The following is a post from Kim Sedmak, Executive Producer of AARP’s Your Life Calling TODAY with Jane Pauley.
Champions Tour Golfer Michael Allen’s story is our 26th segment of AARP’s “Your Life Calling” TODAY show series with Jane Pauley airing Sept. 17. Along the way, we’ve experienced great moments of providential intervention during our work together. Things sometimes occur on our shoots that could never be scripted.
Jane brought her golf clubs along so we could shoot b-roll of her and Michael playing through a few holes. However, Jane soon confessed she had remembered the golf clubs but NOT her driver. Not a problem, I confidently told her. Unbeknownst to her, Michael Allen had already come to the rescue.
The crew and I arrived in Endicott, New York the day before Jane. I was purposefully avoiding meeting Allen until he had finished playing through the tournament. No need to distract him from his work, I thought. But that was not meant to be. The moment we entered the cordoned off players’ area, we ran right into him.
With a golf club in hand, Allen was gracious and appreciative of us being on-site at the tournament. As anxious I was for him to get on with his day, he was eager to show us something. We soon learned the golf club he happened to be holding had just been delivered as a present for Jane. Off came the cover, revealing a custom-made driver that included a hot pink shaft.
Emblazed on the top of the club was inscribed “Your Life Calling” along with the NBC peacock in the middle and below AARP’s logo. WOW – what a thoughtful, creative, and clever guy! And, my unanticipated problem as the executive producer (unbeknownst to me at the time) had now been solved.
The next day as he and Jane were about to tee off, Michael handed the driver to her as a surprise! Jane was extremely touched by this gesture, which we caught on camera.
Allen is an unusual character. He wears his relatively newfound success with humility and grace and hasn’t forgotten the tough times he’s overcome to get where he is now. He told Jane, “I thought there was a better life. I thought I could do something different. I believe that is what faith is, when you actually have no control over something and yet you still believe. I am so blessed to play golf, but I didn’t understand that until I was older.”
As always, l feel blessed to hold a front row seat alongside Jane in working to create these segments. Nothing beats telling stories about people who find their ‘life calling’ by trusting to never give up!
Watch our segment on NBC’s TODAY show September 17 , 8:30-9a.m. ET.
Also, join us for Jane Pauley’s live internet radio show “ASK JANE” at 10:00a.m. ET on September 17. Listen at: www.aarp.org/Jane.