Ed Sheeran performs “Kiss Me” live at Seacrest Studios at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia!

After a stop at Jim’s on South Street for a Cheese Steak (with lots of toppings,) Ed Sheeran visited Seacrest Studios at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for an in studio interview and live performance!

The first thing Ed spoke about was being a songwriter. As a songwriter (and singer) Ed is constantly coming up with new music. He gets inspiration mostly from his own life experiences and the experiences of those closest to him. Right now his favorite song that he has written is “Give Me Love.” He explained that some of his music he writes doesn’t feel right for him to sing, so he approaches different songwriters that he feels would be a good fit for the song.

When on tour, Ed likes his show to constantly feel new and fresh.  He makes sure all the songs he is performing are the ones that mean a lot to him, so he does not get sick of singing them so much!  He told the patients he has been playing the guitar since he was 11 years old and plays music so much, he goes through a guitar about every four months!  He loves all of his instruments, but tends to play aggressively, so they get banged up a lot. He also played the cello for 10 years.

Some of the questions the patients asked:

Gabby: What were you like growing up?  Ed: I was very relaxed. I really applied myself to my music and I am really happy that worked out for me!

Sam: What is the craziest thing you have received from a fan? Ed: The coolest thing I have ever received was a hand-knitted doll.  The weirdest thing that I have received was a cake with a giant clump of hair in the middle.  I often get a lot of penguin gifts because I love penguins (especially from the movie Madagascar).

When asked what his favorite places he has played at were, he said that he loved playing at Madison Square Garden and the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics.

In his down time, he likes to watch TV shows on DVD. He just recently finished the complete series of The Simpsons (it took him 3 weeks.)  He said that he loves a UK show called The Inbetweeners which has a lot of British humor in it. Some of his favorite US shows are Homeland, Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones.

It was an exciting day at Seacrest Studios and we hope Ed stops by again next time he is in Philly!

The Ready Set Gets Interviewed By The Patients At Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia!

The Ready Set stopped by Seacrest Studios at CHOP before playing at the Jingle Ball on Wednesday night.  The patients were really excited to sit down and talk to him and the first question they asked: where did you come up with the name The Ready Set?  It turns out that he choose a band name because he was writing music to be played by a band. The name is supposed to symbolize being ready to set your fears and inhibitions behind. Now he always tours with a full band (and they all visited with him in Studio.)

When asked how he comes up with songs, he explained that when he writes music, he starts with lyrics and a piano and then adds in more electronic instruments and drums later on.  He thinks of the songs as puzzle pieces he has to put together.

He really likes being on tour, but has had a few embarrassing moments along the way.  He always seems to be tripping on stage and one time he dropped his microphone and it flew 15 feet across the stage and into the crowd.

Some of the patients went on to ask some cool questions:

-Emily asked: What superpower would you have and why? / Answer: I would want to fly. No particular reason, but it would be the most useful superpower to just be able to fly away from any awkward situations that may occur. I would like to fly over the ocean and hang out with the dolphins.

-Brandon asked: When did you start playing and recording music? Answer: At age 17.  I have been playing drums since age 11 but moved on to other instruments and writing and recording music at age 17.

-Bobby asked: Who is your favorite singer? Anwer: Too many favorites to count.  I like to keep an open mind and listen to a lot of different genres. I would  love to work with Bruno Mars.

Then we asked him one of the most important questions we always ask at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia…which Philly Cheese Steak is your favorite…to which he answered, Pat’s!

He will be touring until December 21st and will take a break for the holidays (he will spend it with his family) and will be back at the end of January. He hopes to finish up a new album at the end of January.

We can’t wait for The Ready Set’s new album and would like to thank him for stopping by and hanging out! We hope to see The Ready Set again soon!

Karmin and Toys”R”Us Make It A Special Day At CHOP!

 

Karmin (the dynamic duo of Amy and Nick) came to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia dressed in red, ready for their night at Jingle Ball. They first hung out with Geoffrey the Giraffe, who delivered donated toys from Toys”R”Us for the patients (who were so excited for early holiday gifts!).

After Geoffrey the Giraffe and Karmin hung out with the patients, Amy and Nick sat down for an interview in Seacrest Studios.

Amy and Nick first met at Berklee College of Music in Boston and rose to stardom after creating a YouTube channel and covering some of their favorite songs. Neither of them knew exactly what they wanted to do and Amy worked for seven years as a wedding singer – which she explained helps her memorize songs easily and sing very fast.  At first, the YouTube channel was just for fun, but as their fan base grew, it really helped them get recognition. They created the name Karmin based on the word karma and the Latin word “carmen” which means “song.”  Amy and Nick have been engaged for two years and it is a New Year’s Resolution of theirs to get married in 2013.

When asked what their favorite songs they sing were, they said their two favorite original songs are ‘Hello’ and ‘Brokenhearted’ and their favorite cover songs to sing are ‘Look at Me Now’ and ‘Told You So.’

They talked about what inspires them to write music.  Even though they have been together for seven years, they still use their past relationships as song material.  Since the two are basically with each other 24/7 they realized they have to always communicate with each other and be honest (and admit when one of them is wrong!) in order to continue successfully (in music and a relationship).

Their favorite place they have traveled to so far is Australia (where they went to the zoo and hung out with kangaroos). So far, the biggest audience they have played in front of was in San Francisco to about 70,000 people.

For the holidays, they both split up to see their families. Amy goes to Nebraska and Nick goes to Maine. But they will be back together for New Year’s because they will be performing in New York this year for New Year’s Rockin’ Eve!

In their free time, Nick likes to follow up on sports and watch movies. Amy likes to experiment with make-up, play on Pinterest and keep up with with followers on Twitter and YouTube.  They will soon be launching the website karminology.com where Amy will make posts about fashion, hair and makeup (to go along with her YouTube hairstyle tutorials) and Nick will focus on sports updates and movies.

Before they wrapped up their visit, they sang a portion of their song ‘I Told You So’ and took pictures with patients. Many thanks to Toys“R”Us, Geoffrey the Giraffe and Karmin for stopping by and making it a special afternoon at CHOP!


Thank you to Courtney Risch, one of our great interns at Seacrest Studios, for this great recap!

Josh Peck Stops By Seacrest Studios!

The anticipation in the studio was at its peak when word spread that Josh Peck was in the building!  Patients, and parents, gathered to welcome the Nickelodeon star-turned-action-hero to Atlanta for the premiere of his newly released film, Red Dawn.

The 26-year-old former child star of the hit show, Drake and Josh, lit up the room when he greeted excited guests in Seacrest Studios at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.  Many had pictured Josh as the fun-loving character, Josh Nichols, he played on TV but the young man everyone met that day was a compassionate and grown-up actor whose future seems poised for more hits on the big screen.

Josh’s infectious laughter and sense of humor put the youngest patients at ease.  Peck charmed the crowd with his quick wit and funny stories.  Many remembered him as the voice of Eddie in the movie Ice Age: The Meltdown.  Others recalled his appearance on The Amanda Show, and in the movie, Snow Day, while most marveled at the opportunity to meet “Josh” from the Nickelodeon television hit that gained Peck fame.

In Atlanta to promote the remake of the 1984 Cold War movie, Red Dawn, Josh talked about the scenes and stunts he was involved in during the filming of the fast-paced movie.  Peck played the brother of Chris Hemsworth’s character, Jed Eckert.  Some in the crowd who had seen an advanced screening of Red Dawn wanted to meet Josh and tell him how much they had enjoyed the movie.  Peck told the crowd about the most famous person he had ever met – Will Smith! He told the patients that Smith is “super nice” and that they talked for 45 minutes but he didn’t remember too much of what they talked about because he got “lost in Will Smith’s eyes.” This made for a very funny moment!

Josh Peck’s manners and consideration went a long way in delighting fans who waited in line for a picture and autograph.  Peck stayed until the very last patient had shaken his hand and had received a good word of encouragement.  It was a GREAT day to be in Seacrest Studios at CHOA!

Check out a soundclip from Josh’s interview, or watch a video recap of his visit below.

A huge thank you to Mamie Shepherd for the great recap and video!

Carrie Underwood Makes CHOP A Stop On Her Tour!

Carrie Underwood stopped by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia before she performed at the Wells Fargo Center, and was greeted by an atrium filled of patients and their families!

Carrie was very excited to talk about her tour.  The show that evening was the 41st on this tour (she will have performed in 55 cities by Christmas.)  She will get a little break in January (she hopes to watch her husband play some hockey) and then is back on the road in February.  When she was asked if she would rather be in studio or touring, she explained that while she loves putting together an album, being on tour is an amazing experience. When asked what she likes to have with her on tour she said that when she is on the road she always needs to bring her dogs and a stuffed animal that she has had since she was 8 years old.

She is so proud of her latest album “Blown Away” and said that it is probably her favorite that she has recorded.  When on tour, Carrie likes to play to the crowd, so whatever music they want to hear, she tries to play!

The patients asked Carrie all about writing songs and what inspires her. She said that her music comes from all different places (often from listening to her friends and family,) and sometimes she doesn’t even know what direction a song will go in, it just happens! The one thing that is really important to her is that she is continuing to grow, learn and make new music.  On the new album she wrote about half of the songs and then worked with other writers for the rest. A self-proclaimed “practical dreamer,” Carrie went to college while also following her passion so she could learn from many different experiences.

The patients continued to ask her some great questions…

– Marley asked: What is your favorite color? / Carrie answered: Any shade of blue

– Alex asked: Are you friend with Kelly Clarkson? / Carrie answered: Yes! We see each other at award shows and I am very happy about all of her success

– Angelina asked: When did you start singing?  / Carrie answered:  I have been signing my whole life, whether in the car, school or church, but I started to compete in talent shows at the age of 10.

Carrie went on to talk about some of the people that inspire her and said that the only person that makes her “star struck” is Dolly Parton and she would love to work with her!

It was a fun filled day at Seacrest Studios at CHOP and we are so happy that we got to spend it with Carrie. A huge thank you for making us one of the stops on her tour!

McKayla Maroney Visits CHOP During US Gymnastics Tour

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was thrilled to welcome US Olympic champion McKayla Maroney to Seacrest Studios! McKayla recently visited our studio at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, and was excited to be able to stop by our studio in Phill too!

Traveling the United States on a 40-city national gymnastics tour, McKayle stopped by for an in studio interview. The patients asked her all about the Olympics in London and she was was happy to share her experience with everyone.

After the interview, McKayla took time to sign autographs and take pictures…and one thing is for sure, the patients were all smiles!

A big thank you to McKayla for such a fun visit, we hope you come and hang out again soon!

A Merry And Bright Evening at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

The children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of the broadcast studio at CHOA danced in their heads.

It was a “Merry and Bright” evening in Atlanta when patrons and guests gathered in the Seacrest Studios for a reception for Ryan Seacrest. The guest of honor arrived with Julianne Hough to the thrill of those waiting for them. The couple was received by an enthusiastic crowd of holiday revelers.  Songs of the season were performed by the Dunwoody High School choir.  American Idol star, Colton Dixon, entertained guests by singing two beautiful songs which proved why he was selected as an AI finalist.  Special guests included Ryan’s family, executives, CHOA dignitaries, patrons, selected patients and their parents.

Ryan Seacrest spoke briefly to thank those in attendance for their support.  He paused for pictures and talked with many of the evening’s attendees.

The evening was a great success in raising awareness and funding for Seacrest Studios at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. It really will be a “merry and bright” holiday season!

A HUGE thanks to Mamie Shepherd  (one of our awesome interns at Seacrest Studios) for this Merry and Bright recap.  We wanted to share a video (see below) that Mamie created. This video was presented to the Seacrest family at the event.

 

All Time Low Plays A Game Of Would You Rather At CHOP!

All Time Low hung out at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia last week, and the patients were so excited to spend time with the band in studio.

The guys started the band their freshman year in high school, when they were all 14 years old, and then were signed on Valentines Day in 2006, during their senior year.  They started touring right after school and have been on the road 9 to 10 months of the year since then. In fact, they called being home in Baltimore, Maryland a “vacation” because they are always on the road.  Their favorite places to visit on tour are New York, Chicago, Tokyo and Dublin.

The patients wanted to know what the guys loved most about CHOP's hometown of Philadelphia. The band's favorite part about the great city… the food and nightlife! They once held a competition between Pat’s, Jim’s and Geno’s to see who they thought had the best cheese steaks and Pat's won!

They are very proud of their new album, which they say was inspired by 90’s music. They love performing all their new songs on stage but definitely try to include some of their old music during each of their concerts.  One goal of theirs that they still want to accomplish…play on Saturday Night Live!

One of the (many) great parts of their visit was when All Time Low agreed to play one of our favorite games at Seacrest Studios – "Would You Rather." Here are some of their fun answers…

Would you rather:

1. Have it rain cheese puffs or super bouncy balls? Cheese puffs, so they could eat them all.

2. Have the head of a lego man or the body of a lego man? Head, so they could still move their body around how they wanted while still looking awesome. 

3. Be a video game tester or a trampoline tester? Video game tester, so they could be paid to play video games all day (something they love doing during downtime on tour).

4. Be able to fly or be able to make anyone break dance? Break dance, because they would prank people all the time!

The band also took some time to talk about how lucky they are for their fans. They worked so hard to build a fan base and are so appreciative of all of the support.  Well one things for sure…they can add Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to that list!

A huge thank you to the group for this entertaining and fun visit! 

A Special Day At The Seacrest Studios Opening In Dallas!

Wednesday was an exciting day for the Ryan Seacrest Foundation as we opened Seacrest Studios at Children’s Medical Center.  This studio is the third studio we have built for children’s hospitals, the other two located in Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  It was a special day as Ryan, Selena Gomez and Disney Channel’s “N.B.T.” winner Shealeigh met with patients and broke in the new equipment.

The event kicked off with a breakfast for the attendees followed by interviews with Ryan and Selena on the hospitals red carpet (check out a news segment here).

Next up was a great ribbon cutting ceremony, which included speeches from Children’s Executive Vice President Doug Hock, Ryan, Selena, and the Seacrest Studios patient ambassador, Maddie Ferguson. Maddie used some (really big!) scissors to cut the ribbon and officially open the studio.

Everyone then moved toward Seacrest Studios for the first official live broadcast, hosted by Ryan.  Ryan led a fun interview, asking questions to the hospital’s Dr. Koh, Maddie, Selena and Shealeigh. There were patients and families lining the studio…but for those that couldn’t head down to the studio to be part of the action, they were able to watch through a live feed to their rooms. Some patients even called down to the studio through the hospital’s designated line: 77777 (pretty fun number, if you ask us!). And that’s not all. Microsoft donated a few of their new Surface tablets to the studio, so Ryan and Selena were able to skype from the studio with patients in their rooms.

After the interview was over the fun continued on the Plaza, a performance space created just next to the studio for artists to perform.  Shealeigh took the stage, after being introduced by Radio Disney’s radio host Jake Whetter, and sang 5 amazing songs (2 of them were original music.)  After the performance, the Radio Disney Road Team closed out the event with fun games, dances and activities with the patients.

It was an exciting and busy day at Children’s Medical Center and we were so happy to be a part of it.  A big thank you to the amazing staff at the hospital, Radio Disney, Microsoft, Selena, Shealeigh, DJ Jake and Maddie for helping make it a success.

We also want to give a huge shout out to our founding sponsors, Coca-Cola and E! for their continued support. It is with their help that we are able to continue to build these studios and create special moments for amazing patients.

Seacrest Studios Opens At Children’s Medical Center!

(Above) The Seacrest family in our brand new studio! 

The Ryan Seacrest Foundation is proud to announce the opening of Seacrest Studios at Children’s Medical Center (of Dallas.) Today, we are opening our third studio (we also have studios at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) so patients can explore the creative realms of radio, television and new media.  The goal is to provide exciting and stimulating adventures for the patients, to help create optimistic thoughts during their stays and visits at the hospital.

We are so thrilled to be in Dallas and so proud of our new partnership with Children’s Medical Center. Check back on our website soon for pictures from our opening ceremony.

To learn more about the mission of Seacrest Studios, visit our What We Do page