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Issue #21                                                                                                                                                      Fall  2008

America's Got Talent

by Carol Taubl

Installment 4 Vegas Week Part B

If you missed Installment 1, click here.                             If you missed Installment 2, click here.                              If you missed Installment , click here.         

 

Last week we left off with the performance in Las Vegas.  Playing before an audience of three skeptical judges was quite a challenge, and the lack of monitors on stage added to the stress, but over all we were pleased with the performance and the judges seemed to be too.

But it was still Monday, and a long week was ahead of us.  Or at least we hoped a long week was ahead of us.  The way it worked was that when you were eliminated, you were immediately sent home.  "Here's your hat, what's your hurry" kind of thing.  So the best case scenario for us was that we would indeed be staying until the end of the week as our tickets promised.  But we certainly weren't sure.  In fact, we weren't sure of anything.  We were only given little snippets of information each morning as we arrived in the holding room. 

We were very fortunate in Las Vegas to have John's mom and sister and our two nieces join us.  It was a touch of reality every evening to sit with them over dinner and share the experiences of the day.  Because they live in Arizona, it is not often that we get to visit with them. One highlight and unforgettable memory involved all 13 of us stuffed into a compact car trying to get from one side of Vegas to the other!  Most people aren't prepared to travel with a group the size of the Taubl Family!

On Tuesday, we met the wonderful ladies who were to be the boys' tutors.  They took the boys each day for a few hours into a room that they had set up for school, and it gave the boys a merciful relief from the ever present tension.  It also gave them time to get to know some of the other kids who were auditioning, and the beginnings of some wonderful friendships were formed that week. 

By Wednesday, we were told that another elimination was imminent, and so we waited in the holding room until they called our name.  Eventually we found ourselves in the lobby of the theater with many other contestants, being called to judgment in groups. Soon, we were called backstage along with the Wright Kids, a group of four young men called Hellifiknow, and a group of Spanish musicians.  They told us to walk on stage and stand in clumps together, and we would be told what to do.  When we got on stage, the judges were seated in front of us in the audience looking very grim, and they called the Wright Kids, Hiellifiknow, and the Taubl Family to take a step forward.  After what seemed a lifetime, they informed us that we would be staying in the competition!  But then they informed us that there would be one more elimination on Friday.  The tension was endless and excruciating, but it was forgotten for a brief moment as we celebrated on stage together. 

Friday finally came and as we walked into the holding room, the air was heavy with the ominous realization that today would be the end of the road for many of us.  Again, we were taken down to the waiting area outside the theater.  We had some really fun conversations with other contestants, and at one point I looked over to see Jack with his pocket New Testament reading to pass the time, and to be reassured that all would be well no matter how this turned out.  We waited nervously as groups were called out, some coming back for their interviews screaming with delight, some coming back to face the cameras with tears.  And finally it was our turn.  They called our name, and we walked down the aisle of the theater, all the way to the front, up some stairs and onto the stage.  Our knees were trembling and the theater was dark.  I was really afraid I was going to miss a step and fall, but I grabbed Jack's arm and he walked slowly with me.

When we finally made it up the steps, the judges were seated on the stage this time, facing out and again, looking very grim.  We grouped together, partly because they told us to, and partly because we needed to rely on each other for strength, and David Hasselhoff began to talk.  He started by reminding us that they were not there to make dreams come true. He said that for many, this was the end of the dream.  Sharon and Piers looked sadly down at the table as David spoke.  Our hearts were sinking.  Then David continued to share that many of these decisions had been extremely difficult, and then he paused.  "But for you guys, it was not difficult.  You guys are amazing!  You are going to Hollywood!"

The relief was overwhelming and some of us laughed and some of us cried.  We thanked the judges, shaking their hands and they were very gracious.  Then as John passed by Sharon, she gave him a little warning.  She pointed to Piers as she said, "This is the one you need to convince.  He isn't sure about you!"  John assured them both that he would figure something out, and we left the stage celebrating.  Everyone was running out of excitement, and I was trying desperately to keep up in that dark hall.  And to make matters worse, my shoes were too big.  So as we were leaving the theater, I stumbled and fell down to my knees!  How embarrassing.  I was only hoping there were no cameras around.  They seemed to be everywhere! 

On our last day in Las Vegas, our minds were spinning with what song we should sing for the live show, and what we should wear, and how we were going to handle being away from home for a month!  It was at this time that an exciting event occurred that gave all of the weary contestants a little boost.  All of our family was gathered in a circle of chairs near the big glass doors that led to the hotel, and we noticed a bit of a commotion in the group of people standing closer to the theater.  That caught our attention and then before we knew it, Simon Cowell was standing on the steps just a few feet from us.  We were all very star struck at that moment, and when he opened his mouth to speak to the group, we listened attentively.  He gave us a bit of a pep talk, reminding us that this could be the most important few weeks of our lives, and that we should give it all we've got.  We didn't really need the reminder, but it was such a wonderful little boost to take with us as we left for a few months of home and sanity before heading back to the left coast and the Hollywood hysteria!

To read about the rest of Vegas week, check back on Monday, November 17.



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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