What would happen if we took a year off from the college grind and asked the most influential personalities of our nation out for a cup of coffee?
If we were lucky, perhaps we would find ourselves in a situation similar to that of Eric Saperston, creator of the cinematic documentary "The Journey."
Saperston's footage of his cross-country search for the meaning of life appears tonight at Memorial Hall. Singer-songwriter Edwin McCain will perform onstage periodically throughout the evening.
Plagued with questions concerning his purpose, his goals and essentially the meaning of life, Saperston said he began work on "The Journey" after asking himself one more question - who would offer the best and most insightful advice to members of his generation facing the same dilemma?
Not sure of what his post-college future held for him, Saperston left San Diego in 1993 with three friends and a 1971 Volkswagen bus to find the answer, interviewing corporate leaders, artists, musicians and political figures along the way.
From these filmed conversations, "The Journey" was created.
In total, more than 170 speakers contributed to footage in "The Journey," including the late Jerry Garcia, Jimmy Carter, former Texas Gov. Ann Richards and actor Henry Winkler.
Saperston said he believed that it was his duty to pass on the lessons he had learned and experiences he had gained to the people around him.
Spreading his message to "live a life you love and live it powerfully," Saperston's tour of college campuses began in Michigan and progressed across the nation by bus.
"The Journey" earned a promotional boost in the fall of 1999 when McCain joined Saperston on the tour circuit.
By combining McCain's original music with Saperston's storytelling and filmed interviews, the two have turned "The Journey" into a legitimate company complete with agents, sponsors and a much more popular appeal.
Saperston said he believes that "The Journey" would not be what it is today without McCain's assistance and faith in the purpose of the project.
"Edwin is amazing and a great friend and mentor to me," Saperston said.
"He's also a rock star on the good side of the force."
Excited to bring "The Journey" to UNC, Saperston promises an engaging presentation.
"We hope to have a really fun evening full of laughter and entertainment," Saperston said. "We want the students to walk away with a real sense that anything they want to do in their work, they have all the skills and tools to do it.
"If we do our job right, at the end of the night everyone will be reminded of what they already know."
"The Journey" appears at 7 p.m. tonight in Memorial Hall.
Tickets are available at the Carolina Union box office and are $5 for the general public, $3 for UNC students. Call 962-1449 for more information.
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