Born in Florida, Erica Ash was one of four children by U.S. Army Chaplain/Captain Donald Ash and his wife, Diann Ash, a math teacher. Due to her father's military career, the family relocated numerous times during her childhood, including multiple stints in the United States and Germany. It was in the latter location that Ash developed an interest in performing as an elementary student. She continued to pursue drama at a performing arts school in Decatur, Georgia. At her parents' insistence, she focused on science and math in high school, and studied pre-med and English at Emory University. Ash traveled to Japan after college, where she began modeling and singing. While there, she also made her acting debut in the Japanese feature comedy "All About Our House" (2001). Upon her return to the United States, Ash performed in various theatrical efforts, eventually working her way up to major roles in "The Lion King" and "Spamalot." In 2006, she joined the cast of the comedy program "The Big Gay Sketch Show," which served as a dry run for her season-long run on "MadTV." Ash displayed a talent for various celebrity impressions, including Michelle Obama and Naomi Campbell, during her 14 episodes on the show's fourteenth and final season. Ash worked on a variety of projects in the years that followed, including an acting and producing stint on the short comedy film "I Can Smoke?" (2011). She returned to feature and comedy work in 2013's "Scary Movie 5," which scored huge box office returns, despite almost universally negative reviews.