Factory in their second season (1994). Walker, Jerry Hlava and Micheal Mazzara got cast in Alive, which went on to be a cult hit. I instantly fell in love with the tribe. Complete knuckleheads with a creative canvas that stretched my brain. I wanted in. I was dating Mazzara at the time, so me hanging around wasn’t too obvious. The original space on Loyola was a hangout. Constant rehearsals, shows, and parties. People lived in the basement at times. My beloved Miss Molly Brennan asked me to do my first Factory show in 1996. I found my family. I was home.

My current/next gig is… An interview show based and shot right here in our beautiful city. I’ll be asking you the questions next.

I give a shit about our move to Rogers Park because… Oh man, oh man! I’m so stoked. Well, we started off there so it’s so fitting, like an homage. When we left R.P., we produced at so many different spaces- the old Footsteps in Andersonville, Athenaeum in Lakeview, Stage Left in Wrigleyville, Chopin in Wicker Park, Angel Island in Lakeview, and, of course, The Prop in Albany Park. So, we’re going home. There is so much excitement within our current ensemble and board, let alone the community of R.P.- man, I cannot wait. It’s such an eclectic neighborhood, so it’s very fitting for us oddballs.

If I had to force you to listen to 2 albums, they would be… Neil Young’s ‘Decade’ & Nina Simone’s ‘To Love Somebody’

My favourite Factory memory is… Oh crap, there’s so many! First comes to mind- people walking across the stage during White Trash at the Loyola space (we only had one toilet and it was backstage). But- I’ll have to go soft and say Jenny & Jenni. My best friend, Shannon O’Neill, worked so frickin hard on that show that I was just so rocked and proud of her when it went up. We got to play best friends and had such an amazing ride. Love that girl.

I’m switching drinks, I’ll have a… an ale and a shot of bourbon. This round’s on me.

This is Cissy J. She's pretty much the coolest. Ever. Ask her about Factory's history and Chicago's music scene. Get comfy, cause she's a font of knowledge and beauty.

This is Cissy J. She’s pretty much the coolest. Ever. Ask her about Factory’s history and Chicago’s music scene. Get comfy, cause she’s a font of knowledge and beauty.

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