Since the age of 8, LaShanna has been writing the poetry found in her handmade cards. At age 14, she truly acknowledged her gift when her poem, I Could’ve Given the Best of Me, was published in her high school newspaper. She had written it out of anger and fear of where she would end up if she didn’t buckle down. Inspired by her own poem, she graduated from New Rochelle High School in New York as a member of the National Honor Society, and President of the Tri-M Music Honor Society bearing a 3.5 GPA.
On a choral scholarship, LaShanna attended Bethune-Cookman College, where she studied English and Voice. As a senior, she held the position of Editor-in-Chief of the Literary Magazine before going on to acquire a second B.A. in Theatre from Samford University, where she studied various performance techniques to hone her acting and vocal skills.
A Publicist, Spoken Word and Voice-Over Artist, Writer, Songwriter, Theatre Actress and Director, LaShanna has appeared onstage in regional theatres across the North- and Southeast in plays such as The Amen Corner, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf, To Kill A Mockingbird, The 1940s Radio Hour, Nunsense, the world premiere of Foundling, and Cat On A Hot Tin Roof with film actor, Pat Hingle.
Offstage, LaShanna has held roles in Directing, Stage Management, Box Office Management and Scenic Design, and is the Publicist for the Make It Happen Theatre Company, Birmingham’s premiere multicultural theatre. She produced the Poetry & Praize Christian spoken word event held in November 2002 at Sardis Baptist Church, with L.A. Black Music Award Winner, Maura Gale, as the featured artist and special-guest performer, Big Prophet. She was the Director and Assistant Producer of the monthly spoken word event, On Stage At The Carver, for the October and November 2002 programs, and the creator and Executive Producer of the Safari Speaks spoken word and artist-networking event that ran from November 2002 – May 2003.
One of LaShanna’s greatest achievements was being the Publicity Director for The Music Caterers, a Birmingham-based entertainment management company that was founded by her friend, Alvin J. Garrett (“Chef” Executive Officer), which Garrett co-owns and operates with 2003 American Idol-winner, Ruben Studdard (Vice President). The Music Caterers is internationally known for the management of its hit franchise band, Just A Few Cats. With the opportunity to cast Studdard’s 1st music video, Flying Without Wings, which was filmed in the city of Birmingham and premiered world-wide on MTV’s Making the Video July 1, 2003, LaShanna still presses forward to achieve her goals as both performer and literary artist.
A published writer, LaShanna’s autobiographical excerpt, What If God Said ‘No?’ appears in Tavis Smiley’s award-winning book, Keeping The Faith: Stories of Love, Courage, Healing, and Hope from Black America, which garnered the 2003 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Non-fiction. LaShanna is compiling her first poetry collection, Loveless, and is in search of a producer and publisher to help produce her first video, CD and book. View Resume.
LaShanna continues to freelance as a Publicist, Event Promoter and Writer for publications such as Global Black Woman Magazine and The Birmingham Times. Originally from New Rochelle, NY, she currently resides in Birmingham, AL, and is an active member of the Birmingham Association of Black Journalists (BABJ).