America's Got Talent
by Carol Taubl
Installment 2 The New York Audition
(If you missed Installment 1,
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
York Audition - Sound of Music
7th Annual Christmas at
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