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Becoming a stunt performer for the Canadian film industry was a natural fit for Lori as an accomplished martial artist and fencer, as well as an avid learner of a wide variety of other physical skills. Lori has trained extensively in stunt fighting, falling and other film-related movement skills and is a highly experienced water stunt performer. She is also has experience doing wirework and fire stunts.

Lori is also an actor, represented by Brenda Wong at MVM Agency, and has booked several roles on productions, including Pretty Hard Cases, Balestra, and A Diva's Christmas Carol - Aphrodite.

Most of Lori's film career took place in Vancouver, but now having moved to the greater Ottawa area, she has started developing her career in Ontario, having taken on numerous roles in Toronto. While her new home is in Burnstown, she also has a residence in Toronto allowing her to work there as a local when required.

See Lori O'Connell's listing on

Stunt Reel

Martial Arts Stunt Skills

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Lori has performed stunt fighting on a wide variety of productions over the length of her career, including Siren, Avatar, Motherland, Kimpossible, Guilty Party, Girlfriend's Guide to Divorce, Van Helsing, Midnight Mass, Mayor of Kingstown, Inner Demon, Twin Pool, The 100, Plug N Play, Trick or Treat, Inner Demon, Action No. 1, etc.

Having trained over 30 years in a Japanese style of Jiu-jitsu called Can-ryu, oriented towards self-defence and law enforcement, Lori has a strong base in a variety of skills related to stunts, including boxing/kickboxing & empty hand hand/arm strikes, throws/takedowns, breakfalls, joint locks, weapons (use and defence against), handcuffing, pressure points, and submission grappling. In addition, she has supplemented her primary training with other martial arts, including Filipino martial arts training, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu/MMA, Gong fu (gold sash), Shotokan Karate (brown belt), Aikido, Wing Chun, Taichi, etc. Lori owned and ran a dojo, Pacific Wave Jiu-jitsu, in the Vancouver area for 14 years before closing it due to the pandemic. Her new dojo, New Leaf Dojo, is scheduled to open in early 2024.

In addition to her formal martial arts training, Lori has also trained extensively in film fighting, having trained in Film Fu with Kirk Caouette, Action Beats with Kirk Jaques, and also took a stunt fighting training with Bruce Fontaine.

Stunt Hits, Falls and Wirework

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Over the course of her career, Lori has had the opportunity to do a wide variety of hits, falls and wirework stunts. Just a few of her most notable gags in this area include a car hit, tempered glass break on and an underwater wire gag Siren, an explosion ratchet on The Stand, several wire gags on Once Upon a Time, including one where she was pulled 16 feet back going over her shoulder into the ground, some wire-assisted flips with swords on Twin Pool, a hand bomb into a wall on Demon X, a wire drag simulating a telekinetic attack on DC Legends of Tomorrow, being tossed in a fireman throw into a table on Action No. 1, and more besides.

Fencing and Sword Stunt Fighting

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Before she even took up Jiu-jitsu, Lori started off exploring her interest in the combat arts through Western fencing at the age of 12. Her primary weapon was foil, and at the peak of her competitive career she ranked 26th in Canada for Women's foil. She later dabbled in sabre fencing, which led to her competing on the University of Ottawa fencing team, taking 1st place with her team. While Lori no longer actively competes, she still has a love for the art.

In film, Lori performed fencing as a stunt double on Descendants 2, for which she also worked as a sword trainer for the actors and other stunt performers on the show. She also did a rapier fight in 4" high heels stunt doubling for the Evil Queen on Once Upon a Time, long sword work in full armour on Haters Back Off, and stunt doubled as a fencer for 3 different characters on Embrace of the Vampire.

Water and Fire Stunts

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Lori is a highly experienced water stunt performer. She stunt doubled for Ryn, the lead mermaid on Siren, for the 3-season run of the show, and performed as many different ND mermaids as well. She also completed a challenging cold water free diving stunt on Breathe, stunt doubling for Melissa Barrera, for which she did a free dive in a 5C lake, wearing full wardrobe and boots. In addition, she has done water stunts on numerous other shows, including Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, The 100, The Haunting of Bly Manor, Altered Carbon, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and I Am Somebody's Child.

Lori is a scuba diver, carrying her Advanced Open Water Diver, Dry Suit and Peak Buoyancy certifications, as well a free diver, carrying her AIDA level 2 certification. She has training in monofin and and has completed the Intro to Cold Water/Breath Hold for Stunts course with Roberta Cenedese from Oceanoid. Lori also has completed her Life Saver Bronze Medallion.

Lori did her first fire stunt, a full body burn, on the short film Twin Pool. She also performed a ratchet in an explosion on the Stand and escaped from a burning car on Dead Inside (pilot). She owns a full set of fireproof under layers which have come in handy over the years.

Stunt Driving and Other Skills

Over the past few years, Lori has added stunt driving to her repertoire. She started off by taking the Rick Seaman's Super Level 1 stunt driving clinic. She then later did a multi-day stunt/performance driving training session at the BMW track in Palm Springs, California, and took several full-day stunt driving sessions with Rick Pearce in Vancouver. She owned a Crown Vic for several years with which she practiced in Vancouver before moving back to Ontario. Lori has also had the pleasure of doing several stunt driving days, on Siren, Zoo, and Witch Mountain (pilot).

Lori always seeks to develop a wide variety of skills to keep sharp and be ready for the different challenges that come with being a stunt performer. She has taken the Terry Notary Movement Masterclass, which has come in handy for motion capture roles and creature work she has done. She holds Paddle Canada certifications, level 2 in both sea kayaking and coastal canoeing respectively. She has developed skills in rock climbing and rappelling, and can handle 10a climbing routes.

Acting Roles and Training

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Lori first took a film acting course at the VADA in Vancouver followed by a scene study course with Iris Quinn at Impact Studios when she first started out in film many years ago. In recent years, she has endeavoured to develop her acting chops further and has taken several courses since 2020, including Acting 101 for Film with Michele Partridge, Masterclass Scene Work for Professionals with Robert Bockstael, and Accents and Dialects with D'arcy Smith.

Lori has had actor/stunt actor roles on Balestra, Pretty Hard Cases, and A Diva's Christmas Carol - Aphrodite. She continues to audition and develop her craft with Brenda Wong (MVM Agency) working hard as her agent.

Stunt Coordinator, Fight Choreographer, Trainer

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Lori worked as a stunt coordinator on several productions. On Niyebe, she worked with an actress to perform her creature character's attack on another actress, as well as a leap off a counter, then a run up to a child to grab and carry him off. On Kiri and the Girl, she worked closely with child actors to ensure they performed all their actions safely and realistically. On Trick or Treat, she worked choreographed a fight scene, and worked with the actors to make the scene look realistic and impactful. Lori worked closely with her mentors, Ed Anders and Lloyd Adams to develop a safe, mindful, communication-oriented process to coordinating for productions.

Over the years, Lori has lots of experience teaching and training actors she stunt doubled, as well as ones she was working with to safely perform fights, falls, reactions, etc. On Siren, she got be involved in choreographing fight scenes, both on land and under water. She was also brought in a fight choreographer and trainer for actors and stunt performers on several productions. Lori worked with Felicia Day to help her perform a triangle choke and the action leading into it on Supernatural. She worked on Descendants 2 to help train the actors and stunt performers perform their rapier fight scenes. Lori was also brought in to help teach specialized martial arts moves and fight choreography to actors and stunt doubles on Travelers.
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In addition to work she has done on set and for rehearsals, many actors and stunt performers have hired her privately over the years to go over martial arts moves, sword work, falls, choreo and reactions to help prepare for upcoming roles they had booked. She also taught group courses to groups of stunt performers and actors, including "Intro to Technical Breakfalls for Stunt Performers" and "Jiu-jitsu/Judo Throws for Stunt Performers" at her dojo in Vancouver.

Lori has taken numerous courses through ActSafe and UBCP/ACTRA to gain more skills to help her perform her best as a stunt coordinator, including Motion Picture Safety for Supervisors (Stunts), Stunt Coordinator Unconscious Bias Training, Occupational First Aid Level 1, Motion Picture Safety Awareness. Firearms Safety - Level 1. She also has her BA in Communication and a certificate in coaching, both of which help her to be a well-rounded, communication-driven coordinator.