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Ciera Payton



Nationality:    African American
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Ciera Payton is a New Orleans native with an authentic "Southern belle" charm. She was raised in various neighborhoods in New Orleans but she most identifies with the city's Third Ward. There she lived with her drug addict father and her "Nanaw" (grandmother). It was under these tough circumstances that led Ciera on a path to discover her voice as a performer and a woman. When in the eighth grade, her Nanaw lost her fight with cancer and her father was incarcerated for several years. These tragedies sent Ciera to live with her mother in New Orleans East. A new world was opened with endless possibilities. She joined her school's drama troupe and auditioned for the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. As a freshman she auditioned for the introductory course at NOCCA, but her excellence moved her directly to the sophomore class. The NOCCA theater program embodied the spirit and a family atmosphere that Ciera desired. She graduated from NOCCA as a junior and was enrolled in North Carolina School of the Arts, High School Drama program, where she continued to study for college and graduated with a BFA in Acting. In the summer of 2005, the devastation of Hurricane Katrina divided Ciera's family after her home in New Orleans East was flooded. She evacuated to Baton Rouge, where she lost contact with her mother and brothers for two weeks and it was the stress and horrible conditions that claimed the life of her second grandmother, Sarah Payton. It was soon after these series of misfortunate events that Ciera and her family regrouped and made the decision to make North Carolina their residence. With all the unpleasant events taking place in Ciera's life, she began doubting her herself, and her dream of becoming an actress would never be realized. But during Mardi Gras 2006, she traveled back to New Orleans to celebrate with her friends and family, and in the midst of eating a roast beef po-boy with her older brother, Ciera received the call that would change her fortunes and the direction of her life. She got the call for an audition in Steven Seagal's film, Flight of Fury. Her pitch perfect audition resulted in her securing the role of Jessica, and within a month she was off to Romania portraying the lead character in her first feature film. She returned to NCSA to complete her sophomore year of college, and she soon found herself giving back to the city that shaped her youth. Back in New Orleans, she worked as the Associate Director of What Girls Know: a theater program that is geared toward inner-city teenage girls. Ciera found this endeavor very rewarding, as she was able to provide basic theater and acting techniques to young girls, who also were seeking to find their voice and that inner strength Ciera had discovered in the very same type of program. Ciera works with What Girls Know because she relates to these girls as they too have come from the same challenging backgrounds as she has. Inspired by her students' bravery and resilience, Ciera challenged herself yet again by writing and performing her very own one-woman show titled Michael's Daughter. The story details Ciera's rough childhood growing up in New Orleans and her present day to day life as an aspiring actress, through a series of correspondence letters with her incarcerated father, Michael. Ciera continues to amass opportunities to work in both TV and film, most recently she portrayed the recurring characters; Cassandra on USA Network's Graceland and Meg on the CBS sitcom Bad Teacher. She appeared in Spike Lee's Oldboy, and will be the female lead in the feature film Respect the Jux to be released this fall. She recently wrapped filming her co-starring role on First, a new webseries acquired by the Issa Rae Network expected to be released in late 2014 Ciera splits her residences between Los Angeles, New York and New Orleans. This New Orleans Native always brings the spice and flavor of her city wherever she goes. And will continue to do so in her career as an artist. Stay Tuned!

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below is a list of Ciera Payton's plays - click on a Play Title for more information

        Michael's Daughter

Michael's Daughter

Ciera's paper-trail relationship with her incarcerated father.


1st Produced:
Hollywood Fringe Festival, Hollywood Theater Complex, Los Angeles, Ca     2012


1st Published:   


To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies


one act 70 min

Male:  1            Female:  3            Other:  -

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