I received a phone call from TaylorNation in September and a member from TaylorNation asked me if I was available the 26-28. I received a direct message through Twitter from TaylorNation, the day before the call took place, asking for general information about myself. So of course I told them I was available because I figured this must be important and then they told me that I was invited to a special, very secretive, event that would take place on the 28th of September in Nashville. I thought this was so cool and had no idea what this event was about. Not once did they tell me I would be meeting Taylor, but I just knew based on this feeling I had. I had seen posts on twitter about fans getting invited to Taylor’s house in Los Angeles, California about a week earlier, so I figured this was the same thing but in her home in Nashville.
On the 28th, I prepared for a six hour journey from North Carolina to Nashville to meet Taylor. When we arrived there was more people there than expected, later I found out 88 other fans were invited as well. After arriving I received a sun stamp on my hand as well as a green starred wristband with a number 2 on it. Then I was loaded onto a bus to wait. During the waiting period, a security guard came on the bus and told us that we were special and we weren’t crazy, that’s why we were here. He told us that we are going to someone’s home and how we needed to treat it with respect. After all the buses were full, we were off to go to another location which ended up to be the home of Taylor’s parents.
Their house is beautiful, I wish I could tell you more about it but to respect their privacy, I won’t go into great detail on it. We were escorted into the backyard area where we all had to go through another security check point before going to the pool area outside. Yes, there was a pool, and yes it was beautiful. We were told to enjoy the refreshments while we waited to go inside. There was a whole assortment of food from pizza to teriyaki chicken on a stick to sushi. All of it was amazing. I was so nervous and excited that I barely finished all that was on my plate, I noticed almost everyone else was the same way. I met Tree Paine, Taylor's publicist, while we were eating and waiting to go inside. She was such a sweetheart and talked to us for quite a bit! Once everyone had a chance to eat, we were escorted inside the house where we were told to sit on the floor which were filled with pillows, cushions, and blankets. I figured it was a living room, but it was huge! All 89 of us and some of Taylor’s staff fit in this room. It was beautiful. Then her staff started passing out tissues to everyone which I thought was necessary, if my assumption was right. So after about 30 minutes of waiting and meeting new people, who later became some of the greatest friends I have, the one and only, Taylor appears in the entry way yelling, “Hey, Guys!” Everyone’s faces when from pure shock, to screaming, and then bursting into tears.
The tissue was very helpful for all of us, because we were complete and utter messes. She mentioned that we were in her parent’s living room where all the family functions like Christmases were held. Taylor also told us to turn and say hello to her parents who were sitting in two chairs at the back of the room. She then told us that we would be listening to the new album 1989 early. Then we started screaming again. Taylor explained to us that first, we can’t talk about the songs until the album comes out. Second, that what happens at the secret sessions, stays in the secret sessions. So I will have to jump to the end of the 1989 secret sessions but before I do, I will say that during the intermission, she brought out cookies that she baked on a serving tray. Told us to get whatever we wanted. The cookies were amazing. Also she let her cat, Olivia Benson, come out to visit, and we got to pet her. Unfortunately she couldn’t get Meredith Gray, her other cat, out from underneath the bed. So we listened to the rest of the album after the intermission, and at the end she played “Shake It Off”, which is a song already released, and we had a dance party with Taylor in the middle of the living room.
Once the dance party ended, we were escorted outside where we had to wait till the number on our wristband was called. Number 1 was called first and everyone with that number went to the door to go back inside. By this time, I figured we were going in by groups. Then the twos were called to the door, and we were told to wait at the door until someone told us to go inside. After what seemed like a lifetime, group 2 was told to go inside. Taylor’s Mom, Andrea, was coming through the door as we were going in and told us all hello. She then started talking to us and that she was going to another part of the house to let her dogs out for a bit. Once inside, Taylor’s Dad, Scott, talked to us all and asked where we were from. He then told us that Taylor was excited to meet us and that she had baked for two days straight. We all told him thanks for letting us in their home and then he left to go outside too.
We waited for the rest of group one to finish and then we stood in a line in the living room waiting to meet Taylor. I couldn’t believe it. I was standing in line waiting to meet her and I couldn’t believe she was right there in front of me. After all this time of trying so hard to meet her, it was finally happening. Before too long, it was my turn to meet her. I immediately told her I loved her and thanked her for inviting me, and that I didn’t know what I did to deserve it. She said she loved me too and thanked me for coming. I started crying when I tried to thank her for songs that meant so much to me, and I apologized for crying. She said, “Awww, Baby. It’s okay! Don’t apologize.” She smiled at me and her team, who were about to take my picture, told me to calm down so I wouldn’t look red in my picture. They were so sweet. So I calmed down enough to take my picture with her and she asked me what pose I wanted to do. I asked if I could do a hugging picture with her while holding a Grammy, I mean it’s a Grammy, when will I ever hold another one again? She said of course and told me I was cute and that she wanted to do a squeeze hugging picture. After the picture was taken, I told her I thought I was never going to meet her and thanked her again. She hugged me and told me she loved me. Then we said our goodbyes and as I was leaving she told me to make sure I didn’t shake my Polaroid and it will take a while for our picture to show up.
Then I was escorted back to the backyard and then was handed a bag full of merchandise which included a key chain that had 1989 Secret Sessions Nashville, TN engraved on the back. I was told that only the people at this event received these key chains. I was then escorted back to the bus where I waited until the bus was full before it departed. We had spent about 6-7 hours with her. It was the best day ever, and all my dedication was worth it.
There was this competition done by a New Zealand magazine called Creme to met Taylor Swift, and after spending around 10 hours on my entry I was the lucky person who won. The story of finding out is rather entertaining. On the 20th of Feburary I walked out of one of my classes with 4 missed calls from the same number and I was like lol okay. Then I tried calling them back but it didn't work and my sister texted me and it said 'Mum told me your news you must be freaking out' and I was so confused then my friends and I were like this is so odd. Then Mum texted me saying 'Have you gotten a phone call?' Then both of them wouldn't tell me so I had an anxious and annoying last period wondering what was going on. Then on the bus ride home (The bus was completely full) I heard my ringtone so I answered my phone and the conversation went like this.
Emma: Hey is this Beatrice?
Emma: Oh hi! This is Emma from Creme magazine, did you enter our Taylor Swift competition.
Me: Yeah ~And I was like grabbing my friends arm who was next to me~
Emma: Well we are calling you to tell you that you're our winner.
Me: ~Screamed as loud as I could and everyone on the bus looks at me then I start crying and shaking~
And finally the day came! I ate hardly anything during the day because I was too excited to eat. After a 2 hour drive to Auckland and a few hours shopping my mum and I made our way down to the arena and picked up our passes. I was freaking out as the time neared closer and had to keep myself from crying. When it was time to let us into Vector Arena and we went up to a door and after waiting like 1/2 an hour they lead us backstage and into the T-Party room which was BEAUTIFUL. We were about 5th from the front and the second everyone heard Taylor speaking it went silent. And finally we were at the front, I kept having to fan my face to stop crying and the butterflies were going crazy in my stomach, and we were talking to Taylors security guard who was REALLY nice. He opened the curtain and said I could go in. I walked in and saw her, she was so flawless and gorgeous and certainly as nice as what everyone says. We walked up to each other and I gave her a present and all I was managing to say was OMG I LOVE YOU SO MUCH YOU ARE SO AMAZING I CAN’T BELIEVE ITS YOU. She said ‘you're so beautiful' then hugged me, and after the hug she said ‘You have such gorgeous eyes they are like an ocean bluey green” I was freaking out so much! Then we got our photo, and as it was being taken a tear was running down my cheek and straight after I pretty much burst out crying and Taylor hugged me again and said I was so sweet and then I had to leave which was sad. I don’t care that it was short because it was really all I could of asked for, and the concert was AMAZING and we had such good seats. So yeah that's really my story (: