We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashleigh Mannery and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ashleigh, why did you pursue a creative career?
I actually think that the career chose me. I have been in the arts since I was a young girl. I have done ballet, tap and jazz. Played the piano and the flute during middle school. I took a break from being on stage and then I performed in my first play in high school. The rest is history. The arts have always been a part of who I am. I enjoy expressing myself through different creative avenues. I feel that through my art I enter a space where I can make people see, feel and experience a world that they can relate to and take away something tangible and cherish that moment.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?

I have a vlog called As Vegan As Possible (ig: asveganaspossible_) where I highlight restaurants that provide vegan and non-vegan options. I’m on a personal health journey to be healthier but I am a foodie as well. I consider myself a vegan with pescatarian options . I find it hard sometimes to find restaurants that provide those options. So my friends and I go around and try out different places. Sometimes I am fortunate enough to speak with the owners/employees and it becomes a great time and conversation over food.

I’m a working actress and I love being on stage and in front of the camera. I have recently found a love for being behind the camera with production and directing. It’s been a great experience over the years for me. This past year a few artist friends and I have started a production company, Black Heart Pictures. It is my greatest challenge currently. Starting a business is difficult but rewarding at the same time.

My art is a piece of myself that I share with the world. I’m proud that I am finding my voice through my art and it impacts people in a positive way. I get happy when someone tells me that I made them laugh, or sparked a conversation that may have changed how they view a particular subject matter. Getting to this point definitely was not easy. I first needed to be comfortable with my voice and doing what I wanted. There is no right or wrong in being an artist but it’s about making the best decision for you. I left my hometown, family and my job to move to a city that I have never been to. It was not an easy journey but I did it. It was a sacrifice that I knew I needed to make my dream come true. I envision my life in a certain way and this is just part of the journey. I have learned that putting yourself first and saying no to certain things is important. It’s easy to lose yourself in this industry by saying yes to everything but saying no sets a boundary and a standard.

What I want the world to know about my brand/story is that it’s just my journey of living for me and doing what I love. It’s an authentic view of the joys, love and the not so happy times. I want people to see me and not a representative of who I think the world would like to see. If you’re not being you, then who will?

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We would definitely find a nice trail or waterfall to go to and explore the outdoors. I would recommend Kennesaw Mountain or going kayaking on a nice day. I would then head to Chattahoochee Food Works, Two Urban Licks, Politan Row at Colony Square or a nice rooftop restaurant. Busy Bees or Roc South are the best places for Soul Food! Bakerdude Bakery is a new favorite of mine to get a yummy vegan dessert. I love to hang out on the Beltline to people watch. Sometimes artists are out playing good music or showing off their different talents. If we wanted to get away I would travel to a winery and have a tasting. There are a lot of food and music festivals that are going on in the city, so I would love to take my friends there.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?

My mom deserves a ton of credit and recognition. She encourages me daily to push through when I question if this path was the correct choice. She sees me as a success story already. Her confidence and faith in me drives me to be my best. I owe her everything.

My former professor and director Aku Kadogo (one of the original cast members of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow is Enuf) once told me “be who you imagine to be”. Each day I envision where I want to be and what I want to do. If you do that and you allow that vision to fuel you, you will arrive just where you are meant to be.

Instagram: alist_ash /asveganaspossible_

Other: ashleighmannery@gmail.com

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutAtlanta is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.