Matthew and Leeann Dearing

photo by Brenna Heater Photography

Name: Matthew and Leeann Dearing





Age: Matthew – 35 , Leeann – 33

Title: Owners of Dearing Acting Studio

Married/Single: We put a ring on it.

Kids: Yup. Jack(5) and Rosalyn (3).

City you live in: Phoenix

A typical day in our life includes…

Matthew: usually up at 6am. Inspired reading time and prep for our studio teacher training program. Family breakfast. That’s generally followed by about 3 hours of reading scripts, writing new material and performing; the daily grind is a commitment to mastery. After that, I spend 3-4 hours of private lessons for various students. I usually run home for dinner and basketball trampoline (I game I invented with my son) and some dress up time with my daughter. After family time, I do a quick check in with our CEO and teach a group class several nights a week (Film/TV, Improv, Meisner, Commercial). On any given week, you can also assume there’s going to be a casting in the mix, a corporate training, an audition or a booking.

Leeann: Usually up at 6am. I’m a morning person, so I love to have quiet hour to myself before the kids wake up. I’m blessed to be a stay at home mom to our babes, so our mornings usually look like a nice, slow breakfast in our jammies. I make a crazy good breakfast, insanely good. My cooking talent dwindles as the day progresses, but I nail it between 6am and 10am. Kinda like Chic-Fil-A (why has no one told them that breakfast should be all day? I’m off topic). Then we usually have one kid-oriented outing of the day. Train Park, Playground, Science Center, a friend’s house, Children’s Museum, Improv class. Every day is different. I try to dedicate at least three days a week to working a little a little bit from home. Some days I get a crazy amount done. Other days, my kids gnaw at me like a pack of velociraptors, and less is accomplished (it’s okay, they’re cute little dinosaurs). On any given week, I usually have a booking in the mix (most often for a commercial of some kind), or maybe an audition. Sometimes I get to take the kids along with me on acting jobs. Rosalyn booked her first TV show when she was just six weeks old for Discovery ID (humble brag). Those kinds of jobs really are the best. I don’t care at all if our kids decide to act or not, but it’s fun to share our work with them while they’re growing up (my other hobbies include reading plays, house projects and over-using Parentheses).

We were born…

Matthew on June 22 and Leeann on November 1.

Our favorite thing about Arizona…

we love the pace of life. Arizona strikes a nice balance. There’s definitely an ever-emerging culture, and plenty of things to do, but without the demands and drawbacks of a slightly larger city. We just love it.

We’re listening to…

Matthew: Really what I’m into right now…hearing my kids sing. Jack does a mean cover of “King of New York” from Newsies and Rosalyn can sing every song from “Beauty and the Beast.” But I’m also a big fan of Atmosphere, and I’m a sucker for the 90’s.

Leeann: Gershwin. The score to “Moana” by Lin Manuel Miranda. Billy Joel (and Ben Folds and Sara Bareilles and Elton John. Piano centric singer/songwriters every day). Adele. Stevie Wonder. Ray Charles. Most Musical Theatre.

Our family…

is the biggest blessing we’ve been given from God.

If we could have dinner with anyone, it would be…

Matthew: Daniel Day Lewis or Tom Hanks.

Leeann: I hate this question. It always gives me anxiety, because there’s so many. But really…how do you pass up on Jesus? I want to hear the sermon on the mount in person! Walk on water? What?!?!

Matthew: Leeann’s answer was better. Change mine to that, please.

One thing we cannot live without…

Improv! Comedy in general. It’s such a big part of our studio. Longform group work is what we love the most, specifically the Improvised play. We get the title of a play that doesn’t exist from the audience (the last one we got was “The Man In First Class”, which is pretty good. But we’ve gotten some weird ones). Then we do an hour long play off that title. Shows are every Friday at 7pm. It’s comedy for sure, and it’s family-appropriate, but we also try to “write” a good play. We’re always striving to make sure we’re not avoiding hard emotional choices or real life situations.

When we were younger, we wanted to be…

Matthew: basketball player.

Leeann: Belle from Beauty and the Beast.

We’re inspired by…

Leeann: Professional Ice Skaters. That’s seriously terrifying and beautiful stuff! A triple axle? That’s no joke. I tend to cry when I watch.

Matthew: God. I think about what we do as artists. We’re in this endless attempt to create, and He’s the source of all creativity.

 Leeann: Matthew’s answer was better. Change mine to that, please.

Matthew: Also, power tools.

The one person who motivates us is…

we both said “each other”. I know that sounds saccharine, but it’s the truth. We started our studio and theatre 10 years ago, and have tried to always spur each other on as we grow. Matthew would like to add that he loves reading the biographies of people who became successful against the odds.

If we could change anything in the world, it would be…

No more sickness. We’d just wipe it all out, from the common cold to cancer. It’d be gone.

The perfect day would be…

the other day we booked a commercial as a family. This doesn’t happen too often (normally one of us books a job with a bunch of relative strangers who happen to look vaguely related to us). When we were driving to set in the morning, we realized how much we love sharing the thing we do with our kids. That’s pretty close to a perfect day.

Our first job was…

Matthew: I was a bartender at an Irish pub in New York City. I faked an accent to get the job.

Leeann: I was a nanny for an incredible little four-year-old boy named Ricco Meola. I still adore his family.

Our favorite escape…

our family cabin up in Flagstaff. We get lots of snow in the winter and…a little less heat in the summer.

Leeann: and Disneyland. Take me to Disneyland any time.

Matthew: and water skiing. Take me on a lake any time.

Leeann: *whispers* Diiiiiisneyland.

Our life…

is in no way how we imagined it; it’s much, much better than we could have planned.

We’m currently working on…

a cool project for actors in small markets, giving them the tools to start auditioning, build a resume and find representation without relocating to a major market! We can’t wait to share more this spring! Ongoing coaching for actor/comedian Frank Caliendo. We’re also super psyched about filming our new video blog with Arizona Central Credit Union, where we talk about money over the different life stages. We’re having so much fun with Rob (TheReidEffect) creating the series!


act with passion.


let fear be the loudest voice.

Favorite Quote…

“See the light in others and treat them as if that is all you see.”

Biggest Dream…

we’re living it right now. Matthew would like to add that he wants a boat one day (“I’m on a boat!”) but the rest of it is already here.

Our Pet Peeve(s)…

oh, gosh. Here’s a few we both agreed upon: People who smack their food when they eat, line cutters and elevator farters (the ride time is LESS THAN A MINUTE. You can hold it).

1 comment
  1. I love that you both have a relationship with Jesus, and speak of your faith so naturally and with authenticity! Plus you’re lots of fun!! God bless you and your lovely family!!

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