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RSF SPOTLIGHT: Meet Our Charlotte Studio Manager

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

MEET MEREDITH!

      

Meredith, the studio manager of Seacrest Studios at Levine Children’s Hospital takes having fun, seriously! Always smiling and ready to play, Meredith exudes positivity and has made being in studio such a special and exciting experience. Learn more about her in her own words:

  • How long you have worked at Seacrest Studios? About a year and a half! Since March 2016.
  • Favorite thing (game/activity, etc.) you do in studio: I dress up as Anna from Frozen every Wednesday to play Bingo and deliver prizes to all of our patients at Levine Children’s Hospital.
  • Most memorable studio guest (and why}: Our patients that host their own unique hour-long shows! Celebrity-wise, I would pick Madisyn Shipman from Nickelodeon’s Gameshakers. She was so touched from her studio visit that she created a once-in-a-lifetime “prom” experience for Joe, a cystic fibrosis patient, on her own time with the help of Levine Children’s Hospital.
  • Do you have a special hidden talent? I can make towel animals, speak French, N64 Master, human jukebox/identify any song faster than Shazam.

Thank you, Meredith, we are grateful for the time you have spent making Seacrest Studios such an awesome place to be. 

New Kids On The Block Visit Patients At Seacrest Studios Charlotte

Video by Intern, Isabella Branham
Blog Post by Intern, Robert Rubino

New Kids On The Block took time from The Total Package Tour to hang in Seacrest Studios at Levine Children’s Hospital. Since the band is originally from New England, they all agree that the south brings true “southern hospitality” along with the hustle and bustle of a big city. From north to south and coast to coast, NKOTB agrees that one of the most important things you can do while traveling is learn the culture from the people. Whether you wind up in a big city like Pittsburgh or a small town in Utah, everyone will have an interesting story that can connect people together with similarities or differences.

Since their most recent album, Thankful, released in May, it only seemed fitting to go around the room and have the boys share what they were all thankful for. It turned out that great minds do think alike and two members voted “family” while the other two voted for “the present.” When asked to elaborate, Danny and Jordan expressed their gratitude in being able to see or talk to their family between tours or recordings. Joe and Donnie both agreed that being able to “live in the now” must come in handy when the “adult world” becomes chaotic and stressful.

Taking a trip to the past, Joe and Danny were asked what their favorite childhood memories were and both shared what their favorite Christmas presents were. Joe recalled quite nostalgically about the day he walked into the dining room and seeing the ventriloquist doll he had been wanting for the past few months while Danny remembered receiving a Godzilla figure that he still keeps to this day. Before the times of Twitter and other forms of social media, the band mentioned how they would spend the whole day replying back to letters they received from their fans. However, letters definitely hold their own sort of charm to them since everyone’s handwriting is unique and receiving a handwritten letter from your favorite boy band is something anyone would always treasure.

Before leaving the guys were asked about advice for any of the patients going through tough times. Without hesitation, Jordan reminded Seacrest Studios that “children are stronger than we think” and are “much more accepting of tough situations” and that was inspiring.

It was great to see that NKOTB had not lost their childlike wonder and reminded Levine Children’s Hospital to be “thankful” for every minute that ticks by.

Patients at Seacrest Studios Charlotte Interview Dierks Bentley!

Written by: Seacrest Studios Intern, Lillie Burrow
Video by: Seacrest Studios Interns, Gracie Thompson & Sarah Ann Craven

We kicked off Dierks Bentley’s visit at Levine Children’s Hospital with a round of questions from our patients. We learned that his favorite Charlotte activity is visiting the Science Discovery Museum with his kids! In an extensi

During the interview, we learned Dierks has an affinity for vegetables, and if he were to have a statue made of him, he would pose with his fists in the air as if on stage in front of a cheering crowd. Dierks admitted that was one of his favorite questions, but our favorite moment was Dierks showcasing his version of the running man and attempting a DJ voice.

Dierks played a round of “Guess that Country Music Star,” and one could say he knew his colleagues pretty well. Dierks and Bryson even sang “Huntin, Fishin, and Lovin Every Day” together. Afterward, Gray quizzed Dierks on his favorite holiday and was so adamant Christmas is the best holiday that he convinced Dierks to change his answer from The Fourth of July to Christmas, too.

When asked whom he resembled, Dierks had the studio laughing when he humbly confessed he looks like Brad Pitt; however, a highlight of the visit was when he was asked, “What is one word you would use to describe yourself,” and Dierks said he hoped it would be grateful.

We sure are grateful for your visit, Dierks! Thanks for a fabulous afternoon full of fun games and unforgettable dance moves!

Julianne & Derek Hough Dance With Patients All Around Seacrest Studios Charlotte!

Video by: Meredith Dean & Katie Anger
Blog Post by: Annie Lewis & Karleigh Holt
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Seacrest Studios at Levine Children’s Hospital welcomed Julianne and Derek Hough with open arms for an interview, games, and pictures with patients. The siblings, originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, told patients and staff about their childhood. At only 10 years old, the dynamic duo ventured to London to train in ballroom dancing. Both Julianne and Derek are triple threats meaning they can dance, sing, and act! The brother and sister are most known for joining Dancing with the Stars where they won a combined total of eight mirror ball trophies. Julianne is now the fourth permanent judge on the show while Derek recently began judging on a brand new show titled World of Dance.

While at the studio, the duo began their interview revealing their secret talents. Julianne showed us a 3-leaf clover with her tongue while Derek shared his secret ability to play many different instruments like the guitar and piano. When asked about what their proudest moments are, Julianne explained how proud she was about returning to the U.S. after going to London. She told us about her desire to have a normal high school experience as well as pursuing her dreams of acting, singing, and dancing.

Family and friends are pivoting factors in Julianne and Derek’s life and career. Derek shared that his role models included friends, family, as well as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and his strong work ethic. Derek also mentioned he has always looked up to Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire for their innovative choreography and their passion for dance. Julianne’s role model is her oldest sister who and her mother who juggled motherhood, being a flight attendant as well as a dance instructor. Derek told us that since he is the only boy out of six children, he always refers to his sisters as a “beautiful hurricane”.

The talented duo was extremely approachable and interactive with the patients. Julianne played a game where she guessed the dance and song in Season 5 of Dancing with the Stars based only on her costume. She matched every single costume with the correct dance and song! The two also played freeze dance as they energetically danced with all the patients and even showed them some new dance moves. At the conclusion of the interview, Julianne and Derek left the patients with some words of advice. Derek encourage patients to “always follow your bliss” and to “find joy in the small things.” Julianne reiterated, “Love is the driving force” and told the patients, “you are always a force of nature.” We loved having the two here and hope they will come back to see us at Seacrest Studios Charlotte!

 

RSF SPOTLIGHT: Meet Bryson

Bryson, a patient and the “mayor” of Levine Children’s Hospital, is a Seacrest Studios all-star.

Loren Gray, Harvey Cantrell & Tyler Brown Stars Visit Seacrest Studios Charlotte

Video Recap by Katie Anger
Blog Post by Samantha Green
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Digitour stars Loren Gray, Harvey Cantwell, and Tyler Brown visited patients in Seacrest Studios at Levine Children’s Hospital and even got their own DJ names (DJ Lo, DJ H-Dawg, and DJ Ty-Nizzle). The online superstars made time for a visit before their DIGITOUR performance. Loren told our patients to “always keep a smile on your face, to take everything day by day, and to try and make the best out of every situation”. She said meeting her fans is always an, “eye opening experience and when you’re on the internet you don’t know the impact that you have until you see it in person.”

They brought their personalities and performances to life and shared their best Seacrest Studios DJ voice. They played numerous games with the patients including Finish Those Lyrics as the patients got to hear a preview of their incredible voices. Harvey told our patients to, “listen to music, that’s what gets me through my day.” Harvey mentions that when meeting his fans, “you don’t know if you’re going to meet their expectations.” Tyler encouraged our patients that, “everything gets better and to just keep moving forward.” Additionally, Tyler shared a story of his favorite childhood memory, when he went to sea-world and was splashed by the whales.  Loren said if she could travel anywhere in the world she would go to Paris, her favorite movie is Star Wars, and if she could be any Disney character it would be Tinker Bell. She joked that she has a habit of repeating the word “awesome” on stage because she thinks everything is awesome. Since he is from England, Harvey was quizzed on his British knowledge, successfully naming all the members of the Spice Girls! His favorite holiday is Christmas and he loves giving people presents. Harvey spent some time asking one of LCH’s patients about Cat in the Hat.

LCH Charlotte enjoyed a fun filled day with these three and hope they visit again soon!

Brett Young Answers Patient Questions In Seacrest Studios Charlotte

Recap by Seacrest Studios Interns, Karleigh Holt and Isabella Calpakis

Seacrest Studios at Levine Children’s Hospital received a visit from country star, Brett Young! He is originally from Orange County, California, and was a college baseball player. However, after getting injured, he decided to take up songwriting. He now lives in Nashville, with his dog, Oscar. Patients and their family members gathered to meet Brett and hear him perform. He performed on air one of his most popular songs, “In Case You Didn’t Know,” and had patients in awe with his beautiful voice. We tested his hula hooping skills in the studio, and the 6’5” country star let his silly side come out. We asked him questions about himself- Brett told us about the blanket, “Mr. Blankie”, he had when he was younger that he couldn’t sleep without! (He actually still has that blanket!)

When asked about how to handle unexpected things that stand in the way of pursuing your dreams, he said, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans. If something doesn’t work out, then there’s a reason for it.” Brett showed off his country music knowledge as he played the lyric game, requiring him to fill in the blanks. He knew every single question! He worked with another patient, making a great team. He has previously opened for Luke Bryan, and said that the two of them are friends. He ended his visit by signing autographs and taking pictures with patients and fans. Brett’s smile lit up the room, making his visit definitely one to remember. We can’t wait until he comes back to visit again!

Madisyn Shipman Talks About “Game Shakers’ At Seacrest Studios!

Recap by Seacrest Studios Intern, Gwendolyn Gies
Video by Seacrest Studios Interns, Katie Anger and Nichole Mondshein

Madisyn Shipman from Nickelodeon’s Game Shakers visited Seacrest Studios at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, NC on Friday. A North Carolina native herself, Madisyn shared what she misses most about home when she has to film in California: the Southern food! “If it’s southern, it’s great,” she exclaimed. The patients in the studio were happy to hear that Madisyn’s favorite team is the Carolina Panthers. “I have to support the Panthers. I actually went to go see them against the Rams, and they won,” she said. “It was all over my Snapchat.”

When she isn’t eating Carolina BBQ or cheering on the Panthers, she is in California filming Game Shakers, a show about two Brooklyn seventh graders who start a multi-million dollar virtual gaming company. It’s a great show that focuses on girl power, specifically shining a light on female coders. Madisyn remarked that being on TV is “really surreal.” “It really hasn’t processed to me that I’m still on a Nickelodeon show,” she said. “Whenever you turn on the TV and see yourself, it’s just a weird feeling; but it’s pretty awesome because you’re inspiring so many young kids.”

Her favorite thing about being on Game Shakers is the cast and crew. “We have a special bond. We’re all best friends,” she explained. “The cast is amazing, and the crew, they’re just always looking out for us. If we ever need help with something, they’re always there for us.” Madisyn remembered the time the crew came to the rescue with some duct tape when she broke one of the computers during a run through after pushed it off a cart, sending it crashing to the floor. She told us that she is “the clumsiest person you will ever meet.” “I drop everything. I bet you, in at least every episode, I break at least one thing.”

Not to worry though because, as Madisyn explained, most of the technology you see on Game Shakers is actually green screen. When they film, the actors don’t know what they’re pointing to, or even what they’re playing. “We are just swiping, and tapping and doing whatever, and then they figure something out and put it in.” She personally doesn’t make the games that are featured in the show, but sometimes the Nickelodeon game makers and coders like the cast to play them and get a feel for it before they’re used on air.

As for Sky Whale, the featured game on Game Shakers that is available for download, Madisyn is, according to her, “the worst player,” boasting a score of a mere 300 points!

Thank you Madisyn for your special visit…we really enjoyed having you at Seacrest Studios!

 

Tucker Beathard Sings To Patients In Seacrest Studios Charlotte

Video Recap by: Nichole Mondshein, Seacrest Studios Intern
Blog by: Karleigh Holt, Seacrest Studios Intern 

We kicked off the new year at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte with a visit from Tucker Beathard! We learned about the inspiration behind his music and his advice to listeners on following their dreams. He said that he has “always been a believer in following your heart” and “tuning out what others say”. He showed his competitive side as he played the “Tucker 12” where he told us about his 12 favorites in under a minute.

Tucker’s interests range from football to dolphins to Reese’s Puffs to Spiderman! His country music knowledge was tested as he worked with a patient to fill in the blanks for the lyrics of the popular country song and its name. (As expected, the two got most of them right!) We also learned about his experience being a big brother as well as his fashion sense, where he told us about his cross necklace — he can’t leave home without it! To finish off the visit, Tucker sang and played guitar, performing an acoustic version of his most popular song, “Rock On” (as listeners sang along.) Following his performance, Tucker also spent time visiting patients’ rooms, signing autographs, and handing out guitar picks. Patients gladly accepted Tucker’s kind gifts and smiled proudly for their pictures with him. He met Bryson, a loyal Seacrest Studios fan, who couldn’t stop grinning as Tucker talked to him. Bryson introduced all of his stuffed animals to Tucker and even showed him his brand new John Deere tractor. We are so grateful for the time that Tucker spent with us and hope he will return back to Seacrest Studios soon!

 

Sadie Robertson Shares Her Dance Moves At Levine Children’s Hospital!

Recap by Laura Little

Video by Nichole Mondshein

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It was a big day for Levine Children’s Hospital when Sadie Robertson and many of the other Robertson’s came to visit Seacrest Studios! Sadie, Cole, Brighton, Reed, and John Luke stopped by to brighten the day with advice, funny stories, dance contests, and even played a round of “Guess that Beard”. Many of our patients had the opportunity to ask them some of their very own questions and even judged the Robertson’s during their dance contest.

Sadie gave us some insight into fashion, Dancing with the Stars, and explained why she thinks Duck Dynasty has been so successfulWhen revealing her thoughts about who she thinks will take the Mirror Ball Trophy this season on Dancing with the Stars, she said “This is a really good season, but probably Lorie and Val because she is an absolutely incredible dancer and because she’s the youngest one, so I kind of have to root for her.” Sadie was the first runner up on season 19 of DWTS and shined in every dance genre. Her view on DWTS is very valued at LCH, just as her view fashion is. Sadie said, “I love fashion. It’s fun because everyone expresses themselves differently. I have on pink nails right now and it kind of sets your mood for the day I feel like. So make it fun, maybe add a little sparkle to your day. I also am a big fan of socks. So I would say go with the cute socks, anything that make you happy.” When asked if they expected their hit reality TV show “Duck Dynasty” would be as successful as it is, she told us that her family is just “weird and crazy” and that they never would have guessed it would be such a hit.  “It’s crazy! It blows our mind.”

After gracing us with advice and tips, it was time for some fun! The Robertson’s participated in “Dancing with the Patients” at Levine Children’s Hospital! Each family member showed us their go-to dance moves and broke it down for the patients in the studio. They were critically judged by three of our most qualified and energetic patients. Though no one received scoring lower than an eight, the competition was fierce! Shortly after, the Robertson’s played a few rounds of “Guess that Beard”, a game that was seemingly a breeze for this crew! Without skipping a beat, they knew nearly every beard, even the trick ones. Their skills were very impressive.

Sadie and her family were a hit at Levine Children’s Hospital and we are so thankful they took time out of their schedule to visit us. They touched the lives for many of our patients but they leave without a prize! When one of our patients asked Sadie if she had a boyfriend, she informed him that she was single. “Well great, then I will be your boyfriend!” he said. Sadie responded with “I would be honored to be you girlfriend.” Thank you Sadie and Family!