Sam Verlinden Flying to Neverland

Sam Verlinden, as “John” was outstanding in the opening scene showing off his dancing skills waltzing with his co-actor Phoebe Jasper who played Wendy. In a review written by Melanie Williams she described Sam’s portrayal of John nothing other than strong, confident and outstanding.

Harry Stanbridge & Sam Verlinden "Peter Pan 2010"

Sam Verlinden recently completed his last performance as John in Peter Pan presented by The National Youth Theater Company (NYTC) this musical adaptation of the play by Sir James M Barrie was directed by: Glen Pickering and James Doy and Choreographed by Nikki Ring.

The show received great reviews from the first showing with special remarks included about the great harness techniques used on the flying scenes.

Sam Verlinden, as “John” was outstanding in the opening scene showing off his dancing skills waltzing with his co-actor Phoebe Jasper who played Wendy.  In a review written by Melanie Williams she described Sam’s portrayal of John nothing other than strong, confident and outstanding. She went on to describe in detail the flying scene:

john and wendy
Sam Verlinden & Phoebe Jasper

One of the greatest moments was when Peter Pan leads the Lost Boys with John and Michael in the anthem (“I Won’t Grow Up”). A great upbeat number with fantastic choreography, movement, harmonies and togetherness, with several of the Lost Boys giving solid solo performances including Michael and the pompous John trying to correct grammar “Not I”. This scene finished to great applause.

Overall the production was bright, entertaining, energetic and fun. The set and props excellent, including the introduction of puppetry for “Nana” the dog, an Ostrich and a Kangaroo.


Recently we caught up with Sam to do a short interview and he graciously answered the following questions:

Rivenmaster: Sam, You do several charity events throughout the year.  What single charity do you have a heart beat for and why?  Please elaborate……..!

Sam: I always like to help charities whenever I’m asked, but particularly the Down Syndrome Association because my sister Emily has Downs.

Beauty Pagent
Runner up Lisa Davids with her escort Sam Verlinden

Rivenmaster: What was your experience at the Miss North Shore Beauty Pageant like?  What was the most enjoyable part of that event?

Sam: It was really cool doing this event. Watching all the contestants competing in their different categories and seeing how nervous they were, it reminded me of when I compete in events. The girls were really friendly though and it was a lot of fun to do.

Rivenmaster: If you had to pick one event in your career of acting and singing which one stands out the most to you and why?

Sam: If I had to pick an event that stands out, I would have to say it would be Christmas in the Park, probably because of the amount of people that attended, 250,000 plus,  (quite a few), and also The World Championship of Performing Arts in Hollywood in 2008 which was such an awesome experience, to compete with talented kids from fifty plus other countries around the world.

Rivenmaster: If you could perform with any musician that has inspired you during your lifetime aside from Michael Jackson of course who would you choose?

Sam: If I could perform with any other musician other than MJ, it would have to be Stevie Wonder, he’s an awesome musician and it would be such an honor to perform with him.

Rivenmaster: How is the new band that was formulated recently doing?  How many hours a week do you practice?  I know you get your share of gigs but are you planning any big shows or live performances, fairs etc this year?

Sam: With the new band, it’s going really well, but we’re having a bit of a break at the moment cause I’m doing lots of theatre and other things but we’re looking at getting back together soon after my current play finishes.

Rivenmaster: What is the farthest you have traveled from home for a performance?

Sam: The farthest I have travelled away from home would be LA, I went over there to compete in The World Champs in 2008, it was awesome and also cool that I got to do lots of tourist things like Universal Studios and Disneyland.

Rivenmaster: Outside of your immediate family, friends, & musicians.  What person has made the biggest impact on you as a person.

Sam: The group that has made the biggest impact on me as a person would have to be every single rugby player out there, they all influence me to play the game, it’s very cool. Musically there are so many people that influence me, MJ, Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, Beyonce, The Beatles and lots more.

Rivenmaster: What kind of movies do you enjoy the most?

Sam: I like the Rush Hour series, they’re pretty cool. I also really liked Avatar and Slumdog Millionaire that I saw recently.  I mostly like action and comedy movies.

Rivenmaster: Sam your perfor ming in two major stage performances this year; Peter Pan and Macbeth… Can you tell u s a little about each, their director, fellow actors, and highlights from each show?

Sam: Acting as John in Peter Pan was great, it was the biggest acting role I’ve had so far and I really enjoyed it.

-------Daniel Sewell & Sam Verlinden-------- "Ready to Fly!"

Apart from the acting, I also had to learn how to waltz and even more cool – learning how to fly which was much trickier than it looks.  I got lots of bruises from the harnesses. It was great fun doing this show tho, and you always make some good friends backstage, especially with the other Michael and Johns and also the others in my Darling Family, and Wendy, Hook, Smee, First Brave, Tiger Lily, Liza and the other Lost Boys.  They were all awesome, just like a big family. Some of the older leads like to hang out in our ‘Michael and John’ room backstage cause we had a PS2 there with lots of games.  It’s always really good fun backstage with the NYTC cast.

macbeth sam
Luke Thornborough & Sam Verlinden on set of MacBeth!

Macbeth is the play I’m doing at the moment; it is completely different to what I normally do, with no singing.  Its hard core classic Shakespeare which is weird and dark and violent.  I get murdered though which is pretty fun to act out.  It’s very cool to be working with Stage Two Production cast again and James the Director.   Even tho it’s a much more serious show than the previous Tommy show we did, James has made a lot of effort into putting humor and even some music into this play which lightens it up a bit.  Musicals will always be my favorite I think though.


“Sam continues to be amazing with every new performance whether it is on stage acting in a musical or drama or bringing the crowd of thousands on their feet cheering in excitement to his vocal magic.  This is one blogger who is proud to be his friend and supporter.”                                                               Rivenmaster


8 thoughts on “Sam Verlinden Flying to Neverland”

  1. Isn`t that amazing – Sam a Hansonfan like me. I still am and will be forever. My mom still remember my room plastered with zillions of Hanson posters and I wonder if they ever found out at my school who was drawing the Hanson logo on every desk ( amm well come one I now that`s now allowed , but once….). I recently watched the live concerts of Hanson from NY and they were as amazing as ever. In fact their history as a band is like a text book , a valuable lesson to every young singer . I myself used to sing along so much …like all the time ….that`s probably why I learned English. Sam strikes me like a great kid and you have done a great job rising him up to be so polite and talented.

  2. Heya SkyKid – cool comments from you.
    Just one thing, you and Sam do have things in common – back when he was around 5 – 7yrs old he was a HUGE Hanson fan. He had their CD, and played it over and over, until it nearly wore out !!
    His favorite tracks were I Will come to You and Where's the Love.
    I probably even have some very early video footage somewhere of him singing it with his missing front teeth 🙂
    Thanks again for all your support of Sam – awesome-ness 🙂

  3. Thanks for the nice comments Skykid! Sam deserves every accolade that we can afford him. Yes the death scene was a bit different but it just shows the diversity of our man Sam! Not only is he an extraordinary singer but he can act as well! Like you, I hope that I am able to see Sam perform live someday too. He is already a huge star in my book and watching his growth and development in his vocals has been simply amazing! Some day we will see his CD's being sold in every major record company around the world! It's my delight to know him and his family as well as I do, and I'm so proud to be his supporter and fan.

  4. So Sam made it to Neverland. Gee people always get to the coolest places before me. I have always wanted to see Peter Pan in a stage play – the one they had in London was cool , but I was unable to attend. To compensate I went to the Kensington Gardens to see the the bronze of Peter Pan placed there by J M Barrie, the author who created him. But now how am I going to compensate not being able to attend the wonderful musicales Sam plays in….

    Very insightful interview Rod , I was able to discover bits of information about Sam that I did not know such as his musical preferences , which I must say seem similar to mine. Only we don`t seem to watch the similar types of films ….but I really recommend him to see Son of Rambow and Mickybo and Me as there are two of the most amazing comedies I know.

    I must say that as I predicted on Twitter when Sam mentioned that he gets murdered in Macbeth – seeing that even in a video recordings is quite stressful. I much rater see him sing and receive awards …things like that.

    Last but not least loved the stage shots . Sam twitter some of them today which is what triggered my interest to find out more about the production and yey an amazing article with an interview. Bravo Rod and good job Sam ! It may seem kind of odd coming from me – but I am really proud of you !


  5. As always it's my honor and privilege to support Sam! Thanks for all your help enabling me to put these articles together and thanks to Sam for his time and effort for the interview! God Bless and all my best to you and Sam!

  6. Nice work Rod (again) on the article.
    And great work finding a reviewer to quote 🙂
    Thanks again for all your hard work, you are such a great support to all our young singers and I know they all appreciate what you do.
    Bronwyn from NZ

  7. Pamela,
    Thanks so much for commenting about the article! Sam is a long time resident here at Rivenmaster's Place and has become a great friend as well as a young man whom I admire for his dedication to his talent! He is very inspiring in his ability to take on so much at the same time and do well with it all! Sam is more than just a good singer but a real artist and performer. Rest assured that we will be watching and listening to him for years to come and I look forward to every opportunity to showcase his amazing abilities!

  8. Wow, cool article Mr Rivenmaster on a fabulous kiwi boy Sam.
    Thanks for writing and sharing – thoroughly enjoyed.
    Pamela Wright, Wellington, NZ

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