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Pretty Little Liars

Pretty Little Liars’ Shay Mitchell Explains Why She Changed Her Name

Here's a fun factoid: Pretty Little Liars star Shay Mitchell (Emily) wasn't always called Shay!

That's right, Shay was actually born Shannon Mitchell. So why did she make the switch? Shay's a cool name, but Shannon is perfectly lovely, too.

It turns out the change wasn't about aesthetics. Recently, Shay explained to OK! that she came up with her new name while she was a teen working as a hostess at a sports bar in Vancouver.

"I would get uncomfortable saying my name to all these different people and these guys," she explained. "I wanted a barrier, if you will, and so I thought if I were to change my name, especially when I was at work, that would separate me from who I really was. It sounds weird and crazy, but I just started going by Shay."

It turns out her new moniker had advantages in the long run. "I also thought it was a really unique name, and it got me a minute extra in the audition room. It was a story I got to talk about with [the casting directors]."

Hey, in this biz, anything that helps you get your foot in the door is a good thing!

Catch an all-new episode of PLL on Tuesday, July 17 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC Family.

Source: OK!

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07.17.2012 / 10:01 PM EDT by Rebecca Martin
Related: Pretty Little Liars, Hollywood It Girls, Shay Mitchell, TV Stars

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