Advertisement

Female MC loves her job at Dolly Parton’s Stampede

Bookmark this
November 20, 2018 By Becca Martin-Brown
Courtesy Photo Granberry says the Stampede's Nativity is "one to be reckoned with"

Courtesy Photo Granberry says the Stampede's Nativity is "one to be reckoned with"

Women have been breaking glass ceilings in state and federal government this fall, but Taylor Granberry broke hers last year astride a Friesian named Nico. Granberry is only the second woman ever to be master of ceremonies at Dolly Parton's Stampede in Branson.

"I was in Dallas, doing another show, and they called and told me they were interested in me trying out to be the MC," Granberry remembers. "My answer was, 'Are you sure?' Because I had no idea a girl could do it!

FAQ

Dolly Parton’s Stampede

WHEN — 5:30 & 8 p.m. daily with morning shows & matinees on select dates, through Jan. 5

WHERE — Dolly Parton’s Stampede, 1525 W. 76 Country Blvd. in Branson

COST —$24.99 & up for kids; $44.99 & up for adults

INFO — 417-336-3000 or dpstampede.com

"With a lot of prayer and a call to my parents, I decided to go through the process."

In the five-month audition, Granberry had to learn two shows -- totaling about 120 pages of script -- then she acted as master of ceremonies for 14 main shows and 72 of last year's Christmas shows, competing against two men for the role -- "to see if I could hold my own," she says. In January, she was officially signed to the job.

"I am the first person the audience sees, so that can be a lot of pressure," says Granberry, who is 26. "Every single day before I go into the arena, as I'm sitting in the doorway on Nico, I always ask God to sing through me and talk through me. I can't do it by myself.

"Nico," she adds, "is a spectacle in himself, a gorgeous black Friesian, and only the MC rides him."

It's a far cry from where Granberry started -- faking it.

"I was actually a dancer. I started when I was 3," she explains. "The stage became my love right off the bat; I love being the center of attention on it, for all the right reasons. I came to Branson at a very early age, and I told my grandmother I was going to be on stage in Branson one day."

Granberry danced her way through Texas A&M in Texarkana and moved to Branson in February 2014, a month after she graduated.

"I left everything -- my whole family was still in Texas, but they were super supportive of my goals," she remembers. The show, then called Dixie Stampede, "had auditions three days after I moved to Branson; my grandmother saw the posting for the auditions, so it came full circle! I thought, 'I don't ride horses, but hey, practice is practice!' About 25 girls showed up, and the first round of auditions was dancing. I thought, 'I know how to do this'!

"My boss still says it's one of his favorite auditions: He said, 'You can kick your face, but can you ride a horse?' And I said, 'Well, I'm from Texas.' He asked me to stay and ride a horse around the arena, and I obviously didn't know what I was doing! They offered me the job about two hours later, and I went in to work 30 minutes after he called me. He told me, 'You're a good dancer, and we will teach you how to ride. It's just going to take a while.'"

Granberry learned enough to go off to another job in Dallas before she was invited back as MC.

"Now I'm more comfortable in front of 1,100 people than I am one on one," she says with a laugh. "It's where I'm happiest. I truly love what I do, and people tell me it shows, and I'm so flattered to get that compliment."

This time of year, Granberry's job is to introduce all the Christmas spectacles that are part of Dolly Parton's Stampede.

"It is quite a production," she says. "We have a beautiful, beautiful Christmas show, and our Nativity is one to be reckoned with -- live camels and donkeys and sheep and goats.

"And I love feeding off the energy I get from the audience every day," she adds. "You just can't beat it!"


Advertisement

Recent Articles

Illusionist says there’s nothing like his Branson show

Illusionist says there’s nothing like his Branson show

in Branson Shows

Rick Thomas has been performing since he was a child. He starred on more than 300 cruises and spent 15 years headlining in Las Vegas.

May 14, 2019 By Becca Martin-Brown

7th Annual Branson Music Fest brings star-studded line-up

7th Annual Branson Music Fest brings star-studded line-up

in Branson Shows

The 7th Annual Branson Music Fest, Branson’s largest springtime festival, will be held Friday and Saturday, April 26 – 27th, 2019, at the beautiful Welk Resort in Branson.

March 14, 2019

Unique skill brings juggler to Festival of Wonder

Unique skill brings juggler to Festival of Wonder

in Attraction News, Branson Shows

Looking like an hourglass without the frame, the diabolo -- pronounced dee-uh-BO-lo -- is derived from the Chinese yo-yo.

April 1, 2019 By Becca Martin-Brown

Branson Elvis Festival

Branson Elvis Festival

in Branson Shows

The 13th Annual Branson Elvis Festival will be held at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater, April 11-14. The highlight of the festival, the Ultimate Elvis® Tribute Artist Contest™, will take place on Saturday, April 13 at 7 p.m.

March 28, 2019 By Best of Branson

Must Read Articles

BBQ Fever Sweeping Branson

BBQ Fever Sweeping Branson

in Food

When Brad Leighniger got bitten by the competition BBQ bug, his infectious enthusiasm for smoked meat spread quickly. Before long, several of his friends had BBQ fever and the rest is history.

June 16, 2018 By The Best of Branson

Introducing The Best of Branson

Introducing The Best of Branson

in News

A welcome to our all-new The Best of Branson website from General Manager Jennifer Gregory.

April 17, 2018 By Jennifer Gregory

Showboat Branson Belle kicks off 2018 with new show

Showboat Branson Belle kicks off 2018 with new show

in Attraction News, Branson Shows

Showboat’s cast performs a wide variety of musical numbers sure to keep the audience singing along.

March 20, 2018 By The Best of Branson