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Milan makes postcards better.

Keep ’em coming, Serb,

-Shady

I could tell you stories about him—or any of my family members, to be honest—for hours on end, but instead I’ve decided to keep this post short.

All you need to know is this: Hi-Guy was a funny man. A constant jokester, prankster, and false grabber of crotches. Yes, you read that correctly.

Hi-Guy passed away in 2008 at the age of 78. I was 31. In all those years, he sent me two pieces of mail (at least that I can remember), which was ironic because Hi-Guy worked for the post office.

I received the first of these letters was when I was very young. It was a letter from “Mickey Mouse” sent from Disney World. I was ecstatic that such an enormously popular cartoon character would take time out of his animated life to write me. Years would pass before I would put two and two together and realize that it was actually Hi-Guy who had written me under a rodent-based pseudonym.

The only other piece of mail I ever got from Hi-Guy was this letter:

The front of one of Hi-Guy's two letters to me.

The back of one of Hi-Guy's two letters to me.

He wrote that letter (apparently) on May 21st of some year (he only marked the year “Zulu,” and I have no idea what that even means). He sent me that letter in a box when I was in college (so somewhere between 1994 and 1998). Also in that box was a “cheesehead” hat (quite literally, a styrofoam slice of “cheese”) that he had dug out of a dumpster.

NOTE: Hi-Guy was a proud dumpster diver of junk. Or “treasures,” as he so often called them.

The hat had a bite missing out of one of its corners. I always liked to think that a drunken college kid had taken bite out of it one night before tossing it into the dumpster. In reality, a rat had probably gnawed away at it before Hi-Guy picked it out of the trash.

Before he sent it to me, Hi-Guy wrote “HUNGRY” next to an arrow that was pointing to the bite mark. It was pure Hi-Guy. You’ll notice the mention of “HUNGRY” in that letter.

You’ll also probably notice that Hi-Guy had a habit of making up his own spellings of words. Over time, I’ve adopted this practice with words like “tanks” (for “thanks”) and “aite” (for “all right”) and “birfday” (for “birthday”). I take no credit for such goofiness. That was all Hi-Guy.

Hi-Guy most certainly lives on in me. In my sense of humor. In my vocabulary and spellings. And in my memory.

And I feel fortunate that I’ve managed to save one of the two letters he sent me. Also, I don’t think it’s any coincidence that he “signed” the above letter with a Mickey Mouse sticker.

Hi-Guy was Mickey,

-Shady

SIEG HELL YEAH!

And that is the big news, folks!

“But what does that mean,” you ask? Well, let me explain.

You may remember that my recent spec script, Saving Charlie Chaplin, made it on the Black List last December. That was a huge honor for me, and I felt humbled just being included on the list.

A few weeks ago, the Black List reached out to me and asked if I’d be interested in turning my script into a live event. Uh… yeah? The result of that initial conversation will take place live on stage in Hollywood on June 10th.

Every year, the Black List chooses a handful of scripts from its list and turns them into a live-read event. A live-read is an event where actors are cast in roles, and then, instead of acting out their parts, they do a full read-through of a script in front of an audience. Last year, the Black List produced seven of these events. This year, Saving Charlie Chaplin will be their third event.

What this means, in a practical sense, is that on the evening of June 10th, eight actors and one narrator will take to the stage and read my script out loud to an audience. Since I wrote the script, I will be directing the read/evening.

I also have a say in casting talent, which has been a remarkable journey so far. We already have a couple people cast, but we’ll be officially announcing them as we get closer to June 10th, so be sure to keep checking back for updates.

Trust me when I say this, though: It’s not often that a guy gets to work with both childhood idols and talent he holds in high regard. On June 10th, I will be fortunate enough to do both of those things.

Unfortunately, this event will not be streamed or recorded, so you have to be in Los Angeles to witness this live, one-time event. If you’re able to make it, awesome. If not, I totally understand.

For those of you who are interested, here are the details:

The Black List & Warby Parker
present
Black List Live!

Saving Charlie Chaplin
Written & Directed by Justin Shady

Saturday, June 10th, 2017 @ 8PM
The Montalban Theater
1615 Vine Street, Hollywood

You can reserve your tickets here.

Learn more about the Black List and their live events here, more about the Montalban Theater here, and more about Warby Parker here.

There will be a ton of updates in the next couple weeks—cast announcements, poster reveal, etc.—so be sure to keep checking back.

Until then,

-Shady

Don't mind if I do!

“Coupon” helps, too,

-Shady

Grey has a good picker!

Grey has pretty good taste,

-Shady

More! Visitors!

It was a great time… save for the restaurant meltdown,

-Shady

New faucet! Fuck yeah!

Young me would hate old me,

-Shady

Zombie Ethel is coming to get you, Barbara!

I might actually go to that church,

-Shady

It's a Johnsons sighting!

…for inviting us out for some beers (and ginger ales)!

Looking forward to continuing the fun at the farm one day soon,

-Shady

We were all so young.

That is all,

-Shady