// actor. singer. host. entrepreneur. //
With a pedigree including a Furman University diploma; performances on the world's most exclusive stages; a hot-selling iTunes EP; repeat performances with the The New York Philharmonic; and experience as the Entertainment Host for a national morning radio show; Erika’s voice sounds at home and in command regardless of the stage. With recent engagements on both coasts and throughout the south, Erika continues to expand her growing followers wherever her feet and tweets touch ground. Her work with numerous charitable organizations as board member, spokesperson, keynote speaker, red carpet host, and entertainment headliner has allowed her even more opportunities to use her gifts.
To secure scholarships to further her education at Furman, Erika entered the Miss South Carolina pageant and was crowned Miss South Carolina 2005 and took a year off from her studies. She advanced to the 2006 Miss America Pageant, where she won the Bernie Wayne overall talent award, placed as a Top - 10 finalist, and secured over $35,000 in college scholarships.
Upon returning to her Furman studies in the fall of 2006, Erika was privileged to perform leading roles in operas at Furman University, Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and Gilbert & Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance. She has also had the opportunity to travel, tour, and perform with Furman Singers in many concert halls and Cathedrals in Russia, Estonia, Finland, and Italy. Miss Powell was both the state and regional winner of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Competition for South Carolina and Southeast five different times. In 2007, Erika was supported with Furman study abroad scholarships when she was engaged for Lyrique en Mer/Festival de Belle Ile, the largest Opera Festival in Western France where she performed Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann and Verdi’s La Traviata. She had the privilege to be coached by award winning Broadway orchestrator and Furman Graduate, Mary Mitchell Campbell, Tony Award winner, Gavin Creel, and former Broadway performer, Mimi Wyche in preparation for ‘Furman on Broadway’ in February 2007. Erika has served as The National Anthem performer at three Furman Homecoming games and dozens of different sporting events for Furman Baseball, Football, and Basketball. She also enjoyed participating as a host at a variety of Furman University Trustee events at the President's home at White Oaks each year. In May 2008 she performed for Furman University's Commencement Ceremony honoring the Class of 2008 attended by guest speaker, President George W. Bush. Erika has performed as a National Anthem Soloist for dozens of ACC, NBA, NCAA, NASCAR, BUSH, USPRO Cycling, Ribbon Cutting, Political events, and the NFL!
After college graduation, Erika won The Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions for the State of South Carolina and competed at Spivey Hall in Atlanta as part of the regional level of the competition in 2009. Soon after the MET competition, career pursuits catapulted her into calling New York City home. Erika has been thrilled to expand her resume with performing, entertaining, and hosting opportunities worldwide. She made her solo debut at The Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall in NYC in 2010 and is regularly contracted to perform with the Concert Chorale of New York, the official chorus of The New York Philharmonic.
Receiving SAG eligibility for work in the movie, “Something Borrowed”, featuring Kate Hudson, Erika continues to gain acting experience in both film and television. She has been spotted on “Ugly Betty,” “White Collar,” “Royal Pains,” “The Good Wife,” and ABC’s “Nashville.” An expanding portfolio of voice-over, commercial print, promotional spokes modeling, and campaigns continue to evolve. Brands such as FORD, Subaru, Lincoln, Porsche, Dodge, GMC, Tempur Pedic, Lowe’s, Kohler, Hanes, LG Mobile, Kohl’s, Nationwide, and St. John are all companies that have engaged Erika in their marketing efforts.
Erika returned to the upstate of South Carolina in 2011 to partner with platinum-selling singer/songwriter, Edwin McCain on her first CD, available on iTunes and Amazon. During her time in the studio, Erika submitted a vocal audition and was selected out of over 6,000 submissions as a Top-25 Global Semi-Finalist in the Avon Voices Talent Search with Avon Cosmetics. Erika was privileged to coach and perform alongside many of Avon Voices celebrity judges, including Fergie, Natasha Bedingfield, David Pack, and more. While back in Greenville, Erika put on the stilettos once again and entered the Miss South Carolina USA pageant. She was crowned Miss South Carolina USA 2012, one of only two women in the state that have successfully “crossed over” and won both the Miss America and the Miss Universe state titles. She was thrilled to place in the Top – 15 at The Miss USA Pageant at the Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 3, 2012.
“There is actually a greater chance for your son to play in a Super Bowl than for your daughter to compete in the Miss America Pageant OR the Miss USA Pageant!"
Erika and her husband, Nelson reside in Atlanta where she is busy working in the commercial television and film industries. Erika still travels monthly pursuing her entrepreneurial endeavors as host and brand ambassador for a variety of media clients and is available to book for your next wedding, event, or commercial opportunity.