• IRL Author Talk: Did Everyone Have an Imaginary Friend (or Just Me)? with Jay Ellis + Kendrick Sampson - August 6 @ 7 PM CST

IRL Author Talk: Did Everyone Have an Imaginary Friend (or Just Me)? with Jay Ellis + Kendrick Sampson - August 6 @ 7 PM CST

Celebrate the release of Did Everyone Have an Imaginary Friend (or Just Me)?  with Jay Ellis!

EVENT DEETS

When: Tuesday, August 6, 2024 @ 7PM (Doors Open at 6PM)

Where: STAGES (800 Rosine St, HTX, 77019)

How: Grab your ticket today! Each ticket come with a signed copy of Did Everyone Have an Imaginary Friend (Or Just Me)?: Adventures of Boyhood. 

*NO REFUNDS*

ABOUT THE BOOK

What to do when you're the perpetual new kid, only child, military brat hustling school-to-school each year and everyone's looking to you for answers? Make some shit up, of course! And a young Jay Ellis does just that, with help from every child's favorite co-conspirator—their imaginary best friend. Born in the perfect storm of especially ferocious rain and a sugar-fueled imagination, Mikey, his imaginary best friend, steps in to figuratively hold Jay's hand through various youthful shenanigans. 

A testament to the importance of imagination, trusting oneself, and making space for your creativity, Did Everyone Have an Imaginary Friend or Just Me? is a story of a 90s kid who confided in his imaginary sidekick to navigate everything from parallel pop culture universes, like watching Fresh Prince alongside John Hughes movies or listening to Ja Rule and Dave Matthews, to a lifetime of birthday disappointment (being a Christmas season Capricorn will do that to you) and hoop dreams gone bad. Mikey also guides him through greater tragedies, like losing his teenage cousin in a mistaken-target driveby and the shame and fear of being pulled over by cops almost a dozen times the year he got his driver's license. 

As imaginary friend morphs into adult consciousness, Ellis charts an unforgettable story of looking within yourself for guidance to some of life’s biggest (and smallest) challenges, told in the roast-you-with-love voice of your closest homie.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Born in Sumter, South Carolina, to a military family, Jay Ellis spent his childhood inventing new personas for every town he landed in. Too many to count. After college, he realized the NBA wasn’t good enough for him and he didn’t want to crush other players’ dreams as he dominated the league so he decided to take his one-man show to Hollywood, where he got his start on BET’s The Game. Now an accomplished actor, philanthropist, and entrepreneur, Ellis is best known for his role as Lawrence on HBO’s Insecure, for which he won an NAACP Image Award. He appeared alongside Tom Cruise, flying jets through the skies, in the Oscar-nominated film in Top Gun: Maverick. When he’s not on set filming he spends the majority of his days cleaning up the messes that his daughter’s imaginary friend “Jack” made. Karma.

ABOUT THE CONVERSATION PARTNER

Kendrick Sampson is an actor, producer and activist who leverages his platform and storytelling to shift culture for good. 

Growing up in Houston and Missouri aka “Mo City”, Texas, Kendrick Sampson was dropped into a unique and deeply rooted culture of music and art.

His most acclaimed and notable characters from "Nathan" on HBO's Emmy-nominated comedy series, Insecure, to "Ethan" in Prime’s popular romantic comedy Something from Tiffany’s and his personal favorite, the surrealist satire I am a Virgo from Boots Riley - Kendrick has been achieving his lifelong goal of shifting culture through storytelling and uplifting nuanced, diverse, and authentic portrayals of Black men.

He uses his platform to amplify transformational grassroots work in intersectional mental health justice, sexual health and liberation and fighting state violence. Kendrick co-founded BLD PWR which includes a production company and social impact (501c3) arm whose mission is to “Reimagine and Realize the liberated future we know our people deserve” by organizing Hollywood and shifting the culture toward nourishing and protecting nuanced Black, Indigenous, and marginalized leaders and everyday people, especially our storytellers and their stories.

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