GAC Short Cuts is a new series that goes behind the scenes with a bright new talent trying to make it in the world of country music! Now playing -- a series on Big Machine Records recording artist Taylor Swift. Watch the clips and learn more about Taylor Swift below!
episode 6
What does Taylor do during her day off from the road? Taylor gets a special surprise visitor! How does Taylor stay down to Earth?
episode 5
Episode 5 - Taylor Swift says, 'If you want this, go do it!' Taylor Swift opens for George Strait. What is Taylor Swift's favorite ice cream flavor?
episode 4
Episode 4 - Taylor Swift takes a bite out of the 'Big Apple'! Taylor Swift hits the set of Good Morning America. Taylor Swift buys a copy of her new CD for luck.
episode 3
Episode 3 - Taylor Swift talks about wanting a record deal. Taylor Swift goes into the studio and records a demo Taylor Swift gets a big break from Big Machine Records
episode 2
Episode 2 - Taylor Swift has a crush Taylor Swift's friends are her best critics Taylor Swift performs new song at talent show
episode 1
Episode 1 - Taylor Swift Taylor Swift juggles school and persuing a career Taylor Swift; gets support from her friends

By Jamison Rotch

Taylor SwiftEditor’s note: You’ve probably seen GAC’s new series, Shortcuts, featuring rising star Taylor Swift. Now takes you way behind the scenes—even before Taylor filmed Shortcuts! Writer Jamison Rotch spent the day with Taylor last fall, as her big adventure was just beginning. Read on for a detailed day-in-the-life of one of country’s most promising young talents!

Taylor Swift is nervous.

It’s hard to blame her. In a little less than four hours, the 15-year-old sophomore will take the stage with Toby Keith at a press conference in downtown Nashville announcing her as one of the first artists signed to a new, joint-venture record label started by superstar Toby Keith and veteran label executive Scott Borchetta. But it isn’t the glare of the national media spotlight or the fact that she will be taking pictures with the sometimes imposing Keith that has the butterflies fluttering in her stomach.

It’s the car ride over.

"I can drive in a straight line and turn," admits Taylor, who is scheduled to get her license in a few months. "But I don’t like arrows and lines. And I don’t like stop signs. The whole bigger car rule definitely applies when I drive."

Such is life these days for Taylor Swift: a balancing act of the ordinary trials and tribulations of a teenager with the extraordinary existence of an artist on the brink of stardom.

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Taylor Swift"Got the radio on, my old blue jeans, and I'm wearing my heart on my sleeve," Taylor Swift sings on "A Place in This World," a self-penned coming-of-age anthem from her Platinum-selling self-titled debut album on Big Machine Records. It’s an apt description of the enthusiastic, down-to-earth young woman whose original compositions about teenage life brim with poignant honesty and an infectious spirit - and have quickly made her country music’s most successful new star. In fact, Taylor recently became the first female solo artist in country music history to write or co-write every song on a million-selling debut album.

In a genre notorious for being slow to change, Taylor is considered to be the first bonafide country star of the MySpace generation. With over 20,000,000 song streams on her MySpace page and digital singles now certified Gold, Taylor is clearly appealing to -- and is the voice of -- a new generation of country fans. Just 17 years old, Taylor is at an age where most teenagers are only beginning to find their identity and lay tentative plans for the future. But there’s never been much doubt in Taylor’s mind about her calling. Growing up on a farm in Wyomissing, Pa., she began performing around town as early as age 10, at karaoke contests, festivals and county fairs - and even a Philadelphia 76ers NBA game.

But it wasn’t until she picked up a guitar at age 12 and learned to write her own songs that Taylor discovered how readily she could channel the turbulent emotions of growing up into her music. That year, she wrote "The Outside," a heartbreaking lament about loneliness. Before long, she was spending every available moment playing and writing. "I was playing four hours a day until my fingers were bleeding and my mom called me to dinner," she says.

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Taylor Swift

Born: Dec. 13, 1989
Old Hometown: Wyomissing, PA
New Hometown: Hendersonville, TN

Taylor’s Favorite Things

Color: White. I know, boring (but, now, think a flowing white cotton skirt blowing in the wind)

Food: Cheesecake - yum.

Holiday: Christmas

Hobby: Driving FAST.

Place:  Anyplace around a creek.

Season: Summer

Thing to do: Write songs

Thing to write about: LOVE of course!

Guitar: Taylor Guitars

Artists: Miranda Lambert and Tim McGraw

Song: "Can’t Tell Me Nothin’" by Tim McGraw

Quality in other people : Honesty and sarcasm

Movie: "Love Actually"

Memory:  Living on a farm.