Graduated from the Baltimore School for the Arts in 1993. Hosted a premiere of "Rent" in Baltimore as a benefit for the school in November 2005.
Has stated publicly that she saw the original Broadway cast in the stage production of "Rent" and their performances inspired her to audition several times for the show (all unsuccessful). She finally had her opportunity to join the cast in 2005 when she became one of two "new" principal actors to join most of the original Broadway cast in the feature film version.
Like the other seven lead characters, her character in Rent (2005), Joanne, is based on a character from "La Boheme". Hers was based on Alcindoro, a counselor of state. Hers is the only character whose predecessor was the opposite gender, a change made by Jonathan Larson to make reference to his own ex-girlfriend leaving him for another woman.
Her father, Donald Thoms, is VP, Production at Discovery Studios, the in-house documentary production arm of Discovery Networks. Donald also hosts the Maryland Public Television Telethons.
In 2008 she was asked to join the final Broadway cast of "Rent", playing Joanne Jefferson, the role that she played in the 2005 film (Rent (2005)) and had always wanted to play on stage. She accepted and was on stage from July 26 2008 until the final show on September 7, 2008.
Added to the cast of the TV Series, Cold Case (2003) on CBS, she plays homicide detective Kat Miller starting with the November 20th episode. [November 2005]
Personal Quotes (6)
I like shows that are ensemble-based, that explore the humanity of every character.
I'm really looking forward to developing just really fun, complex, interesting stories about people who happen to be black.
African-Americans are always forced to learn the other culture, but the other culture is not forced to learn ours. I went to acting school at Juilliard, and we learned Shakespeare and Shaw, but we never did the work of a single African-American playwright, not August Wilson or Ntozake Shange or Imir Baraka.
People can graduate from beauty school and know everything about white hair and nothing about African-American hair.
I think theater will always be my first love. I've been doing it since I was nine, and there's nothing quite like being on stage, having the immediate intake of energy and exchange of ideas.
The L.A. theater scene is very different. The perception has been that people who love theater do theater in New York. The people who want to be discovered do theater on the side in L.A. But there are people who are very dedicated to theater who love theater in L.A.