We are actors, writers, directors, producers, production managers, singers, dancers, musicians, instructors, coaches and everything in between. We believe that our shared and diverging lived experiences are our biggest strength.
DIANNE AGUILAR is a Latinx actor born and raised in Toronto, Ontario and a graduate of the Ryerson School of Media Production. She began as a stage actor and made the leap to screen acting in 2015. She has studied with various acting coaches including; Sophie Anne Rooney, John Gordon, John Riven, Marvin Hinz, and Lewis Baumander. She is one Counterbalance’s founding members and helped produce nine short films in its first year. In 2020 she had her directorial and writing debut on Counterbalance’s short film Pineapple and went on to Direct her second Counterbalance produced short, Gone Wild. Working alongside the Collective, she looks forward to continually exploring narratives that are silenced and using her passion for storytelling to aid in creating a unified understanding of the human experience.
SELED CALDERON is a Costa Rican Canadian actor based in Toronto, Ontario. Along with acting in Seled has co- produced a couple of shorts one titled 'Selfie' where she also played the Lead role, which premiered at the Toronto Shorts Film Fest 2019. Being one of the Founding members of Counterbalance Collective she has also filmed an anthology called "Closed Doors" she produced, production managed and worked as first AD behind the scenes, and even played a lead in one of the episodes. She currently takes acting classes with coach Sophie Anne Rooney at Raw Acting Studios, and has also studied at Armstrong Acting Studios, Straeon and taken Improv at Second city. She looks forward to continuing her acting career and working behind the camera with Counter Balance Collective.
MATILDA DAVIDSON is an actor, writer, director and cinephile born and raised in downtown Toronto. She began her journey in film working at the Toronto International Film Festival where in nearly ten years she has done everything from customer service to festival programming for youth with the TIFF Next Wave Committee. Matilda's acting credits include the short film "Cold", the award-winning web series "Teenagers" and an unaired episode of CBC’s Baroness Von Sketch Show that she swears actually happened. Matilda has trained with David Rotenberg, Rae Ellen Bodie, Michele Lonsdale-Smith, Sophie Ann Rooney and John Riven. In 2019 Matilda co-founded Counterbalance Collective and executive produced a series of 9 short films as part of their “Closed Doors” film anthology (to be released in summer 2019). Here she directed the short film “2 Close”, produced the short film “Overload” and starred in the short film “Social Caterpillar”.
REGINA EFENDIEVA is a Toronto based actor, writer and visual artist. She went to University of Toronto for a degree in English Literature and Visual Arts. She feels that acting is closely connected to reading by immersing yourself entirely in a story and its characters. Some credits include: “The Film” (Lobotomy FIlms) “The Fixer” (L.A.B. Productions) and more. She has been training with Sophia Ann Rooney (RAW) and Suzanne Bastien (At the Creative Space). Regina is honoured to be a co-founder of Counterbalance Collective and loves taking on new roles like writing, producing, set decorating and more.
MELANIE GRACE is an actress from Barrie, Ontario. Equal parts class and sass. She is a graduate of the Acting for Film and Television program at Vancouver Film School. Melanie has a passion that began with theatre and movies during childhood has become a way of life, branching out to include voice acting and writing. Melanie has been in Toronto for two years now, studying at Rooney Actors Worksop (RAW), building relationships and living her best life. Melanie’s life experiences give her an affinity for comedy, truthful story telling and real drama that makes Melanie a well rounded and devoted actor. Melanie looks forward to being in front of and behind the camera, learning all the aspects of filmmaking with the Counterbalance team!
VICTORIA KUCHER hails from Edmonton Alberta, but now calls Toronto home. Victoria is a Co-Founder and an Executive Producer of Counterbalance Collective. She is a member of Women On Screen and was a featured writer in their 2018 Web Series Incubator. Victoria is the co-creator of the web series “Brennan & Victoria Make Rent” that she stars in with her comedy duo “Two Girls One Trench Coat” which performs monthly at their show “Seeing Double” at Comedy Bar. Victoria coaches Improv around North America and has performed comedy on stages in Chicago, New York, Montreal, Edmonton, Vancouver and more! Recently Victoria wrote the short films “Green”, “Gone Wild” (Counterbalance Collective), “Stalled”(FriendshipSnake Prod.), and "The Independent" (The Lakeview Productions).Some of Victoria’s on-screen acting credits include: “Schitt’s Creek”, “Mary Kills People”, and the lead in the feature film “Space & Time”. Victoria is a programmer for the Toronto Youth Shorts Film Festival.
KARRIE KWONG is a Chinese-Canadian actor based in Toronto, Ontario. Recent credits include “Cupid” (Almost Elite Films), “Let Go” (IYA Productions), “Hitman Hobbies” (Frank de Frank Films), and an upcoming short film with Humber College. She is coached by Tony Babcock at the IYA Studio for Actors, and has trained at the Second City and with other local Toronto coaches in film & TV, theatre, improv, and scene study. Karrie also has extensive experience in the advertising and marketing industry after graduating with an honours business degree from Western University. She is thrilled and eager to collaborate with the Counterbalance Collective team to tell impactful and inclusive stories, and looks forward to the learning experience it will bring.
TABITHA LUPIEN is a Toronto based actor, dancer, choreographer, and voice actor. She has spent her whole life in the film/television industry and has loved every minute of it. Some of her acting credits include: Hairspray The Movie (New Line Cinema), People Of Earth (Conaco), and Look who’s Talking Now (Tristar Pictures). She currently trains with Sophie Ann Rooney (Raw Actors Studio) and has also trained with Matthew Harrison (Actors Foundry). Being part of Counterbalance Collective has given her incredible experience in areas like: Screenwriting, Set Decorating, Producing and more. Season 1 was exhilarating and she can’t wait to continue working with these uplifting, empowering, boss ladies! You can find Tabitha in the “angry” gif section… just look for the little girl waving a hairbrush.
MEGAN MILES is an actor, director, writer and puppeteer. She graduated from George Brown Theatre School and studies at RAW with Sophie Ann Rooney. She is co-founder of Shakey-Shake and Friends, a puppet company bringing Shakespeare to kids. She is passionate about the magic and alchemy that is storytelling - the stories we choose to tell connect us in profound ways. She is honoured to be a founding part of the COUNTERBALANCE COLLECTIVE and is excited to be creating new narratives with this inspiring group. On Season 1: Closed Doors Megan lent her talents as the actor/writer of OVERLOAD and director of MISS VS MISTY, and dipped her toe into Set Dec, Costumes, and Hair and Makeup. @megkmiles (instagram)
ERIKA NONATO is an immigrant Filipinx actor and producer. She graduated from Humber College’s Acting for Film and Television program in 2016 and has since trained with Sophie Ann Rooney (RAW), LB Acting Studios, and Second City Toronto, to name a few. She appears in Finding Harold which most recently is the REMI Winner of the 53rd Worldfest-Houston International Film Festival (2020) and appears in Locke and Key (Netflix). She is a founding member of Counterbalance Collective and helped produce Closed Doors. She had her writing and directional debut with All Too Perfect and also played the roles of Executive Producer, Producer, and Production Manager for Counterbalance Collective’s first year. She is excited to continue growing and advocating with Counterbalance Collective to create the many nuanced and truthful narratives that are BIPOC focused and inclusive – so we can expand on the important dialogue of what it means to be human.
Bridget is an actor, singer, dialect coach, producer, and founding member of Counterbalance Collective. She has an MFA in Acting from The New School for Drama, a BA from McGill University, and more than 10 years’ dialect coaching experience. For Counterbalance’s first project Closed Doors, Bridget produced Miss vs. Misty and starred in All too Perfect. For more news and information visit BridgetOri.com.
KONIMA PARKINSON-JONES is a member of SAG/AFTRA and ACTRA. Raised in various African countries (Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Cameroun, Togo, Gambia) and attending high school in Salzburg, Austria, she speaks 5 languages. After graduating from the four-year Dalhousie University Acting Program in Halifax, NS, she landed her first lead role in the Scottish play Bondagers and toured with Canadian theater company, Two Planks and A Passion. Moving on to Los Angeles she worked on a few feature films including Freeway Killer and A Necessary Death, which premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival and won the AFI audience Film Festival award in 2009. In 2016 she completed the Second City Conservatory in Toronto. Most recently she was one of the leads in the science fiction thriller Project Ithaca. She also had television appearances in: 12 Monkeys, Saving Hope, The Expanse, and The Rick Mercer Report, in Canada and Los Angeles.
ALICIA RICHARDSON is an actor, writer, and vocal coach from Boynton Beach, Florida. She graduated from York University’s MFA Acting & Diploma of Voice Teaching Programs. Now a Permanent Resident, Alicia calls Toronto her home. For Counterbalance Collective: Alicia serves as both writer and director of #WINNING (her directorial debut!), and lends her acting skills to the ensemble of Gone Wild. Recent acting credits: Private Eyes (Global), Ready or Not (Fox Searchlight), and American Woman (CBC Films/ Telefilm Canada). Recent writing credits: Sweeter (as Playwright-in-Residence of Young People’s Theatre), and Solve for X (as Playwright-in-Residence of The Driftwood Theatre Group).
JOANNA SAUL is an actor, producer, and director based out of Toronto, Ontario. In 2020 Joanna was awarded the RAW Scholarship by Sophie Ann Rooney at Rooney Actors Workshop. She has also studied at Bad Dog Theatre, Lewis Baumander, Armstrong Studios, and more. Some of Joanna’s recent credits include the lead role in the feature film “Open Your Eyes” (Matchbox Pictures), and “Limited” (MAD Resilience Films). Having graduated from McGill University with a degree in Psychology, Joanna has a deep interest in understanding people’s behaviours and perspectives – as an actor she loves applying this to her work. Joanna had her directorial debut with Counterbalance’s “Social Caterpillar” and fell in love. She produced both “2 Close?” and “Green” and was the set decorator on “Gone Wild”. Joanna has thoroughly enjoyed exploring so many roles, and is excited to sharpen her skills and learn more!
LEANNE NOELLE SMITH
LEANNE NOELLE SMITH is a Canadian Actress and Producer based out of Toronto, Ontario. She has been a performer since the early age of 5 in dance and now hones her skills for filmmaking and personal training other talent for set. Her favorite training was in NYC at the Neighborhood Playhouse Summer Intensive, and she continues to work with local coaches RAW studios and At The Creative Space. You can see her most recent work in the short film Liam & May, her lead role in the series The Influencers, and her supporting role as omg the series FAK YAASS on OUTtv, YouTube, and Amazon Prime.
An interdisciplinary creative, MEGHAN WARBY's career spans public, non-profit, political, and digital worlds. She’s spearheaded campaigns for global brands, including live-action, narrative, doc, and animated branded content. A frequent speaker and instructor, Meghan’s presented at SXSW and NXNE (four times each), Showcase Ontario, the CFC Media Lab, and many more. Her original pilot was a finalist in Screencraft’s 2016 competition, she was a finalist in the Austin Film Fest’s pitch competition, and her first short doc was among TVO’s Top 5 in 2015. Recent travels connected Meghan with inspiring creatives around the world, which spawned exciting new projects for TV, feature and doc films, publishing, and more.
Follow her on IG and TW @withoutayard.