What do you want to do before you die?
What happens when four regular guys set out on a mission with a list of 50 things they want to do before they die?
If they’re the four guys who went on to star in MTV’s “The Buried Life,” they play basketball with President Barack Obama, appear on Oprah and write a best-selling book, among other things.
Oh, and they help others achieve some of their dreams, as well.
The Buried Life quartet will bring their show to Johnson County Community College at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, in Yardley Hall of the Carlsen Center.
Tickets are $10 for JCCC students and $18 for non-students. Tickets are available in person at the JCCC box office in the Carlsen Center or at the student activities desk on the first floor of the Student Center, by phone at 913-469-4445 or online. JCCC student pricing is not available online.
The first 750 people through the doors will receive a free copy of the book written by The Buried Life team, “What Do You Want to Do Before You Die?” Audience members who stay around after the show will have the opportunity for a brief meet and greet, including a group photo with the performers.
Expect a high-energy show, with the four “Buried Life” guys — Jonnie Penn, Dave Lingwood, Duncan Penn and Ben Nemtin — sharing their stories and videos, as well as audience members making a trip to the microphone to share their own bucket list ideas.
The Buried Life crew got its name from a poem written by Matthew Arnold in 1852 that Jonnie Penn had read in an English class in 2006:
But often, in the world’s most crowded streets,
But often, in the din of strife,
There rises an unspeakable desire
After the knowledge of our buried life.
With the poem in mind and a sense that there was more to life than what they were experiencing in Victoria, British Columbia, they borrowed an RV, bought a camera, threw a party to raise money and set out in the summer of 2006 with a goal of accomplishing as many things on their list of 50 things they wanted to do before they died as they could on a two-week road trip.
For every item they marked off their list, they helped a stranger achieve a dream as well.
By the end of two weeks, they’d marked 26 items off their list and helped 24 strangers. But they didn’t stop then: they added to the list and just kept going.
- Crash a party at the Playboy Mansion? Check.
- Play basketball with President Obama? Check.
- Write a book? Check. “What Do You Want to Do Before You Die?” was released in March and was ranked 5,614 on Amazon.com in mid-July.
As important, though, was what they did for people they met along the way: Acquiring a truck for a small businessman who wanted to deliver food to a homeless shelter where he’d spent some time. Reconnecting a father and son. Helping a mother and son achieve their dream of kissing the Stanley Cup.
Their achievements and energy are what prompted JCCC to invite the group to the college, said Jake Akehurst, manager, student activities and leadership development, who heads the Campus Activities Board that is co-sponsoring the show with the Performing Arts Series.
“There’s a sense of purpose to it,” Akehurst said. “It’s hopeful in the face of a lot of negativity in the world.”
The show appeals to people of different ages and different life stages.“People can see themselves in these guys,” he said.