Aleisha Allen is a former child actress, who was the voice behind the “Side Table Drawer” in the children’s television series, “Blues Clues,” and who became popular when she was cast in blockbuster movies such as “School of Rock” and “Are We There Yet?”
Early life and Family
Aleisha LaNaé Allen was born on 28 April 1991, in The Bronx, New York City USA, to Otis and Angela LaNaé Allen. She is of African-American descent, and has a younger brother named Omarri. There is not much written about her family and early life, but she said in her Instagram post that as she was growing up, she was taught that she could do and be anything she wanted.
Another thing she said that was instilled into her was to prioritize the concepts of giving back and paying it forward; sharing her blessings was her responsibility whether she liked it or not. She rarely talked about her parents, and it was only in 2014 that she greeted them on their 24th anniversary.
She matriculated from Professional Performing Arts High School in 2009, with Musical Theatre as her field of study. It was during her senior year when she decided to go in a different direction and go full time with her studies, because she wanted to be able to transition into adulthood out of the limelight. She said she felt she had worked hard enough to afford the college experience, and believed she wouldn’t be able to enjoy it the same way if she took it later.
Aleisha graduated from Pace University in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. In January 2013, she was given her Teaching Students with Speech‑Language Disabilities (TSSLD) Certification by the New York City Department of Education. She also attended in August 2015 the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) Training and Certification Workshop.
In 2016 she gained her Master of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders – Speech-Language Pathology at Teachers College, Columbia University. She also attained her Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallow (FFES) Certification from the Boston Medical Center, and in 2017 also received her Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC). She received certification for completing Ventilator, Pulmonary & Tracheostomy Training in February 2018 at the Critical Care Training Center. Aleisha now has M.S., CCC-SLP attached to her name.
Aleisha actually started working at the early age of three, doing modeling for print and TV ads. Her first television work was at age six, although people wouldn’t know what she looked like because she was the voice behind the “Side Table Drawer” in Nickelodeon’s “Blues Clues.” Her character in this educational children’s television series was in the animation part of the show, and it was where the main character, Steve, kept what he called his handy dandy notebook that he needed in every game, to find the clues left behind by the blue‑spotted dog named Blue. It premiered on 8 September 1996 in the US, and was a huge hit, and ran for six seasons with 143 episodes.
The show received nine nominations form Emmy Awards, and it won a Peabody Award in 2001. The “Blue’s Clues” video games also featured her voice.
She was also cast in another children’s television series, Playhouse Disney’s “Out of the Box,” which premiered on 7 October 1998 and ran for three seasons with 82 episodes, and in which Aleisha was able to act and not just be a voice actor. Sesame Street’s direct-to-video special, “Elmo’s Magic Cookbook” in 2001 also featured Aleisha Allen – it was later aired on the Food Network channel.
The first feature film that she was part of was “The Best Man” in 1999, in the small role of a flower girl.
In 2003, she was one of the back-up singers named “Alicia Brace Face” in the comedy movie, “The School of Rock.” This Jack Black-starrer from Paramount Pictures grossed more than $130 million against a $35 million budget, and received positive reviews from critics.
Her next project was the comedy film, “Are We There Yet?”, playing the role of the bratty 11-year-old Lindsey Kingston, who along with her brother tried to sabotage their divorced mom’s relationship with Nick Persons, played by Ice Cube. It was released in January 2005 with a production budget of over $30 million, and grossed almost $100 million worldwide. With the movie’s box office success, it was not surprising that a sequel was made – “Are We Done Yet?” was released in 2007, with the story starting two years after the events of the first movie. Aleisha was cast for the same role, but the sequel didn’t fare as well as the first one, grossing $60 million worldwide.
It was 2010 when she had her next project in a television series, one episode in “The Electric Company,” followed by a short appearance in the comedy-drama movie “Young Adult,” starring Charlize Theron. Her last work was in the horror-thriller movie, “You’re Nobody ‘til Somebody Kills You,” in 2012.
After getting her MS degree in Communication Sciences, she worked at the Thrive and Shine Speech-Language Pathology (January 2017-February 2018), and provided in-home and clinic‑based speech and language therapy to clients. After that, she spearheaded the Speech-Language Pathology Department at the Acute Rehabilitation Unit at the Methodist Hospital of Southern California, and worked there for almost two years.
Happy September 🤗 pic.twitter.com/CDQHgM8wiI
— Aleisha LaNae’ Allen (@AleishaLaNae) September 25, 2019
Her work as a speech‑language pathologist (SLP) included evaluating, planning, and implementing language intervention or therapy for both children and adults who have speech, voice, and other communicative disorders or disabilities.
She started work as a clinical instructor and supervisor in January 2020 at Teacher’s College.
She is 28 years old and is currently single – there is no news of her dating anybody today, but reportedly she dated the 20-year-old actor, Tahj Mowrie, when she was 15 in 2006, but they broke-up in 2007. They were both in the movie “Are We Done Yet?” Some reports even had her dating Tahj back in 2003. Another dating rumor was that she dated her “Are We There Yet?” co-star, Philip Bolden, who was 10 at the time of the filming!
Interesting facts and rumors
- When she was young, keeping-up her grades was part of the deal she made in order to continue with her “hobby” of performing or acting.
- The Professional Performing Arts High School Class of 2009 gave Aleisha the “Best Dressed” award.
- She’s allergic to dogs as per her Instagram post.
- Her favorite metal is gold because to her it is timeless, healing, and represents sophistication.
- After she graduated with her Master’s, she visited her elementary/middle schools still in her full regalia, not to show off but as a testimony to the teachers and staff who had helped her reached this milestone in her life.
- Aleisha was a resource speaker at the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) convention in Orlando, Florida in 2019. She talked about her experience as an early career professional from actress to SLP
- She has been working from home supervising her students through telepractice since the COVID-19 pandemic lock-down began. However, she would also do in-person consultation with her clients according to her Instagram post.
Aleisha is 5ft 6ins (1.68m) tall, weighs around 125lbs (57kgs), and her vital statistics are 34‑24‑32. She has dark brown hair and dark brown eyes.
Net worth and salary
It had been awhile since her last movie or television project, as she was focused on her studies then on her work as a speech-language pathologist. Her income from previous and current work is not disclosed, but sources estimated her net worth as of early 2020 to be close to $2 million.