Shively was born in Hanford, California. He became interested in acting in the fourth grade after seeing Shia LaBeouf on the television series Even Stevens, and LaBeouf remains his inspiration for acting.
Shively had a minor role in the 2007 film Rattle Basket, and another small role on an episode of Zoey 101. He auditioned several times for the part of Ryan on True Jackson, VP, but didn’t get. Two weeks, he got called back, tested for the role, and won the part. He voiced Crowned Prince Sky on Winx Club and in two movies based on the series: 'The Secret of the Lost Kingdom and Winx Club 3D: Magical Adventure. Shively joined the cast of The Troop in its second (and final) season as the character Kirby Bancroft-Cadworth III.
Shively's film career began in 2011, when he was cast in a minor role in the horror comedy April Apocalypse. Shively played one of the leads in the horror film Paranormal Activity 4. Shively co-starred in the comedy Noobz, playing one of four geeky friends who attempt to win a video gaming contest.
Shively also appeared the independent feature film Bucky and the Squirrels, a 2014 mockumentary directed by Allan Katz about a wacky 1960s psychedelic rock band whose airplane crashes in snowy mountains. Shively also had a leading role in the 2014 film Expelled as the main character's best friend, Danny.
Shively co-starred in the ABC television program The Real O'Neals, portraying 17-year-old Jimmy O'Neal. Shively won significant praise from reviewer Sheri Linden for his performance in the 2016 coming-of-age film Summer of 8, and teamed with fellow former Nickelodeon star Jennette McCurdy in the short horror-comedy film 8 Bodies in 2017.
- He has been a long-time fan of the Canadian television show Degrassi: The Next Generation.
- Had a band with his good friend Sterling Knight named Connecting Channels.
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