Shannon Ashley Mitchell was born in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada on April 10, 1987. Even as a young child, she knew that she wanted to pursue a career in the performing arts. By the time she was 5 years old, she had already begun taking dancing lessons and traveled around the city to various other dance schools to compete. At age 10, Shay's family moved to Vancouver. This just so happened to be the first step in her modeling career, as she was soon discovered by an international modeling company within the first year of moving, and would eventually be whisked off to other countries such as Bangkok, Hong Kong and Barcelona by the time she was a late teen for gigs.
However, once Shay began to get the hang of modeling, she decided she wanted to broaden her horizons. So she moved back to Toronto and began taking acting lessons. After signing with her first theatrical agency, she landed a small part as a model on the series "Degrassi: The Next Generation" in 2009. While it wasn't exactly a career-making role, it did lead to being booked for several national commercials, including for Pantene Pro-V Nature Fusion, which she would eventually become the national spokesperson for.
After another small role on the series "Rookie Blue," Shay continued finding work as a model for brands such as American Eagle, as well as appeared in a music video for rapper Sean Paul's song "Hold My Hand." It wasn't until her four episode arc on the Disney XD series "Aaron Stone," however, that her career as an actress would finally begin to take off. Soon after, she was cast as Emily Fields, the jock of a group of girls who's friend goes missing, on the television series "Pretty Little Liars." The show ended up taking off, and Shay continues to reap the benefits.
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