The Daily Tar Heel

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Tuesday January 25th

`Journey' Takes UNC On Trip

The evening's production of "The Journey" is running slightly off schedule, but as "Journey" creator Eric Saperston said, it's not how the trip begins or ends, it's what you learn along the way that matters.

A combination of storytelling, musical performances by Edwin McCain, a slide show and a clip of the feature film set to appear at the Sundance Film Festival, "The Journey" is a motivational talk for the mixed-media minded.

The evening began with McCain's hit single "I'll Be" and rolled right into his introduction of Saperston. McCain stepped out of the spotlight, and took the back burner for the remainder of the show as Saperston began to weave his story of a postgraduation vacation turned Hollywood film production.

Almost a wolf in sheep's clothing, Saperston is a motivational speaker in the guise of a "Dead Head" come indie-film maker. His collection of interviews and anecdotal storytelling that became the film project "The Journey," promotes understanding the meaning of success through the process of finding out more about the inspiration behind one's own goals and aspirations.

"The Journey" allows Saperston to do an excellent job of exhibiting how he personally discovered that a 9-to-5 job is not for him and that via the trials and tribulations of life in a Volkswagen bus, he has located happiness.

However, "The Journey's" motivational message that you too can lead a rewarding life from outside the confines of a college degree-inspired job is weak. The strongest and most influential message of "The Journey" is much more simple and worthwhile.

Saperston said during the show that success is not something that exists only in the future tense, it is something that occurs each and every day as long as you do what you are doing to the best of your abilities.

McCain's role in "The Journey" is promotional, yet he contributed a good-humored, well presented and engaging musical segue between sections of "The Journey."

The combination of Saperston's road-trip footage and McCain's acoustic performance resulted in a sort of physical soundtrack to the voyage, and makes "The Journey" better than the sum of its parts.

McCain also shares Saperston's belief that actions should be motivated by passion rather than by requirement or feelings of obligation.

"Every time we do this show it inspires people and makes them happy," he said.

Furthermore, McCain believes that money and material goods are not the ultimate payoff for hard work. "The process of chasing after your dreams is the real reward."

In total, "The Journey" is a well-designed project with good intentions of inspiring people to become what they always wanted to be, not what everyone else expected them to become.

It is worthy of praise and I expect that it will do well at its Sundance Film Festival showing in early December.

The Arts & Entertainment Editor can be reached at artsdesk@unc.edu.


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