A&E Features

A Swiftly sighting: Broadcast journalist meets Taylor Swift

With the recent release of her new pop album “1989,” Taylor Swift goes from talk show to talk show and daily performances, yet somehow manages to make time to meet her fans even on the busiest of days. It had always been at the top of my bucket list to meet her, being a Taylor Swift fan since the release of her first self-titled album in 2008, but with her growing fame, I thought this would be a nearly impossible box to check off. However, I discovered that some research on social media, a four hour wait outside of a hotel and completely losing my voice is all that it would take to meet the beloved pop star.

Hollywood Boulevard was shut down on Oct. 23 as roughly 15,000 fans crowded the streets to watch Taylor perform some of her hit singles for Jimmy Kimmel’s late night talk show. Swift even performed one of her newest singles, “Out of the Woods” for the first time ever in front of a live audience. The crowd “shook it off” as Taylor performed for about an hour. Afterward, most people went on their way back to the crowded parking structures to try to beat the traffic.

Using my inner journalist and fan-girl instincts, I had scanned social media earlier that day to discover the news of her Hollywood Boulevard performance, and so I happened to be in Hollywood at the time. Watching the crowd disperse after the performance, I sprinted my way down the street to find a small group of maybe 50 fans walking towards the El Capitan hotel, where there was a group of security, a fence and a car with tinted black windows parked outside. I knew this had to be where Taylor was.

The group desperately asked security if Swift would be coming outside, but they discouraged us by saying “No,” she would not be coming out to take pictures or sign autographs. But the dedicated Swifties knew that she would not let us down, and would at least walk out to say hi and thank us for coming.

The group of fans became smaller as hours passed and we all bonded over our love for Taylor, singing her songs and chanting her name at the top of our lungs. Finally, after a long four hours, a muffled voice was heard over a walkie talkie.

“Talent is exiting the building.”

Piercingly excited screams filled the air as the elegant, “red lip classic” Swift walked over to the crowd wearing a black blouse, white skirt, wedge heels and a smile that lit up the night. Taylor greeted each doting fan with a warm hello, as if she had been the one waiting to meet us, and signed autographs and took pictures proving the security guards wrong. Swift’s parents also greeted fans, passing out guitar picks and telling the crowd, with tears in their eyes, how proud they were of their daughter. After being sure to acknowledge every fan, Taylor turned to the crowd, waved and took off with her parents in the car with black tinted windows.

To any ultimate Taylor Swift fan, hoping to one day get the chance to meet her, don’t give up hope; all it takes is a little dedication. To quote one of Taylor’s songs, “it was enchanting to meet [her].”