I Ended Up Spending The Day At Taylor Swift's House, And It's The Best Thing To Happen To Me

I Ended Up Spending The Day At Taylor Swift's House, And It's The Best Thing To Happen To Me

We will be remembered.
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On October 19th, 2017, I stepped foot into Taylor Swift’s house in Westerly, Rhode Island. As a fan of over eight years, you could only imagine how exciting and life changing this experience was for me. Taylor hand-picked me and around 60 other fans through social media to spend a day at her home and listen to her new album “Reputation” before it was released. We all met at an exclusive location near her home where we were escorted by drivers up the snake-like hill to her home. I had brought my boyfriend of over a year Andrew, who was completely out of his element surrounded by hyperventilating girls as we pulled up to her house.

Once inside, we were all in utter shock, we were inside of Taylor’s house! She had a delicious layout of food, including customized sweets to snack on. While snacking, I strolled through her magnificent home, personalized with family photos and even a picture of her and Ed Sheeran holding their cats. First her father, Scott came out with plenty of "Reputation" guitar picks in hand, which I shyly asked for. Once I finished speaking to him, Andrew came over asking him to put on the NBA game.

Soon enough a frazzled Scott was kindly trying to put on the game while we all laughed. Scott was so genuinely kind and smart, speaking with my boyfriend and me about college, sports and business. After speaking with Scott, Taylor’s mom, Andrea, also came downstairs to greet us. She was very warm and personable, reminiscing with us about their times on the Christmas tree farm. We also got to briefly speak to Austin, Taylor’s younger brother.

After speaking with her family, we were brought into Taylor’s living room where we plopped down on pillows that covered the floor. In front of us was a large chair where we assumed Taylor would sit. The anticipation slowly killed us all, as we belted out the beginning of “Fearless”. Then Taylor walked out. She looked beautiful with her signature cascading curls and crimson red lipstick. Cheerfully, she spoke to us about the past few years and explained the meaning behind every song on her new album. She also streamed the first 30 seconds of the “Ready for It” music video, which was still in its beginning stages.

Later, after we listened to the whole album, we scurried into her extended living room to read her newly exclusive magazines. Although the magazines were amazing, I was instantly drawn to her exquisite grand piano. Also, over there laid Taylor’s scrapbook from her 2013 4th of July party. Then to our surprise, Taylor made her way over to the piano.

With pounding hearts, we all stood in awe as she started playing “All Too Well.” For me, this was my favorite song by Taylor. I could play it by heart on all six of my instruments, sung it for my 9th-grade art show, and even cried my eyes out when watching her perform it live at the 2014 Grammys. Now here I was standing right over Taylor as she played the masterpiece I could have only dreamt of her playing that night.

Once she finished we were all in a puddle of tears. She then got up with her arms out wide exclaiming,” HEY Allie!” I thought I was going to faint. The only words that I could utter out were “I love you so much” before I went to hug her. Then as I went to introduce my boyfriend she shook her head explaining,” Oh I know all about you guys! I saw the video on your Instagram where you were like oh yeah I love him yeah I said it” she said sarcastically. Wow, she stalked my personal Instagram?

Confused I asked, "Wait, that’s on my personal Instagram?” “Yeah,” she bashfully smirked as she went to speak to other exhilarated fans. I couldn’t believe it, not only did she know my name but she had stalked my personal social media! As we all lined up for photos with her, Scott explained to Andrew and I that he was upset no one used his beach chair props, so we promised him we would use them for our pictures.

When first speaking to Taylor, I nervously rattled off my whole life story and how much she meant to me. Taylor was very attentive holding onto my every word. She even babbled on about how much she loved Andrew and me as a couple, recalling her favorite photos of us. Funny enough, talking to Taylor became easier as the time went on. High fiving over my accomplishments in school and our shared love for combat boots and thigh highs felt just so effortlessly easy.

Then it was time to take photos. She held up two Grammys from her bookshelf casually, asking which one I wanted to hold for the pictures. I picked the 1989 Album of the Year Grammy, making sure to tell her how wonderful her acceptance speech was for it. We first sat down on the beach chairs posing like we were in a high-end music video.

Then she and I did a cute hugging photo like we were best friends. Finally, she got to my boyfriend who is quite popular and outgoing. She got a bit nervous asking what his friends think is cool for poses, soon enough they settled on her fangirling over him.

After hugging her goodbye and grabbing our REP bags on the way out her front door, it was time to go. Getting into the car and staring at her beautifully lit house that night, I knew I made the right decision to turn to her and her music all those years ago.

As I had always said, Taylor was the big sister I never had. She forms such a bond with her fans and this experience was proof that Taylor is one of the most heartfelt and genuine artists of our time.

Cover Image Credit: Allison Gass

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Why High School Musicals Should Be As Respected As Sports Programs Are

The arts are important, too.
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When I was in middle school and high school, I felt like I lived for the musicals that my school orchestrated.

For those of you who don't know, a musical is an onstage performance wherein actors take on roles that involve singing, and often dancing, to progress the plot of the story. While it may sound a little bit nerdy to get up in front of an audience to perform in this manner, this is something you cannot knock until you try it.

For some reason, though, many public schools have de-funded arts programs that would allow these musicals to occur, while increasing the funding for sports teams. There are a few things that are being forgotten when sports are valued more than musical programs in high schools.

Much like athletic hobbies, an actor must try-out, or audition, to participate in a musical. Those best suited for each role will be cast, and those who would not fit well are not given a part. While this may sound similar to trying out for say, basketball, it is an apples to oranges comparison.

At a basketball try-out, those who have the most experience doing a lay-up or shooting a foul shot will be more likely to succeed, no questions asked. However, for an audition, it is common to have to learn a piece of choreography upon walking in, and a potential cast member will be required to sing a selected piece with only a few days of preparation.

There are many more variables involved with an audition that makes it that much more nerve-racking.

The cast of a school musical will often rehearse for several months to perfect their roles, with only several nights of performance at the end. Many sports practice for three or four days between each of their respective competitions. While this may seem to make sports more grueling, this is not always the case.

Musicals have very little pay-off for a large amount of effort, while athletic activities have more frequent displays of their efforts.

Athletes are not encouraged to but are allowed to make mistakes. This is simply not allowed for someone in a musical, because certain lines or entrances may be integral to the plot.

Sometimes, because of all the quick changes and the sweat from big dance numbers, the stage makeup just starts to smear. Despite this, an actor must smile through it all. This is the part of musicals that no sport has: introspection.

An actor must think about how he or she would respond in a given situation, be it saddening, maddening, frightening, or delightful. There is no sport that requires the knowledge of human emotion, and there is especially no sport that requires an athlete to mimic such emotion. This type of emotional exercise helps with communications and relationships.

Sports are great, don't get me wrong. I loved playing volleyball, basketball, track, and swimming, but there were no experiences quite like those from a musical. Sports challenge the body with slight amounts of tactic, while musicals require much physical and mental endurance.

The next time you hear someone say that it's “just a musical," just remember that musicals deserve as much respect as sports, since they are just as, if not more demanding.

Cover Image Credit: Cincinnati Arts

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10 Shows To Watch If You're Sick Of 'The Office'

You can only watch it so many times...

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"The Office" is a great show, and is super easy to binge watch over and over again! But if you're like me and you're looking for something new to binge, why not give some of these a try? These comedies (or unintentional comedies) are a great way to branch out and watch something new.

1. "New Girl"

A show about a group of friends living in an apartment in a big city? Sound familiar? But seriously, this show is original and fresh, and Nick Miller is an icon.

2. "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"

Ya'll have been sleeping on this show. It's a musical comedy about a girl that follows her ex boyfriend across the country. I thought it sounded horrible so I put it off for WAY too long, but then I realized how incredible the cast, music, writing, and just EVERYTHING. It really brings important issues to light, and I can't say too much without spoiling it. Rachel Bloom (the creator of the show) is a woman ahead of her time.

3. "Jane the Virgin"

I know... another CW show. But both are so incredible! Jane The Virgin is a tongue-in-cheek comedy and parody of telenovelas. It has so many twists and turns, but somehow you find yourself laughing with the family.

4. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been in popular news lately since its cancellation by Fox and sequential pickup by NBC. It's an amazing show about cops in, you guessed it, Brooklyn. Created by the amazing Michael Schur, it's a safe bet that if you loved "The Office" you'll also love his series "Brooklyn Nine-Nine".

5. "The Good Place"

Another series created by the talented Micael Schur, it's safe to say you've probably already heard about this fantasy-comedy series. With a wonderful cast and writing that will keep you on your toes, the show is another safe bet.

6. "Fresh Off The Boat"

Seriously, I don't know why more people don't watch this show. "Fresh Off The Boat" focuses on an Asian family living in Orlando in the mid 90s. Randall Parks plays a character who is the polar opposite of his character in "The Interview" (Yeah, remember that horrifying movie?) and Constance Wu is wonderful as always.

7. "Full House"

Why not go back to the basics? If you're looking for a nostalgic comedy, go back all the way to the early days of Full House. If you're a '98-'00 baby like me, you probably grew up watching the Tanner family on Nick at Night. The entire series is available on Hulu, so if all else fails just watch Uncle Jesse and Rebecca fall in love again or Michelle fall off a horse and somehow lose her memory.

8. "Secret Life of the American Teenager"

Okay, this show is not a comedy, but I have never laughed so hard in my life. It's off Netflix but it's still on Hulu, so you can watch this masterpiece there. Watch the terrible acting and nonsense plot twists drive this show into the ground. Somehow everyone in this school dates each other? And also has a baby? You just have to watch. It might be my favorite show of all time.

9. "Scrubs"

Another old show that is worth watching. If you ignore the last season, Scrubs is a worthwhile medical comedy about doctors in both their personal and medical life. JD and Turk's relationship is one to be jealous of, and one hilarious to watch. Emotional at times, this medical drama is superior to any medical drama that's out now.

10. "Superstore"

I was resistant to watch this one at first, because it looked cheesy. But once I started watching I loved it! The show is a workplace comedy, one you're sure to love if you can relate to working in retail. If you liked the Office, you'll like Superstore!

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