Michael Young graces Maxwell

by Rebecca Burylo
42nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

12/6/2013 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala.  -- Hollywood actor, director and producer Michael Young came back to his roots Nov. 15 to speak to an audience at Maxwell during the base chapel's first lunch-and-learn event.
"I'm glad to be here today. I am the quintessential military brat. My dad was here, and this is where he learned to fly during the war and met my mother, a local Montgomery girl," Young said.

Born in the base hospital in 1952, Young grew up in Protestant military chapels hearing stories of how his father, Col. Sam Young, a civil engineer, and his mother, Betty Rawlings Young, met at Maxwell and married in a local Montgomery church.
Young's parents held their reception in the same base chapel he spoke at for the lunch-and-learn program.

There, he reminisced, shared his faith as a "military brat" and a celebrity and explored the history of the entertainment industry.

More lunch-and-learns, where attendees bring a lunch and learn from a guest speaker followed by a brief question and answer session, are planned for Chapel 2.

The program is designed to develop spiritually resilient Airmen, according to 42nd Air Base Wing chaplain, Chap. (Maj.) Travis Yelton.

"This is a new program for us. Lunch and learns provide a less formal and more affordable way to offer programs and networking. We plan to offer a couple of these each month starting in January 2014," Yelton said.

Though he never served actively, Young has supported the military with his talents in United Service Organization shows. USO tours provide programs, services and live entertainment to American troops and their families.

Young has been on seven USO tours and also has spoken at other military installations and the Air Force Academy, which his father helped construct.

Sharing humorous stories growing up as a military child and traveling to Europe, Japan and the Pentagon, Young began by telling about his rough start as an actor.

Graduating from Auburn University, Young earned his degree in political science, though at the time he realized he would rather play a lawyer on the big screen than work as one in the courtroom.

Even though his father was skeptical he could make a career in the entertainment industry, Young made the trek to New York to become an actor.

"Told my dad I was going to go to New York and be an actor, and he said, 'Sure, here's 200 bucks. Come back when it runs out.' He thought I'd be back in a week, but I was going to prove him wrong. I was going to stay there and succeed in the business," Young said.

Two years later, Young's acting career remained elusive. His father, despite his reservations, supported Young's dream and provided his food and rent until Young was able to pay him back with his first TV Emmy Award for ABC's "Kids are People, Too!"

"I was very proud after I got to Hollywood, but my father was not really that impressed with the entertainment industry," Young said. "I will say this: I appreciate his support financially and emotionally."
Since then, Young has hosted CNBC Live, ESPN Sports and the Disney Channel, acted in television series like "The Love Boat" and "Remington Steele" and directed and produced the shows "Shop Like a Star" and "Better Homes and Gardens."
Young also explained how he has seen the entertainment industry evolve from when his father received his news from a radio until now. He illustrated how today's trend of communication is moving away from broadcast and cable and growing rapidly to an Internet-based form of media and news.
To adjust to such a change, Young and his company, Michael Young Media, have created web video content for magazines such as Vogue, Lucky, Ladies Home Journal, American Baby and others.
However, Young has found the most satisfaction producing material aligned with his Christian faith.
Most recently, Young and his second company, Theos Theatricals, have undertaken the production of "The Forgotten Carols," a Christmas musical about redemption and hope.
The play will be performed in Montgomery's Davis Theatre for the Performing Arts during the Christmas season and will feature Young and other Hollywood actors. Alabama Christian Academy's choir also will be featured.
Young hopes to continue producing Christian-based productions such as "The Forgotten Carols" and use his talents for God's glory, he said.