“Stop asking the BLIND to proofread your VISION!” -Unknown.
Being a creative is one the greatest gifts to man and once it’s tapped into, the window to your soul is revealed. There’s a young, brilliant play writer who is using her gifts to transform minds, hearts, and lives all around the world. Meet the V.E.G.A.N named Atiya Lee. Not only is Lee known for her voracious vegan lifestyle but soon she will be Vivaciously Entertaining Greatness Around the Nation when she releases her upcoming series entitled PURE! We had the honor of chatting with lovely lady and she’s more than awesome, she’s truly pure.
- Hey Atiya! For those who may not know, tell us who ATIYA is using 5 adjectives.
I believe the best 5 adjectives to describe me would be: creative, determined, kind, crazy
and absolutely hilarious!
- How did you start your career as an actress/writer?
I started my career as an actress at the tender age of 1 year old in my hometown, Jamaica, Queens. I’ve literally been dramatic since birth. Thanks to my dad videotaping everything I did as a child; I became comfortable in front of the camera at a young age. I was homeschooled from the 1st grade through 12th grade, which allowed my parents to teach me about things that I was truly passionate about like animals and writing. Instead of going to school, I was enrolled in different acting classes all around the city. I’ve been writing short stories and producing performances since I was five years old. My friends called me bossy; I considered myself to be a leader, like Beyoncé. I truly knew I wanted to become an actress after I discovered my passion for animals and animal rights. That’s honestly the reason WHY I decided to move to Atlanta and pursue my career. I knew that people listened to celebrities, and I needed a platform to speak on important animal rights issues.
- BEST Self Vs True AUTHENTIC Self: Which one would you say represents who you are now?
I absolutely LOVE this question! I’d have to say I am definitely my most authentic self.
I believe my most authentic self IS my best self, and it’s taken me a long time and a lot of breakdowns, breakups, and breakthroughs to understand that. It’s been a journey but I can finally say that I feel like the me I’m supposed to be. The ACTUAL unapologetic, love-filled me!
- Social media allows people to say what they want wherever they feel the need to. How do you remain positive in such a judgmental industry?
Oh my goodness! I actually had a cyber-bullying experience this year on Twitter with about 7,000 Twitter users; all because I said people tell me that I look like Tia and Tamera Mowrey ALL THE TIME, and I wanted to be cast on their upcoming show! Although some of the comments that I did happen to accidentally read were pretty rude, it helped me tap into the confidence hidden within and realize how dope I really am. If I weren’t dope and interesting then no one would be upset over my Twitter post and me! They saw a girl trying to follow her dreams and for some reason that enraged them. I try to remain grateful that I’m me and not like the people who are out there being so negative. I also read A LOT of inspirational books. I’ve signed up to receive daily motivational emails. I listen to different meditations on YouTube and Sound Cloud, and I have positive affirmations framed and hung all around my room. I’m able to remain positive when I don’t take things personally. Anything anyone projects on me is simply a reflection of what they’re feeling about themselves.
I give them love and move on with my beautiful life.
- I’ve heard some great things about PURE THE MOVIE!! Tell us more about it! What issues will the movie tackle?
Ahhh yes. My baby, Pure.
The story of Pure is based on a true story. The story of my tragic love life. Beside directing, producing, writing, casting and sometimes filming the production, I also play the lead character, Kaisa. The story of Pure follows Kaisa and her three close friends April, Imari and Lateef, whom she met ONE month ago. While dealing with a toxic relationship with her dad, Kaisa decides to explore her dating life by going on four dates with men she’s met on Instagram. Kaisa quickly learns that dating in this day and age is not what she expected, especially because Kaisa is different from a lot of the other women her age.
The story focuses on important topics such as depression, finding yourself, dating in this generation, emotional and mentally abusive relationships, and unhealthy relationships with parents, masking our pain behind alcohol and marijuana, religion, animal activism, sexual health plus MORE!
Pure was originally created as a series. As I began the project with my team it went in the direction of a film. After realizing that I wasn’t going to be able to fulfill and express my vision as a film. I decided to go back to my original vision of Pure as a series.
I found my power, gave Pure a makeover, and now it is magic, pure magic.
- How do you maintain a sense of SELF in a society that feels individuality isn’t “normal?”
I look at all the people who try to be and act “normal” and am motivated by them to be the complete opposite. I’m inspired by them to be myself. I truly have to thank my parents for homeschooling me. Being homeschooled gave me time to learn who I was. I think I’ve known who I was since I was a very little girl. It wasn’t until I started becoming OVERLY socialized, that I began to lose myself. Over the last few years, I began tapping into who I truly was again. I started doing things I loved and going against the grain. It can be alienating at times, but I’d rather be me than pretend to be “normal” just to fit in. We’ve come up with this concept of what “normal” is but I’m so far gone, I don’t even know how to DESCRIBE what normal is.
Plot twist “Normality” is just a concept and it doesn’t really exist.
- What do you love most about working with the cast of PURE THE MOVIE?
I tend to get sentimental about them so I’ll keep it brief. I love the moments when I get to know them as people. Which is something not many actors and directors get to experience when they’re on set. I love when we’re going over the script and there’s a really outrageous scene and they find out that the scenario happened in REAL LIFE. I love telling them the stories and exercising my vulnerability muscle. Being that Pure is based on my actual life story, my cast has been so patient and gentle with me during this project. I am constantly motivated by their passion and enthusiasm. The synchronicity on set is out of this world!
I had BIG dreams for Pure but after watching the beauty that we’ve brought to life, my dreams for Pure are limitless.
- Finish this sentence. Atiya is known for…
Atiya is known for her connection with animals.
I’m the girl that finds a spider in her bathtub and moves it to the closet or finds a beetle in her window and releases it outside. My friends call me Eliza Thornberry. I’ll literally speak to a dog before I’ll speak to its owner. I’m very expressive online regarding my views on certain issues like zoo’s, aquariums, circuses, fur farming, factory farming, and animal exploitation in tourism, etc.
In 2016 I began transitioning my diet from meat eater to pescatarian to vegan! If you scroll down my Instagram you’ll see pictures of me sitting in a cage in front of city hall, with my body painted as a tiger, holding up a sign that says, “Animals Suffer At Universoul Circus” or you’ll see a post about a delicious vegan meal I’ve made! I try to record all of my experiences and put them on YouTube as well.
I’m so vocal because: I love animals and I know how it feels to feel like I don’t have a voice. Now that I’ve found my voice, I want to use it for those who truly can’t defend themselves,I want my peers to see that they can make a difference! Their voice is important and can change lives. It can be scary but without risk there’s no reward.
- What can we expect from you in 2018?
In 2018 you can expect nothing but beauty from Love Atiya. Pure will premier and take over the Internet! I plan to offer some amazing affordable photo shoot deals for my new photography business, The Lens Goddess Photography.
In 2018 I want to motivate my peers. Whether I motivate them to write their own work and give themselves the roles they desire, just as I did! Or maybe I’ll motivate them to change their diet to a more compassionate one! Or to love themselves a little more than they did the day before.
I plan on exuding so much unconditional self-love; when people are around me, they can’t help but love themselves unconditionally.
Oh and Pure 2! (You just got some exclusive tea!)
- If you could leave us with an inspirational quote, what would it be and why?
“Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars. You have a right to be here and whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”
That’s an excerpt from the poem desiderata.
My mom introduced me to it and anytime I’m stressed she reminds me, “The universe is unfolding as it should Atiya,” and then all seems well.
For more updates, follow @loveatiya and @puretheseriesatl on Instagram!
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