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Buried Life’ cast shares story of their bucket list

Daniel Zaas / Lantern photographer

Four college-aged students starring in MTV’s “The Buried Life” are asking Americans what they want to do before they die.

Get on the cover of Rolling Stone, drive across America, and play basketball with President Barack Obama are just a few of the things on the “bucket list,” or things cast members Ben Nemtin, Dave Lingwood and Duncan and Jonnie Penn want to do before they die, which they attempt to complete on their show.

As part of “Pay It Forward Week,” the four guys shared with students how the idea for the show got started, stories of their adventures and those they have helped along the way and advice for the future Tuesday in the Ohio Union’s Archie Griffin Grand Ballroom.

Jonnie Penn said the idea for the list came about when life as a college student wasn’t adding up.

“We started the list after coming to college and being disillusioned with the whole process,” Penn said. “It seems like there’s a lot of pressure to conform and to kind of file in rank and get your degree, graduate and get a job. It’s supposed to be the last institution in society where you are allowed to ask ‘why are things working the way they are?’… It was like a big slap in the face and we woke up and asked ‘what are we doing with our lives?'”

This marked the start of their list, titled, “100 Things To Do Before I Die.” For every item they cross off their list, the guys help a stranger achieve something he or she dreams of doing.

“We want you to leave here feeling like you can do whatever you want to do,” Jonnie Penn said.

The guys left students with three tips for pursuing their dreams: make a list, go after it and pay it forward by helping others.

Toward the end of the show the guys posed their famous question, “What do you want to do before you die?” to the audience of Ohio State students.

Maria Thomas, a first-year in international business said before she dies, she would like to crowd surf. The guys decided that could be easily done, on the spot. They cranked up some music and called audience members to gather, sending Thomas sailing across an ocean of students to fulfill her dream.

“The Buried Life”was scheduled to visit Ohio State Feb. 21, but had to cancel last minute due to bad weather.

“I missed the show during winter quarter, so I was happy they could make it out tonight, “said Emily Fetheroff, a first-year in psychology and public affairs. “I like helping people so watching their show and seeing all the good they do reminds me of the things I hope to do in the future.”

Fetheroff wasn’t the only student hoping to gain some inspiration from the event.

Kyla Cincinat, a second-year in anthropology said she “came to laugh and hopefully gain some inspiration for life.”

“The Buried Life was a natural fit into our week of service designed to raise awareness and enthusiasm for community service and create a service culture at Ohio State,” said Alfred Yates, a second-year in math and communication and co-director of community commitments for the Ohio Union’s ServeCorps, which is heading “Pay It Forward Week,” according to the event website.

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