The Buried Life visits Bellevue College

The Buried Life Duncan Penn speaks in the cafeteria. Photo by Amy Leong

Bellevue College’s cafeteria filled up with about 360 students on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at around 7:30 p.m., but a lot of the people at the cafeteria weren’t BC students. Because BC had won an online contest in which several other colleges were competing, the four friends from MTV’s “The Buried Life” ended up at the cafeteria. The event was organized by the BC Associate Student Government.

“The Buried Life” was the title of the MTV show up until its cancellation after its second season in October 2011. In the show, the four friends: Duncan Penn, Jonnie Penn, Ben Nemtin and Dave Lingwood, travel around America in their bus “Penelope” and for every item they knock off of their 100-item bucket list, they help a stranger make a dream come true.

Several months ago, the group held an online contest on Facebook. A lot of colleges signed up, among which was Bellevue College. The winner of the contest would get a visit from the group and one student would be chosen upon the visit to have an item crossed off of his or her bucket list.

“Of the over 1000 votes, over 500 Bellevue College students voted for the crew to come to our school,” says Sarah Mirahsani, the ASG Campus Life and Events Representative.

The ASG played an enormous part in making this event happen at BC. When contacted by the manager of the group, the ASG researched and studied before making it happen. They made sure it was an event that students at Bellevue College would want to attend, and also found out how other colleges reacted to the visit.

When the decision to fund the event was made, the ASG proceeded to begin planning. Every detail was planned carefully, and over 350 tickets were printed out and distributed for free to students and non-BC students in the C building during the days leading up to the event.

There were long lines before the event began at both entrances of the cafeteria. The Buried Life T-shirts were sold outside. Small buckets were distributed to people upon their entry with notes reading “What do you want to do before you die,” which emphasized the point of the show.

The group, a little behind schedule, adding to the suspense of the now impatient crowd, finally made its entrance. They took turns telling their story and showed the crowd photos and videos of their journey.

The group then asked the crowd to form a short line behind a microphone at the center of the room and say what they wanted to do before they died. The statements varied from “I want to become a rave planner,” to “I want to meet my father and my two half sisters,” to “I want to dress up like a banana and be chased around by monkeys.”

Finally, the group told the crowd to send a text message to a specific number to find out how to enter the contest online. The winner would be chosen to have his or her wish fulfilled. No details about the winner have surfaced yet.

After throwing a few shirts and other gifts to the crowd, the group told their fans to meet them upstairs at the “Meet and Greet” after the show for questions and pictures. Right after they exited the stage almost everyone in the room formed a line to see them, and about an hour and a half later, everyone had spoken or taken a picture with the four friends.

“We were blown away by the success of the event,” said Mirahsani, “Students had a great time and were inspired by The Buried Life’s message.”

“The Bellevue College crowd was fantastic!” Ben Nemtin told The Jibsheet later in a backstage interview. “Very lively, great list items… and extremely, extremely sexy!”