While attending Howard University, received a Helen Hayes Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Resident Musical for her role in a production of Hair.
Made her Broadway debut in 2004, opposite Alfre Woodard in Drowning Crow.
Unsuccessfully auditioned eight times for a role in the Broadway musical Rent; eventually won the role of Joanne in the 2005 film version, and went on to appear in the final Broadway performances of the show.
Final audition for Quentin Tarantino's Grindhouse Presents: Death Proof (2007) was done as a team alongside her friend Rosario Dawson; both actors landed parts in the film.
Has been a series regular on the short-lived As If and Wonderfalls, as well as CBS' hit Cold Case.
Appeared in Chris Rock's 2009 documentary Good Hair, discussing her choice to wear her hair natural.
Was part of the rotating cast of the revue For the Record: Baz Luhrmann at Los Angeles club Show at Barre in 2011.
2006, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Song: Nominee
2006, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Acting Ensemble: Nominee
2016, Emmy — Outstanding Actress In A Short Form Comedy Or Drama Series: Nominee
Donald Thoms — Father
Austin Thoms — Brother
McKinley "Mack" Thoms — Grandfather
Mariana Thoms — Mother
Howard University, Washington, District of Columbia, United States (BFA, 1997); The Juilliard School, New York, New York, United States (2001)