Cast of MTV’s ‘The Buried Life’ speak on campus

Ben Nemtin, Dave Lingwood, Duncan Penn and Jonnie Penn planned a two-week adventure to complete a list of 100 things they wanted to do before they died, which eventually led to the creation of their MTV show “The Buried Life.”

The group paid a visit to Oakland University March 7 to help students cross off items on their own bucket lists, and to discuss dreams they have fulfilled over the years.


Humble beginnings

“The Buried Life” premiered on MTV in January 2010, but before that the group was offered another show they had no interest in pursuing, according to Jonnie Penn.

“We got offered to do a show originally and said no because they wanted to buy it off of us to make it a cheesy reality show,” Jonnie said. “We had so much fun doing it for three years, real, on our own, and wanted to do it our way. MTV only sent the cameras to film our activities.”

Jonnie said the coolest list items they have ever done were playing basketball with the President, sneaking into the Playboy Mansion or donating a considerable amount of money to a charity  in Chicago called Keep America Beautiful.

“I think the thing we’ve learned is don’t waste time living someone else’s dream. We have to face up and do the things that maybe secretly scare us,” Jonnie said.


Coming to campus

By agreeing to appear on campus, the group also helped junior and student co-chair of the Student Life Lecture Board Miranda Divozzo cross an item off her bucket list.

“When I applied for the position (student co-chair) in the summer, I went into it with a bucket list of things I wanted to do with this term,” Divozzo said. “Honestly, bringing them (‘The Buried Life’) to Oakland was number one on my list. They actually crossed it off on my bucket list.”

She said the show helped bring her out of a rut she was in during high school, and she wanted to share their message with Oakland.

“My goal was for students to walk away and really feel inspired. We’re in college looking for our dream jobs, and they are telling us you can do it, you can achieve your wildest dreams. I think they inspired us to just get up and do something,” Divozzo said. “If you’re afraid to take that first step, don’t be. Their motto is nothing matters. Who cares if you try and fail? At least you tried.”


Helping the students

At the end of their sold out performance in the Banquet Rooms in the Oakland Center, the group encouraged crowd members to come together and share items on their bucket list.

Some audience members also got the chance to check items off of their own bucket lists. One student got to experience crowd surfing, and another student fulfilled the dream of kissing a celebrity with the help of Duncan and Jonnie’s cousin.

Other bucket list items mentioned by members in the audience included meeting birth parents, becoming a recognized opera singer and hugging a tiger.