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 Eurasian actor. She can be seen as the elusive Jen in the soon to be released "Deadly Estate" (Neshama Ent. and MarVista) on Tubi, as well as the fun-loving Nickie in "Clive Boomer's Success" (Leader Media). As a member of Counterbalance she served as the writer on “Social Caterpillar” and wrote and acted in “2 Close”. Regina is a graduate of The University of Toronto and has studied extensively at several Toronto acting schools, including RAW, Second City, and Pro Actors Lab. Regina is also a talented singer/songwriter, visual artist, and cake decorator. In her spare time she reads, plays too many video games and crochets.
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!
Karrie Kwong is a Chinese-Canadian actor and filmmaker. Recent acting credits include The Recruit (Netflix), Fly Away With Me (Hallmark), and North of Normal (Independent Edge Films). As a producer, writer, director, and lover of storytelling and creation, she is especially drawn to women-led narratives and amplifying multicultural and diverse voices on the screen. She was named Best New Filmmaker by the Canadian Diversity Film Festival in 2021. As one half of the coaching duo, Karrie & Will, Karrie works with actors to hone their craft, build their business, and break down limiting beliefs blocking their success. Karrie also has a decade’s worth of extensive experience in the advertising and marketing industry and has won numerous awards for her agencies and clients. She graduated with an honours business degree from Western University. Karrie is the Finance Lead and a member of Counterbalance Collective's executive team.
Valerie Lalonde is a French-Canadian Actor, Filmmaker, and Musician, based in Toronto, Ontario. She is a graduate of the Theatre Program at the University of Ottawa, and has studied with coaches such as Jeb Beach, Shaun McComb, and Jeff Seymour. Her recent credits include Calling (Short), Broken Waters (Feature), Paranormal Witness (SyFy), and American Descent (Prime Video). Joining Counterbalance, she was excited to bring her passion for filmmaking and telling compelling stories to the team. She co-produced Counterbalance’s most recent short, Queen Of Hearts, and is excited to make more important films that shine the light on the human experience, highlighting the simple, vulnerable moments that make life truly worth living.
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 has trained with Angela Besharah (The Lighthouse Acting Studio), Sophie Ann Rooney (Raw Actors Studio), and Matthew Harrison (Actors Foundry). She is a founding member of Counterbalance Collective and it 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 this uplifting, empowering, and fearless collective! You can find Tabitha in the “angry” gif section… just look for the little girl waving a hairbrush.
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. After graduating from York University’s MFA Acting & Diploma of Voice Teaching Programs, she now calls Toronto home. For Counterbalance Collective: Alicia served as both writer and director of #WINNING and acted in the ensemble of Gone Wild. She is the proud screenwriter of Counterbalance’s latest short: Queen of Hearts. Recent acting credits: Mistletoe Time Machine (Tubi), Diggstown (CBC / BET+), and A Sisterly Christmas (OWN Network). Recent writing credits: Sweeter, her first Theatre for Young Audiences play, will have its world premiere as a co-production of Cahoots Theatre and Roseneath Theatre in December 2023 at Daniel’s Spectrum: Aki Studio in Toronto.
Joanna Saul is a Toronto-based actor and dual Canadian and U.S. citizen. Her recent acting credits include “Urban Legend” (Discovery+) and “Open Your Eyes” (Amazon Prime Video). When she’s not diving into a new character, you can find her admiring the sky, watching Miley Cyrus sing covers, or joyfully attending costume parties. Joanna had her directorial debut with Counterbalance Collective’s “Social Caterpillar,” an official selection of Toronto Indie Night Film Festival. She is on Counterbalance’s Executive Producer team and Marketing team, was the producer on “2 Close?” and the production designer on “Gone Wild” and “Queen of Hearts.” She is passionate about working towards more respectful and thoughtful sets. Joanna believes when an abundance of unique backgrounds come together to influence and inspire a story, the most fulfilling filmmaking experiences follow. She is very excited to continue collaborating with her talented, inspiring fellow Counterbalance members!