Ryan Seacrest is the definition of a multitasker. At this exact moment, he is simultaneously producing five television series for different networks, preparing for the Golden Globes pre-show, hosting a daily radio show and the weekly TV's "American Top 40," as well as hosting TV's "American Idol."
Despite the exhaustion, stress and isolation this kind of lifestyle creates, Seacrest says he would have it no other way. "The reward and the fulfillment far outweighs the fatigue and the loneliness," he said of his busy schedule.
Seacrest has been somewhat of a jack of all trades since a young age.
"My life was school and football and student government," he said. "So I did a little bit of everything when I was a kid and that has become sort of become the motto of my business now, doing a little bit of everything."
His high school ambitions started Seacrest on a pattern of pursuing multiple interests at the same time, carefully studying his idols in each field. He became interested in a career with pop culture at a young age and meticulously researched his idols Dick Clark, Larry King, Merv Griffin and Casey Kasem to draw from the strengths of all of them in the pursuit of his own dreams.
"With Larry, he'll sit and ask questions not knowing where he's going to go. Not knowing where the guest is going to go. That's great," Seacrest said. "That's a massive security on the air. That's fantastic. You feel that confidence from him. Merv Griffin did something really amazing. And I still I just admire this so much. He would make every person on his show shine."
Drawing on what he learned, Seacrest has already begun to build an empire. In 2002, he began hosting "American Idol." In 2004, he took over for Kasem and began hosting "American Top 40."
Seacrest has lofty and grandiose goals — the kind people might laugh at, if they didn't know him.
"If I could have an entertainment company that produced television and radio and broke records and made stars and introduced up and coming stars to audiences, that would be fantastic. To host a show or two would be great, but I'd rather really have those shows be a part of our company," he said. "The plan is to produce pop culture."
Seacrest is well on his way, given the sheer number of pop culture projects he is currently involved with. However, it is the business, rather than the publicity or fame, that gives him his drive.
"I think all of us in this business love it when people are paying attention to us and love to be listened to or watched, but that's really not the driver for me," he said. "That is an added bonus and that is a lot of fun, but what is most exciting for me is problem solving, is figuring out how to bring all of these different components to work together simultaneously."
With these kinds of ambitions, it's no surprise that Seacrest doesn't get much sleep. He is so totally consumed by his business that he often wakes up in the middle of the night just to write down a new idea that popped into his head.
"I have a dry erase board at my house and I put up all the different things that I'm doing and I try and look at the macro approach of all of it," he said. "I'll wake up in the middle of the night and think of something and I'll go jot it down. And then the next day, I'll try to pick up that thought and run with it."