Leesa Zelken, CEO

Childrens Entertainment Organizer

Originally from New York, I moved to Los Angeles in 1988 to pursue an acting career. Using my BA in theatre and early childhood education, I supported myself with non-traditional teaching jobs – such as Gymboree, “Mommy and Me”, school enrichment programs, and others – while I garnered small roles on shows like Friends and Seinfeld (pardon the sitcom name dropping).

At the request of a friend who was planning her child’s birthday party, I donned a clown suit and put together a party routine. To my surprise and everyone’s delight it was a mega hit – and a whole lot of fun for me. I began to ponder the idea of turning this “show” into a business. I came up with the name SEND IN THE CLOWNS, learned how to paint faces and make balloon animals, and created goodwill by offering my services for free at local children’s fairs.

What began as the proverbial “day job” has developed into a super-successful business and fulfilling career. My company is the culmination of my unique experiences as a children’s entertainer, actress, teacher…and mother. Planning over 500 events per year, and over 10,000 events in 20 years, has forced me out of the clown suit and into the role of CEO-Children’s Entertainment Organizer.

When I am not planning children’s parties, I am enjoying time at home in Santa Monica with my loving husband, Bob Zelken, a leading commercial real estate broker with Douglas Emmett, and my wonderful daughter, Zoe, who is a constant inspiration for creative party ideas.