Priah Ferguson is an American actor who gained prominence as ‘Erica Sinclair’ in the 'Netflix' original series 'Stranger Things.' She harbored a passion for dance and acting since childhood, and her parents, too, supported her talent. As soon as Ferguson was signed under an Atlanta-based agency, she started bagging commercial projects and other acting offers. She, however, made her debut with a philanthropic campaign in 2015. The following year, she made her TV and film debut. After making her debut with the critically acclaimed 'FX' series 'Atlanta,' Ferguson made appearances on several TV shows such as 'Daytime Divas,' ‘Coffee X Cream,' 'Mercy Street,' and films such as 'The Oath.' She simultaneously made appearances in films. She had prominent roles in many award-winning short films. Ferguson’s impeccable comic timing helped her earn a spot on the regular cast of 'Stranger Things.'
Childhood & Early Life
Priah Nicole Ferguson was born on October 1, 2006, in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. She grew up with her younger sister, Jayda. Her mother, Adjua, is a graphic designer and art director and also owns a party decor business. Ferguson’s father, John, is a design director, an art director, and a photographer, who has previously shot a campaign for singer-actor Janelle Monae.
Ferguson had displayed her interest in acting at a tender age. Hence, her parents introduced her to performing arts when she was just 5. Ferguson, who already harbored a passion for dance, loved her exposure to theater. Soon, she developed a profound interest in acting, too. Since she was from Atlanta, which is considered a hub for child artists, she ventured into the world of show business quite early.
She was quite young when she signed with a talent agency. Soon, she was attending acting camps and workshops.
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Ferguson earned her debut acting project in 2015, when she was selected to feature in a video campaign for the non-profit organization 'United Way of Greater Atlanta.' The overwhelming response for the video brought her more projects, including an offer from the organization to become their official spokeskid.
That year, Ferguson bagged many short and independent films, which helped her polish her acting skills and gain prominence in the industry. The following year, she made her debut on TV and in movies. Ferguson’s first TV appearance was as 'Asia' in an episode of the premiere season of the 'FX Networks' comedy–drama 'Atlanta,' titled 'Streets on Lock.' She also appeared as 'Michelle' in two episodes of the romantic drama 'Coffee X Cream.' Her initial movie appearances were in 'Deus ex Machina' and in 'Ends' (as 'Charlie’).
In 2017, Ferguson played 'Fatima' in an episode ('Lunch is on Us') of the 'VH1' satirical comedy–drama 'Daytime Divas' and also appeared in the 'PBS' civil-war medical drama 'Mercy Street.' That year, she also appeared in 'Perfectville' (as 'Jojo') and the 'Africa Movie Academy Award'-nominated movie 'La Vie Magnifique De Charlie,' in which she played the younger version of Ashley S. Evans’s character, 'Brandy.'
The year 2017 turned out to be a profitable year for Ferguson, as she was offered her breakthrough role in the popular 'Netflix' original series 'Stranger Things' that year. Her character in the series, 'Erica,' sister of 'Lucas Sinclair' (played by Caleb McLaughlin), was introduced in the second season. The character was made a regular in the following season. Her initial scenes showed her teasing her on-screen brother for being a nerd. Ferguson bagged the role because the show’s shooting location was close to her home. She initially had no idea about her selection and got to know about it only after Adjua read the mail that 'Netflix' had sent her. Ferguson was initially cast only for a single appearance, but her charm and catchy one-liners prompted the makers to make her a regular on the show.
In 2018, Ferguson appeared as 'Hardy' in the black comedy 'The Oath' and played 'Erika' in an episode of the 'NBC' legal drama 'Bluff City Law.'
Ferguson is currently signed with 'People Store' in Atlanta and 'CESD Talent Agency.' The fame she has gained for 'Stranger Things' has earned her over a million followers on 'Instagram.' Some of her early 'Instagram' posts suggest that Ferguson has worked in commercials before entering the mainstream entertainment industry.
Family & Personal Life
Young Ferguson was highly influenced by films such as 'Crooklyn' and 'Daddy's Little Girls,' and they encouraged her to become an actor. Characters such as 'Penny Proud' from the animated series 'The Proud Family,' too, had an impact on her.
Ferguson loves music, plays the guitar, and idolizes Michael B. Jordan and Regina King. She often uses her talent and fame for philanthropic causes. She has collaborated with 'United Way' for the well-being of children. She also participates in community service to help the homeless.
Her favorite 'Netflix' original show is 'On My Block.'