Did Everyone Have An Imaginary Friend (Or Just Me?) Book Release + Show!

Did Everyone Have An Imaginary Friend (Or Just Me?) Book Release + Show!

Presented by Books are Magic!
$40.02 - $45.16
($35.00 - $40.00 base price)
Featuring author Jay Ellis in conversation with Zakiya Dalila Harris and more!

DOORS 6:30PM | SHOW 7:30PM

Star of HBO’s Insecure Jay Ellis tells the story of growing up with an imaginary best friend you will never forget—part Dwayne Wayne from A Different World, part Will Smith from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air—in this hilarious, vulnerable love letter to only children.

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.


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.


Zakiya Dalila Harris received her MFA in creative writing from The New School. Her debut novel, The Other Black Girl, was an instant New York Times bestseller. Her essays and book reviews have appeared in Cosmopolitan, The Guardian, The New York Times, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband.