we are working actors
Our Faculty of over 30 instructors are all actors working regularly in the industry today. This ensures the competitive relevance of all training at our studio.
Studio Founder and Director, Dean is an actor and coach for performers in film + television. Some of his clients include Nina Dobrev (Vampire Diaries), Perry Mattfeld (Shameless, In The Dark), Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana), Devon Bostick (The 100), Kaitlyn Leeb (Shadowhunters), Marshall Williams (Glee), Kevin O’Leary (Shark Tank), Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (The Bold and the Beautiful) and Daytime Emmy winner, Brittany Allen (All My Children).
Dean maintains an active commitment to the support and development of aspiring and established talent across North America with services in Toronto, Los Angeles, and New York.
Dean also serves as a screen test advisor, pre-production and on-set acting coach for various networks and feature film production companies including HBO, SHOWTIME, HULU, NBC, DISNEY, BET, SHAFTESBURY, DISCOVERY, PARAMOUNT, and ALLIANCE ATLANTIS. Dean’s collaboration, in this capacity, has not only influenced the critical acclaim of many stars, but his direction has also served as the basis for casting and the subsequent development of national and international talent.
AAS Artistic Director and Lead Advanced-level Instructor, Salvatore Antonio graduated from the National Theatre School of Canada (where he also taught Acting for Camera). He's been acting professionally for over 25 years, and has been nominated for a 2020 ACTRA Award for Outstanding Performance in Film, and a 2019 Canadian Screen Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama. In addition to his acting career, Mr. Antonio is also a published and internationally-produced writer, who was named a Finalist for the Governor General's Award for Literary Drama. Most recently, he was a Story Editor/Writer for the Emmy-nominated 'Schitt's Creek'.
Lara Jean Chorostecki
Lara Jean Chorostecki is an actress and coach with over 15 years of experience in the industry. Known for her versatility and craft, her career has explored nearly every genre both in front of the camera and on stage. She is a graduate of the Birmingham Conservatory (Stratford) and holds a Masters in Classical Acting.
Jesse is an Instructor, classically trained actor with a BFA from Ryerson Theatre School and most recently, a Casting Director. In 2018, Jesse opened Jesse Griffiths Casting (JGC) with the goal of combining his passion for the arts, knowledge of local talent and the desire to develop and nurture the next generation of artists.
is known to audiences for her recurring roles in CBC’s Heartland and ABC Shadowhunters. Her many other television credits include lead roles in Lifetime’s The Hazing Secret, recurring roles in BET’s Single Ladies, SyFy/Space’s Bitten, City TV’s Seed, Rogue and Degrassi: The Next Generation.
Sarah Gnocato is known for her role's in eOne's "The Millenials", YTV's second season of "Undercover High" and Tribeca Film Festival’s official selection “Bunker Burger.” She has been in the TV and film industry for over a decade, when she transitioned from stage, after years of theater training, including five years at Oakville's West End Studio Theater. Sarah has trained at Second City over the past 7 years, performing on the Second City stage and participating in the Big City Improv Fest where she received recognition as a prominent female improviser. Sarah’s enthusiasm and passion for the craft is what drives her current roles, and helps her constantly cultivate a love for the work.
Robbie Kay has worked in film & television for over 15 years, starting at a young age in Prague. He has experience with every theatrical medium in a wide range of environments, having shot in England, USA, Canada, Italy, Greece, Czechia and Belgium to name a few. Projects like Pirates of the Caribbean, Once Upon a Time and Heroes Reborn round out an impressive resumé. Robbie has worked one to one with many reputable actors in the industry from ages 16 to 65, frequently resulting in bookings. He has the ability to elevate any performance and unlock material, identifying exactly what work needs to be done.
Laura Nordin is an actor, an award-nominated director, and an award-winning producer. Currently based in Toronto, she is originally from Vancouver, BC. Laura holds her BFA from UBC and her MFA from the joint program between Harvard’s American Repertory Theatre Institute and the Moscow Art Theatre School. In 2010, she co-founded Filmcoop Inc. as a means to collaborate with and encourage filmmakers to realize their creative vision.
In 2016, the CFC approached Laura to produce the short dramatic film CLEO which went on to premiere at TIFF 2016.
Select Acting credits include: Darken: Before the Dark (series), God’s Baboons (feature), Ecstacy (feature), Murdoch Mysteries (TV), Angels and Ornaments (Hallmark TV Movie), Assassin’s Creed: Unity (Video Game), The Strain (TV), The Listener (TV), Pontypool (feature).
Select On-Set Coaching credits: Ghostwriter (TV – Winner Daytime Emmy Outstanding Children's or Family Viewing Series), Verizon (Commercial), Zelle (Commercial).
Select Directing credits include: OutsideIN (Winner Best Web/Pilot Las Vegas Film Awards 2020), Joey (co-director, CFF 2020), Love Sarah (Nominated for Best Director at both Action On Film Festival 2019 and at Hollywood Dreamz Film Festival 2019),
Susanna is an award-winning writer, actor, director, and producer. Alongside her acting career in theatre, tv, and film, Susanna's script writing is supported by Canada's leading institutions and has been shown in London, Berlin, and Munich. She also works with production companies during the casting and script development process.
Anna Hopkins is an actor and writer who splits her time between Los Angeles and Toronto. She studied Communication & Cultural Studies (Concordia University), Cinema & Communications (Dawson College), and Feature Screenwriting (UCLA extension). Anna has worked extensively in film and television as an actor and is starting to make her mark as a screenwriter.
Carly is a graduate of Nation Theatre School and an award-winning actress, with numerous appearances at the Stratford Festival, Canadian Stage, Tarragon Theatre, Factory Theatre and other stages across Canada, the US, and on Broadway. You can also catch Carly on tv + film screens across Canada.
Caroline Palmer is an alumnus of Western University, where she performed regularly on stage and at the London Fringe Festival. Caroline returned to Toronto to complete a masters degree, and pursue a career in film and television. She soon landed a lead role in the feature film The Drownsman, from Black Fawn Films and Breakthrough Entertainment, and has been gaining momentum in the industry ever since. Known for her ability to shift from comedic to dramatic roles, and strong dialect work, Caroline was most recently seen on the set of CBC's cult hit Murdoch Mysteries, season 7 of USA's Suits, season 2 of CBC's breakout hit Workin' Moms, working alongside Christoph Waltz and Vanessa Redgrave in Waltz's upcoming directorial debut Georgetown, playing Kim Price, the much anticipated new character in Season 12 of CBC's prolific Heartland, and as the mom of Billy Batson (played by Asher Angel and Zachary Levi) in DC's latest franchise Shazam!. When not on set she can be found writing (her first film, Thinly Veiled, will go to camera in 2019) and producing for Roaming Focus Productions, which she co-owns with her husband, Photographer and Director, Mike Palmer.
Tara graduated from George Brown's Performing Arts' programme in 1997 and continued on to a successful acting career. Appearing in stage productions across Canada and the US, she moved on to work on 5 seasons on the acclaimed 'Sue Thomas, F.B.Eye program'. Tara also works as a writer, co-producer, producer and director.
Farah Merani is a Muslim actor, filmmaker, educator, and advocate currently based in LA and Toronto. She is a graduate of the Drama Centre London and has performed in Canada and the US, throughout Europe and in Russia. Some of her TV and film credits include: Shadowhunters, Nikita, Lost Girl, Covert Affairs, Private Eyes and the upcoming feature film, Eat Wheaties!, featuring Tony Hale. In addition to being an actor, she has produced dozens of films with her company, Lifeguard Productions, co-founded a non-profit called Women on Screen, and serves as a diversity and inclusion consultant for film and tv with her former co-chair of the ACTRA Toronto Diversity Committee.
Bea studied literature and art history at McGill University before moving to Toronto to begin her career in film. Her credits include: the lead of the franchise A Very Country Christmas, a principal role in Season 3 of HBO's True Detective, a series regular role on HULU's the Hardy Boys, five seasons and counting as a recurring character on CBC's Murdoch Mysteries, a supporting role in the Ethan Hawke lead bank drama Stockholm which premiered at Tribeca and the female lead in the Canadian-German Co-production Coconut Hero. She is also a budding producer and director.