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Issue #21                                                                                                                                                      Fall  2008

America's Got Talent

by Carol Taubl

Installment 2 The New York Audition

(If you missed Installment 1, click here.)

On Tuesday, April 7, 2008, The Taubl Family waited for over seven hours for the chance to audition for the NBC show, America's Got Talent, at the Javitz Center in New York City.  Around 5pm, after a grueling day and 2 auditions, they were given the good news that they had been chosen to come back on Friday and perform for a live audience and more importantly, the judges!

For the first audition, we performed a medley of 'The Sound of Music' and 'Somewhere over the Rainbow.'  But we were told on Tuesday that medleys were not allowed for licensing reasons, so we had to redo our song. We spent the next 2 days re-arranging and rehearsing our music- and being very nervous.  Ironically, on Tuesday, we hadn't truly believed that we would actually be on television.  And it was such an early morning that none of us were looking our best.  We hadn't done much with our hair and the wardrobe choices were very bland. Imagine our dismay when they told us that for Friday, we had to wear exactly the same clothes and wear our hair the same way! They wanted to be able to mix and match footage from the two days of auditions, and needed the continuity of style. We were not pleased!  We knew now that we would be on national TV, and we could only hope that this wouldn't be the last time!  We were going to need another chance to show America our real style.  But for now, we were just thrilled to be able to sing for the judges!  And the two days flew by. 

In order to reduce the risk of traffic trouble getting into the city, the show put us up in the New Yorker hotel Thursday evening, and Friday morning we met in the lobby, ready for our big day.  We were having trouble imagining what it would be like, playing on a stage we had never been on without a sound check of any kind, in front of three judges that were unpredictable at best.  As we entered the holding room at the theater, we were greeted by the same charming British producer who had been in that first audition room, and even though there were still close to one hundred contestants that day, he remembered our name!  That made us feel so much better. We had no idea how long we would be waiting, but were told that it could be mid-afternoon before we performed.  Another long day of waiting was certainly ahead of us. 

There were several meetings during that long morning of waiting, with producers coming in to tell us what to expect.  Just before noon, we decided to practice a little, so everyone got their instruments out, and Annabelle uncovered her harp.  As she was setting it up, we heard a very loud, banging noise coming from the bottom of her harp, which at first we thought was a string breaking.  But we soon realized that there were no broken strings.  Instead there was a broken pedal!  That was not good news.  It meant that Annabelle was not able to determine which key she would be playing in, and that meant that it would all sound really bad! We frantically got on the phone and called all our New York harp contacts, with no luck.  Our harp was broken and we were due to go on stage in a short time.  As I was talking to Annabelle about the possibilities, she suddenly realized that the piece she was playing would be ok without the pedal.  It wouldn't be great, but it would be acceptable.  She was instantaneously relieved, and we were grateful that the show would go on.

So we survived one nerve wrecking scare, but there was another horrible reminder of the intensity of the day.  In the holding room, we could not hear any of the auditions taking place on the stage, but we could hear one, very loud, horrible sound on a regular basis.  The buzz from the judges was so loud that it reverberated through the bones of each waiting contestant.  And the thought of that taking place during our audition was almost more than a normal person could bear!  I'm not sure if there was a diabolical plan behind having that be the only thing you could hear in the holding room, but it was wickedly intimidating.  So we waited...

One thing that helped break up the tense day was the sudden arrival of our host, Jerry Springer.  He was just standing around in the holding room, talking to the performers and posing for pictures.  We were introduced to him and he asked us questions about our family and our music.  We were all very impressed with his sincerity and genuine kindness.  And he was there back stage when they finally called our name to perform.  He again put us at ease, and that was just what we needed.  The nerves were more intense than we had ever experienced. 

They told us that we would be going on after the judges' break, to give them time to set us up.  They put headset mics on the kids who played violin and viola, and gave the rest of us regular ones.  When the break was over, the stage manager called us out onto the stage and the judges asked us our name, and several other questions.  Then Sharon told us to play when we were ready, and we did.  I remember sitting at the piano, thinking that this couldn't be real, and wondering if we could do this.  Then suddenly Gretchen gave the signal and the kids all began to play.  Everything sounded great, and the audience was loving it. But then, out of nowhere, that awful, dreaded noise of the buzz broke the spell of our music.  I happened to have been looking at Jeremiah when Piers buzzed us, and the look on his face broke my heart.  It was as though Piers said to him personally, "You aren't good enough."  I knew he was shaken.  But we all just kept playing.  And when we started to sing, the audience went crazy!  They loved it.  It was a fabulous feeling.  But then came the moment of truth.  What had the judges thought of it all?

We knew from Sharon's face that she enjoyed it, and David said all nice things.  But then it was time for Piers to comment.  He started out with, "Here's the thing.  I think...perhaps...that I might have buzzed you a bit early!"  Sharon then suggested that they vote to see if we should go through to Las Vegas.  David said yes.  Sharon said yes.  And as you might have seen on the video, Piers took what seemed like an eternity to render his vote - yes.  The Taubls were going to Vegas. 

If you want to know the rest of the story, check back on Monday, October 20 for more pictures and the next installment of our exciting journey!



Fall Ball for some

Last year, fall ball for the twins was quite exciting.  Their team was the league champs, and James and Jeremiah played incredibly well.  A lot has changed in 12 months!

The first and most obvious difference is that the boys are all now playing on a big field - no more Little League.  But a sadder and more upsetting turn of events happened on a slightly wet, Sunday evening bike ride.  James tried to come to a quick stop and did a slow-motion somersault over the handle bars.  Instinct took over, and he put out his left hand to catch himself.  That didn't go so well.  He sheepishly came home and told his dad that he thought he had broken his arm.  An emergency room visit confirmed the news.  James is now in a lovely cast for several weeks. 

Sam is playing on the Babe Ruth team again this year, but Jack is taking the season off.  He is putting all his extra time and energy into college applications!  Priorities!

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    Jack in Swaziland

 

When Emily decided that the Hartt School would be her choice for school this fall, she had her eye on

Other than preparing for his appearances on America's Got Talent, Jack was busy raising money and preparing programs for his trip to Swaziland. 

In mid July, a team of high school kids from Christian Heritage School left from Newark Airport on a journey that spanned 2 full days.  They spent a day in London sightseeing to fill the hours of the long layover at Heathrow, and then headed off for the African continent.  They ended the trip with a very exciting and often scary bus rise up to the mountains of Bolembu Swaziland.  The scenery was majestic, but the need there is great.  The destination was a school  with a vision for changing the lives of the next generation of children from Swaziland.  The hearts of these American kids were touched by the sweet simplicity of the children they were working with.  Jack purchased some new sunglasses for the trip, but when one little boy became fascinated with his reflection in Jack's glasses, the sunglasses became a gift. 

 

 

The days in Swaziland were spent doing all sorts of activities with the kids, and all sorts of help projects for the adults who run the school.  They worked hard, slept well, fought off sickness and exhaustion, and came home with a new perspective on what is important in life. 

 

Jack would like to personally thank all of you who sent contributions to help him go on this trip.  It was truly life changing, and he is forever grateful for your help.

 



You Tube 

One of the real perks of participating in America's Got Talent is the national exposure that we received.  The estimated audience for each of the live shows that we performed on was around 15 million people.  We have heard from so many of you, and that has been an amazing thing.  We also have our performances posted on YouTube, so you can share them with your friends, or just go watch them once more yourself.  So many of you have shared that the music is able to bring a smile to your face, even when you are feeling down.  That is a wonderful thing. So check out the videos, and let us hear from you soon!  

New York Audition - Sound of Music

 

 




Don't miss it! 

7th Annual Christmas at Mechanics Hall

December 20, 2008

Call Mechanics Hall Box Office today to get your tickets. 

508-752-0888 or visit www.MechanicsHall.org

 




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