AJ Mitchell Talks Inspiration at CHOP!

Blog Recap by Seacrest Studios Intern, Sumayyah Carter

          Presenting at this year’s Q102 Jingle Ball, and also gearing up for his performance in Philly, AJ Mitchell decided to stop by Seacrest Studios located inside of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. AJ delighted fans and hospital guests with his incredible vocals and his smooth, cheerful personality. Performing his latest hits “Hopeful” and “Girls” from his EP Hopeful took a fan’s breath away, nearly making her speechless. 

Diving more into his EP, AJ shared that as he gets older his taste and musical style are maturing as he does. Some of AJ’s biggest inspirations include Michael Jackson, ColdPlay and Shawn Mendes. As he delves into the songwriting process he notes, “What stands out for me in any song is the emotion in the music and how it makes me feel.” 

            With Christmas right around the corner, AJ reminisced about his favorite holiday traditions, gifting giving, and the movies that put him in the holiday spirit. Home Alone for many is one of the ultimate holiday movies, and AJ agreed citing it as one of his personal favorites. Hanging lights and spending quality time with his family was just one of the traditions AJ shared with us. He also mentioned his method of gift giving: observing a person’s needs instead of asking them what they want. But the biggest gift he gave today was his time, and coming to Seacrest Studios to visit all his fans and their families was truly incredible, and for that we couldn’t be more grateful. We hope you visit again in the new year!

Darci Lynne Farmer Brings Petunia & Oscar to CHOC Children’s!

Darci Lynne Farmer, the 14 year old winner of season 12 of America’s Got Talent was welcomed to Seacrest Studios at Children’s Hospital of Orange County by some very excited patients to watch and listen to her sing and perform with her two beloved cast members, Petunia and Oscar!

While in studio, Darci answered children’s questions about how she got started as a ventriloquist, as well as her favorite friend that she performs with during her shows. She shared that ever since she was eight she wanted a puppet and began teaching herself by watching videos of one of her idols and mentor, Terry Fator. Darci also gave patients a very special medley of a few holiday favorites in anticipation for her upcoming holiday tour. Many thanks to Darci, her mom Misty, and Petunia and Oscar for making such a special visit in Orange County!


Surprise Celebrity Appearances at Children’s Hospital of Orange County Prom

Prom | A rite of passage in every child’s life. A moment in time to wear a glamorous dress, slide into the perfect tuxedo, and saunter off to meet your closest friends. A night that will never be forgotten.

On the first official weekend of summer, patients at Children’s Hospital of Orange County zipped up their dresses, tied their new Ryan Seacrest Distinction bowties, and freshened up with Polished for Men before heading “Around the World in One Night” for their annual Oncology Prom.

An unexpected visit from celebrities, Selena Gomez and Jack Black, left patients gushing and cell phones overflowing with hundreds of selfies. Fans even received the perfect advice from self-declared dance coach for the evening, Jack Black: “I just wanted to make sure you guys had the latest dance moves. I wanted to teach you a couple because that is the most important thing at a prom, is that you have the latest.”

And then @selenagomez shows up at your prom …. #chocprom2018 #chocprom

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Other stars in attendance included Grey’s Anatomy cast members Sarah DrewJames Pickens Jr., Caterina Scorsone and Kevin McKidd.

The annual prom supports teenagers and young adults going through cancer treatment, as well as many survivors, post-treatment.

Thank you to each and every guest and supporter who made this evening so special! We cannot wait for next year!

RSF Spotlight: Meet Our Orange County Studio Manager

We’re shining the spotlight on some of the amazing people that help make our Seacrest Studios around the country so special.


Bryan, the studio manager of Seacrest Studios at Children’s Hospital Of Orange County, has been with the studio since it opened and we are very lucky to have him on our team! Not only has Bryan made the studio a special and fun place for patients to hang out, he has also been a great mentor to many of the students that have interned there! Learn more about him in his own words:

  • How long you have worked at Seacrest Studios? 4 years (since the studio opened!)
  • Favorite thing (game/activity, etc.) you do in studio: “What’s Behind Me.” It is a game we play in front of the green screen where we put up funny videos and photos and the host guesses where they are reporting from based on clues from callers and in-studio guests.
  • Most memorable studio guest (and why): Andy Grammar! He was such a kind person and was a great performer in the studio.  He actually even took requests for covers from the patients and families that came down.
  • Do you have a special hidden talent? Something that a lot of people don’t know about me is that I can play over 20 different instruments (Piccolo, Flute, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, French Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Baritone, Tuba, Xylophone, Drums, Various Percussion Instruments and Piano).

Thank you, Bryan, for making Seacrest Studios at CHOC such an awesome place to be!

Laurie Hernandez Visits Patients At Seacrest Studios Orange County

Written Recap by: Seacrest Studios Intern, Breeana Kovelman
Video Recap by: Seacrest Studios Intern, Carrie Smith

This past Valentine’s Day, Seacrest Studios at Children’s Hospital Orange County was visited by Laurie Hernandez, Olympian gymnast and Dancing with the Stars champ. Taking a break from her busy DWTS tour, Hernandez stopped by to hang out with some biggest fans in the hospital.

Hernandez sat down for a quick interview to talk about her experiences in the Olympics and with Dancing with the Stars. When asked about her time in Rio, she explained how exhilarating it was to be part of the Olympics and how much she enjoyed meeting people from all over the world. Where would she meet all of these athletes? In the cafeteria! She also talked about how important it was to maintain a healthy diet to stay in shape for her events.

When asked how she became inspired to be an athlete, Hernandez spoke about when she was very young, “I saw a gymnast on TV and I told my mom, ‘that’s what I want to do!’” She knew from the beginning exactly what she wanted to pursue in life and she has taken that determination to great lengths. And it was easy to tell how Hernandez also earned the nickname, “the Human Emoji” from her smiling face and animated expressions throughout her visit.

Even though she had two injuries back in 2014 involving her wrist and her knee, Hernandez mentioned how badly she wanted to get back to competing with all of her fellow athletes. Even though it felt like she was missing out, Hernandez knew how important it was to let herself rest, heal, and fully recover. She did recover and it obviously did not hold her back from being a gold and silver medalist in the 2016 Rio Olympics! Hernandez also has written a book I Got This: To Gold and Beyond to share her inspiring journey.

As if participating in the Olympics and writing a book did not make her busy enough, Hernandez also competed in Season 23 of Dancing with the Stars, winning the mirrorball trophy with her partner, Val Chmerkovskiy. Hernandez spoke about how competing as a gymnast differed from performing for DWTS. She definitely had butterflies for both! But in the dance competition, she mentioned the challenge of implementing the judges critique from the last performance as she learned an entirely new routine each week. Quite a contrast in pace compared to her gymnastics. The competition was a whirlwind of dance origins lessons, choreography rehearsals, stage rehearsals, and costume fittings. Her favorite performance was her final dance that involved a Foxtrot-Tango fusion where she truly enjoyed combining both of the dance styles.

Next, some of the children in the studio asked Hernandez some of their own questions. Such as, “do you have any siblings?” (Yes, she’s the youngest of three!) and “what is the longest you’ve held a handstand away from a wall?” (Two whole minutes!). Following a quick break, Hernandez played a game of “Flip or Flop” where we learned whether or not she was daring enough to do certain things.   She would go skydiving, hang-gliding, or ziplining but would not go swimming in a shark cage or go white water rafting (unless it was with her “Final Five” teammates).

Thank you Laurie for visiting us!


RSF Ambassador Nick Jonas Visits Seacrest Studios Orange County

Patients and families welcomed RSF Ambassador, Nick Jonas, to Seacrest Studios at Children’s Hospital of Orange County. Nick sat down for an interview in studio and then took pictures and signed autographs for every patient that visited with him. He also took the time to visit some of the patients in their rooms that couldn’t make it down to the studio.


During his interview we found out that if Nick hadn’t become a singer, he would have loved to become a professional bowler. Answering questions from patients, Nick spoke about his love of music and the secrets behind how they shot his new album cover.

Our patients loved having Nick in studio and the buzz around his visit has lasted weeks after. Thank you to Nick Jonas for giving patients and families such an amazing memory.

Gigi Hadid Makes Patients Smile At Seacrest Studios

Video by: Seacrest Studios Intern, Victoria “Tori” Edgar

Patients at Children’s Hospital of Orange County were excited to welcome Gigi Hadid, during her recent visit to Seacrest Studios. Gigi spoke about her time shooting the Bad Blood music video with Taylor Swift, and how much fun it was to get their group of friends together since they are all often busy with other projects.

During her visit, Gigi also took photos and signed autographs for patients…and even took a nap with a young patient who was too tired for a photo.

Thank you, Gigi, for a great visit!


Sofia Carson Has a Wicked Good Time at Seacrest Studios

Written recap by: Seacrest Studios Intern, Anna Wozniewicz

This fall, Sofia Carson visited the Seacrest Studios at Children’s Hospital of Orange County. Sofia, from the Disney Channel Original Movie “Descendants,” talked about her experiences playing Evie, the Evil Queen’s daughter, in the movie.  Patients and their families hung out in studio to meet Sofia and ask her questions during her interview!

Sofia explained that her favorite song from the movie is “Rotten To The Core,” but that her favorite song of all time is “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Elvis Presley. One girl shared her own story with Sofia, admitting that Sofia’s role in the movie inspired and influenced her so much. Sofia told us a lot about the behind-the-scenes side of filming ”Descendants,” explaining how certain scenes were shot with a green screen. She also joked that, thankfully, her mom is not as evil as the Evil Queen in the movie.

After the interview, Sofia spent time talking with patients and their families, autographing posters, and taking pictures with the kids. Everyone in the studio had a great time – thank you, Sofia!



Robin Thicke Answers Patient Questions At Seacrest Studios

Video Recap by: Seacrest Studios Intern, Kelsey Dalzell
Written Recp by: Seacrest Studios Intern, Andrea Hammer

Robin Thicke made a special visit to Seacrest Studios at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County. The studio filled with patients eager to meet the singer, who shook the hands of everyone in the room upon entering. After a short interview including a rapid-fire game of Robin Thicke’s favorite things, he answered questions from patients in the room before signing autographs and taking pictures.

We learned that Robin Thicke prefers mustard to ketchup, peanut butter chocolate ice cream, and even got some words of wisdom from the star. Robin’s piece of advice for a successful career: “Find something that you love…there are jobs for everybody out there that you can actually enjoy doing.”

It was wonderful having Robin in studio and we hope to see him again soon!

Rachel Platten Sings ‘Fight Song’ at Seacrest Studios in Orange County

Written Recap by: Seacrest Studios Intern Kameron Backstrom

Video Recap by: Seacrest Studios Intern Amanda Lee


Singer and Songwriter Rachel Platten visited Seacrest Studios at Children’s Hospital of Orange County to visit patients and families.

When Rachel was asked why she enjoys music she said, “Music has been something I have loved ever since I was a kid, my mom and I always used to sit by the piano and just sing together.”

Patients and families were given the opportunity to take pictures, get autographs and even request their favorite song for Rachel to cover on the spot. Rachel also performed her hit, “Fight Song,” for everyone.

Thank you Rachel for making this visit so special for every at Children’s Hospital of Orange County!