Features November 2018

Comic Mom Duo Making the Valley Laugh

Leeann Dearing and Michelle Fortin – together have created quite the following as a comic pair. Both are local valley moms who just happen to be some of the coolest moms on the block. From their sold out, laugh out loud improv comedy shows to their viral online comic videos that have garnered millions of views, these moms are putting a lot more fun into the lives of their followers.

After meeting a year and a half ago when Leeann and Michelle found themselves partnered on stage in a comedy show, they felt an instant connection and knew a special relationship had just formed. The two have since combined their talents and have created countless parodies, sketches and live comedy improv shows that they perform together.

Each has a husband and two kids; Leeann is expecting another baby in January. Michelle comes from a career in TV news while Leeann comes from theatre and film acting. Both are very used to a spotlight and a camera. When filming new videos, they often bring their kids along who also make appearances in many of them. They are growing used to the cameras too and have so much fun being included in their mothers’ comedy adventures, even if they are often the brunt of the jokes.

“Leeann and I just clicked as friends instantly and we believe that’s what makes our shows authentic,” said Michelle. “We joke that we’re in a domestic partnership, since we’re with each other all the time and raise our kids together as if we’re co-parenting.”

Leeann and Michelle’s bond seems to bring out the fun in each other. In the beginning of their partnership, they started making online comedy videos and parodies. Those began going viral and the two have made their comedy a full-time gig ever since.

“We just love so many different forms of comedy,” said Michelle. “We like to test ourselves in different areas. In fact, our best days are when it’s just the two of us creating lyrics and brainstorming new ideas.”

Leeann and Michelle are relatable to their audience in many ways and their material is inspired by their own lives. Many other moms can relate to the humor they attach to regular aspects of motherhood, which is truly what makes their comedy so popular within the young mom crowd.

The duo stays plenty busy and is always planning for the next big thing. Aside from their frequent live improv shows around the valley, they are also booked for a few shows in Colorado and California. Full show schedules can be found on their Facebook events page.

“Our shows are improvised, meaning that only about 20 percent is planned in advance. We include lots of audience interactions and they really are a lot of fun,” said Leeann. “No two shows are ever the same, which makes our act so unique and enjoyable.”

The two also love working with charities to call attention to missions they believe in. Often, they will partner with charities to raise money for those in need and to give back to the community. They have partnered with mom groups at community churches, also with non-profit theatres and programs, including Lighthouse Theatre, who performs often at Leeann’s local acting studio, the Dearing Studio. In December, they will partner with Firm Foundation, sponsoring kids in foster care.

It takes a special kind of person to perform comedy and truly make their audience laugh. Leeann and Michelle have a natural talent for taking ordinary aspects of life and turning them into hilarious skits that thousands of people have enjoyed.

“Comedy really is a way we feel like we can serve women. There is so much cultural tension these days and we don’t want to jump on the controversy bandwagon. We want to make people laugh and remind them that we are all so much the same,” Leeann said.

The pair has become so successful in their short amount of time together that their comedy projects are now center stage and they have big plans for their future in comedy, including the possibility of a TV show that can showcase more of the local Arizona talent market. As full-time comediennes, wives and mothers, it’s hard to imagine their lives could get any busier.

“Balancing work, life and passions is so important,” said Leeann. “We have learned that doing what you enjoy in life will in turn make you a better mom. I love what I’m doing with my career and it doesn’t feel like work. It hasn’t drained me or tired me out and therefore, I am capable of being a better mom to my kids. Pursue your dreams with your heart and without guilt. When your life is positive and happy, so is your health. Focus on the dream.”

Start your own self-care by going to watch Leeann and Michelle. They will give you a much needed and well-deserved laugh. www.leeannandmichelle.com

By: Rebecca Kaye

Rebecca Zaner

Rebecca Kaye has written many stories throughout the valley and enjoys having the ability to share community news, journeys and achievements. Holding a Bachelor of Music, Rebecca’s favorite place to be is the stage. Having been a singer all her life, Rebecca is now in pursuit of a professional performing career, singing pop and musical theatre (rebeccakayemusic.com). Visit her on YouTube to see her latest music videos. She is also an avid photographer and enjoys taking pictures as a hobby. Check her out at Rebecca Kaye Photography (rebeccakayephoto.wix.com/rebeccakaye). Rebecca can be found spending her free time exploring and traveling with her family..

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