Taylor’s speech: Rehearsals VS Real performance
"I’m dancing on my own//I make the moves up as I go."
It’s finally time I write up exactly what happened to me this weekend. For those not interested in reading long stories, in short, I was invited to Taylor Swift’s house on Saturday and hung out with her while listening to her unreleased new album, 1989. For the long version, read on…
Thursday, September 18th, 2014 — I received a private message via Twitter from Taylor Nation. I was offered an exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but was sworn to secrecy. If I was interested (IF?!?!), I was to reply with my full name and phone number. When they finally called me, I was told I needed to be available the following Saturday. I was given a meeting place, a time to meet, a password to provide when I get there and exactly ZERO other details. I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into.
Saturday, September 20th, 2014 — I arrived at the meeting location at 4:30pm and was joined by 30 other fans. We were checked in by Taylor’s team and turned in all of our belongings including our phones and purses. We still were not given any details about what we were there for. We were all put on a shuttle bus and that is when we had all resigned ourselves to meeting Taylor. We weren’t officially told that is what we were going to do, but it was implied and we deduced it was the only reason why they would be so secretive and take all of the precautions that they did.
The bus drove us through a Beverly Hills neighborhood until it finally pulled into a driveway. We had arrived at THE Taylor Swift’s house. I repeat, we had arrived at TAYLOR SWIFT’S HOUSE. We each had to go through a last security check to make sure we had no belongings on us.
We were led through her backyard where there was quite the impressive food set-up. We were told to help ourselves to anything we wanted. There was pepperoni pizza, vegetarian sushi, fruits and veggies and a dessert table filled with brownies, cookies and so much more. I will never be able to process the thoughts that went through my head while having a meal in Taylor Swift’s backyard. I was chatting with my new friends, completely comfortable in the situation, until it would dawn on me all over again about the absolute insanity that I had somehow ended up in Taylor Swift’s home.
When we were done eating, they filed us inside and we made ourselves comfortable in her living room. There were candles everywhere, framed photos of her and Selena, amongst many other pics of her other friends and family, various awards on her shelves and a cute, comfy chair placed right in the front of the room.
That’s when Taylor herself walked into the room and we all lost it. There were a ton of tears, laughter and hugging. Tissues were passed around. Taylor was so happy to see us and so excited that we were so excited. She told us that she had been planning this for months and had been looking at all her fan’s social media accounts to find the ones she wanted to invite. She thought it was so weird to see our photos on the internet and then to see us in real life. Yeah, ditto, Taylor.
She finally explained that the reason she invited us over was so she could play her unreleased album, 1989, for us. She said the only thing she asked of us is that we keep the song titles and lyrics to ourselves. She went through each song and described the song-writing process and inspiration behind each one. If I chose one word to describe the album, it would be SASSY. I cannot wait for the rest of the world to hear it! It’s so bold and impressive and the lyrics are to die for. I already have a favorite that I hope will be the next single because it’s absolutely brilliant, so I’m crossing my fingers! Taylor lip-synched along to each song and was loving it. She loved our reactions even more.
Halfway through the album, she announced it was a time for a break. We could use this break to go to the bathroom if needed (I think everyone suddenly and conveniently had the urge to) or get a snack. Some people got to go upstairs to use her second bathroom. That was when she brought our her cat, Olivia Benson, for us to meet and play with. She tried to bring out her other famous cat, Meredith, but Meredith was fussy and wanted nothing to do with us so she put her away. There was a room near the livingroom with the door open and a huge piano inside. This has relevance later in my story.
Next, she brought out a tray of homemade pumpkin chocolate chip cookies that she baked herself. She walked around and passed them all out to us.
When the break was over, we all headed back into the living room and started up the listening session again. When describing one of the songs, Taylor’s mom interrupted by saying, “Taylor, tell them where you wrote this one!” to which Taylor replied, “Oh! In the piano room right there!”
The final song she played was, of course, Shake It Off. She stood up and had everyone stand up with her so we can dance with her. I had a dance party with Taylor Swift in her own living room! It was so great! She was very interactive with each one of us. We were all shouting the lyrics along with her and she was so happy. My favorite part was the talking section in the middle of the song because we all had those lyrics memorized and were screaming along to it. When the song ended she asked if we wanted to take pictures (naturally) and she put her music on shuffle. The first song that played was Backseat Freestyle by Kendrick Lamar. She spoke in a recent article about knowing every single lyric to that song and I can now confirm to you that she absolutely knew every. single. lyric. It turned into round 2 of a dance party and she sang along to it. You don’t know humor until you’ve witnessed Taylor Swift sing the words, “I pray my dick get big as the Eiffel Tower, so I can fuck the world for seventy-two hours.”
It was finally time to take our photos with Taylor. She took us one at a time and let us pose however we wanted with her. When it was my turn, she greeted me with a hug and the first thing she told me was that I was beautiful. When I told her that she was as well, she said, “no, really you are.” I told her that I had told my friends just a few weeks prior that I had made a goal for myself to meet her this era and I never, ever imagined that it would happen in this capacity. She said she thought this experience was as equally cool for her as it was for us. I also told her that I recently cut about 10 inches off my hair, inspired in part by her recent hair cut, and she told me she loved it and that I’m going to keep wanting to go shorter. I asked if I could hold her Grammy for the photo and if she could pretend like she was presenting it to me, which made her laugh and say, “That’s such a good idea!” After that photo, it was time to say goodbye and as I was walking away, she asked the girl taking the photos, “Isn’t her hair so pretty?” TAYLOR SWIFT THINKS BOTH MY HAIR AND MY FACE ARE PRETTY. As I walked out the side door, I was given a Taylor Swift tote bag filled with all sorts of 1989 merchandise, including a key chain that was engraved with, “1989 Secret Sessions - Los Angeles, Ca”.
With that, the best day of my life was over. We were shuttled back to the meeting place and, once again, given instructions not to share any details about the songs or lyrics.
I would like to thank taylorswift for being the incredible, humble, gracious human being that she is. Opening up her home to me and a few other lucky fans was beyond any of our wildest dreams. She was so genuine and appreciative of everything we said to her. I still am trying to process that it actually happened to me and that it wasn’t a dream. It really happened.
Taylor Swift invited me, Sammie Carter, to her home and I will never forget that night for as long as I live.
CBS Radio is happy to announce the return of We Can Survive on October 24, 2014!
You won’t want to miss this year’s line-up, which includes performances from Taylor Swift, Pharrell Williams, Ariana Grande, Lady Antebellum, Iggy Azalea, Paramore and Sia with a special appearance by Gwen Stefani. The crew will take over the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles once again for a night of songs, spectacle and surprises.
This year the stellar show will be hosted by Carson Daly of 97.1 AMP Radio.
A limited number of tickets for We Can Survive, presented by 5 Hour Energy, will go on sale starting on Sept. 22 at 10:00 AM PT for Citi Private Pass members, ending on Sept. 25 at 10:00 PM PT. Tickets will be available to everyone starting on Sept. 26 at 10:00 AM PT via Ticketmaster. The pre-sale can be found here.
A portion of ticket sales will benefit Living Beyond Breast Cancer and Young Survival Coalition, two organizations dedicated to supporting and educating women and families who have experienced breast cancer. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide and the second-most common cancer overall. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, designed to increase awareness of the disease.(x)
I haven’t fully processed that this ACTUALLY happened. The album is amazing… I cannot wait to hear it again. Her house is amazing. Olivia is so soft. Those cookies she made are BOMB. She wasn’t kidding when she said she knew every word to Kendrick’s song. She told me to never cut my hair. Her parents and team are SO friendly. She simply is the most genuinely humble and excitable person I have ever met. I’ll never get over it.
ZM Online Radio Interview
Taylor Swift is in Las Vegas to perform at the iHeartRadio Music Festival and she did an amazing job! Jay caught up with her and she chatted about possibly dropping her country roots, being a role model for younger women and more. (x)
[About Bethany of Dancing with the Stars dancing to Shake It Off]
Taylor liked this on Tumblr (x)