Ever since high school, whenever someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always answered, “I want to become a radio personality on a morning talk radio show!”
This dream started when I was just fourteen. I had downloaded the iHeart Radio app on my phone and was scrolling through the various stations when I heard laughter that compelled me to stop on a certain station. It was a morning talk radio show based in New York City. I quickly fell in love and would tune in every day. Although I didn’t know the people who were talking, I felt that I could relate to them and I felt as if we were all friends just having a normal conversation.
As a girl from a small town in southwest Washington, I never thought about making a career out of radio. When I started to apply to college and began to think about possible future career options, there was only one clear answer, radio. I chose to follow a path in Communication Studies because I knew that knowing how to communicate effectively, and learning how others communicate, is a very important aspect of radio. I chose Chapman because of the amazing reputation, opportunities, connections and, of course, the perfect location to the entertainment industry.
I was able to get involved with radio broadcasting when I stepped on Chapman’s campus last year through Chapman Radio’s class and club. Through Chapman Radio I learned important skills such as how to effectively interview, how to develop a radio voice, FCC regulations, and I also learned about my current internship!
This semester, I have been interning at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) in their Child Life Department with Seacrest Studios. I first learned about this internship through Chapman Radio. Seacrest Studios is a broadcast center within the hospital that has a full radio station and production studio that is run entirely by interns. Every hospital room has a television and shows are broadcasted into the rooms straight from the studio. Each intern gets the opportunity to help host the daily Bingo game, create a personalized hour long radio show, and produce a thirty-minute television show. The children are able to interact from their hospital rooms by calling in, and some of them even come down to the studio to help us with our daily broadcasts.
My favorite memory from my internship is actually from my first day. Kids will often wander into the studio and not know what they want to do. When this happens, we’ll put the green screen down and ask them what their favorite movie or television show is, and put them in their favorite show. On my first day in the studio we had a lot of children coming in, but there was one little girl who really impacted me. She was very shy and would only talk to us through her mom. Her mom told us that her favorite movie was Moana and that How Far I’ll Go is her favorite song from the movie. We stood her in front of the green screen and put her in the music video for How Far I’ll Go. She stood completely still and belted out every single lyric to the song. As soon as the song was over, she asked if she could be in the Let It Go music video from Frozen. Seeing a shy little girl hiding behind her mom’s legs transform into an energetic, smiling girl who never wanted to stop singing her favorite songs was amazing. I learned right away how meaningful my internship was. I realized that the studio was a place for the kids to escape their reality, and it was a place for them to live out their dreams. Every kid who leaves the studio is able to leave with a big smile on their face.
My goal going into this internship was to make every kid I interacted with smile, which proved to be so much easier than I had first anticipated. Their excitement, joy, and curiosity about the studio makes everything so worth it, they want to be there just as much as I do. They want to be able to play games, and talk on the radio, and even host their own television show. Giving the kids the power to discover radio and television and help them love it as much as I do is one of the most rewarding experiences. Whether it’s telling us about their favorite television show over the radio, or dancing an interpretive dance to their favorite song in front of the green screen, the kids at CHOC are always smiling. Media is very powerful, as it brings us together, and it has been an amazing experience to watch it firsthand every week.