NBC offered Taylor the opportunity to film a special, which would air on Thanksgiving night, one of the biggest television nights of the year. She gladly accepted but wanted to put her own spin to the concept:
The show includes behind-the-scenes footage of Taylor recording Speak Now and her recent publicity tour in New York City and Los Angeles. Of course, besides watching her in action, fans also hear her drop more hints about the heartfelt — and sometimes heartbreaking — inspirations behind some of her songs. Taylor said: “You write about things nobody knows you went through. My main focus when I’m writing a song is the person I’m writing it about, what they’re going to think of it and them knowing what I feel about them. A lot of times, they don’t know exactly what I felt. Somehow I feel more comfortable saying it all to them in a song … that many more people are going to hear than if I just sent a text message! [laughs] But that’s just how I feel more comfortable expressing myself.”
Taylor spent the first half of release week in New York City, visiting different talk shows and playing small pop-up concerts. One highlight was an intimate performance for a few hundred lucky fans on a rooftop by night. Taylor and her band were surrounded by the glittery skyline and the iconic Empire State Building. In a “Behind the Scenes” video for the NBC special, she said:
Another performance is arguably one of the most well-known of Taylor’s entire career. She visited Central Park to sing “Back to December” on a piano live for the first time, accompanied by a string orchestra. The main goal was to capture the beautiful autumn scenery in the park while Taylor performed to a couple of thousand people:
On the walk back through the park hundreds of fans and dozens of photographers were following her: “It was just very chaotic. With all the flurry of excitement going on with the record coming out, it was kind of a perfect thing.” To top the day off, she went to Starbucks at midnight to buy a copy of Speak Now, the minute it was officially released.