Sam Verlinden Singer, Showman, Actor, Star!

sam profile picSam Verlinden of Auckland New Zealand has been a featured regular on Rivenmaster’s Place almost since its conception.  In fact, Sam was featured for the entire month of October in 2009.  Since that time Sam’s popularity on YouTube and at home in New Zealand has grown exponentially and now his acting prowess has captured the eye of both media professionals and a film graduate.

Sam is an amazing young man with exceptional musical skills.  His vocals caught my attention long before his voice showed any signs of deepening.  Sam’s greatest musical influence at an early age was Michael Jackson and he quickly learned and performed  exceptional covers of Michael’s earlier songs like “I’ll be There”, and “Ben”.  The whole time, Sam was simultaneously developing his stage acting abilities appearing in musicals at some of the larger venues in Auckland along with performing at a variety of singing engagements and shows in the city.Red Letter Band

Most recently, Sam and his newly formulate band “Red Letter” entered the Battle of the Bands Competition where they performed to screaming young fans.  I was very impressed by this young bands performance.  Not only were the guitar solos dead on, but each of them played like professionals bringing everyone in the auditorium to their feet!  While the band did not move into the final’s this year Sam still captured “Best Vocalist” and was invited back to sing with another band at the Bruce Mason Theatre where he received a standing ovation for his performance of “Stairway to Heaven”.  Sam’s immediate passion is to keep working with the band, polishing their act and abilities in order to obtain more gigs during these coming summer months in New Zealand.

bluedividersam firemanNot only is Sam continuing to please on stage, but recently appeared as a guest on local Television Station TV6 for a program called “inbeTWEEN”.  The weekly series focuses on young people who are working to find a career that suits them.  Sam did a weekly segment trying different occupations and then reported on them for the Television Show.  Of course none of the occupations suited Sam as he was not sent to the All Blacks Stadium for tryouts, or to a recording studio with a famous Kiwi Band.  “Sorry Sam”! Be sure to watch the embedded update video below for Sam’s Television debut on this program.


Sam’s most recent adventure in acting was working on a short film called “Closed Doors “, where he played the role of a young cancer patient.  The Director, Amanda La Trobe, is a film graduate who was awarded the opportunity to make her own film along with six other graduates this year. She found Sam on a website and relentlessly hunted him down until finally contacting him! While Sam was a bit reluctant at first to do a major part in an actual film, he finally agreed to her persisting and accepted the role.  His Mum told me;

“Once Sam got going, he was like a duck to water enjoying the entire process.”

When I first saw Sam’s picture with his film makeup on I was taken back but then realized it was for the film.  Sam really enjoyed doing this film and looks forward to future opportunities should they arise.

movie star clipperI asked Amanda to answer a few question regarding her project and her working with Sam.  Here is an excerpt of that interview:

  • Rivenmaster: What made you decide to get into film school and what interests you most? sam cart
  • Amanda:          Prior to doing my Bachelor of Communications with a major in Video and Studio production I completed the”On screen acting course “at South seas film and Television school. Following this I worked for a few years then decided to study something that would compliment my acting skills and give me an opportunity to work in a field I loved. What interests me about making a film? I guess it’s the notion that if executed well, you have the opportunity to entertain and affect others.
  • Rivenmaster:  What was the most important message you wanted to send in this film?
  • Amanda:             I think this film has many messages, such as forgiveness, friendship, and love which are all equally important with each speaking differently to the viewer.
  • Rivenmaster: Who wrote the script or screenplay for this?
  • Amanda:            I wrote the screenplay, directed and edited Closed Doors.
  • Rivenmaster: How did you go about choosing your cast?
  • Amanda:            I choose my cast by holding auditions using a key scene from the film that was relevant to the characters then cast by who took direction well and had a good understanding of the character. I also had to think about the overall look of the cast such as how the family would fit together.
  • Rivenmaster: How did Sam do in his audition and what was your first impression of Sam?
  • Amanda: I actually approached Sam after seeing his profile on Starnow. His mother directed me to some clips of Sam acting in a play which I followed up by meeting with him and talking to him about the character.  Sam didn’t actually have to audition for this role as after talking to him and seeing he could act from the videos I just knew he was right for the role. samclosedoors
  • Rivenmaster: How did Sam work on set, and would you work with him again?
  • Amanda:           This was Sam’s first experience of acting for film/TV I feel that he did a really good job. At times Sam forgot his lines but always managed to pull through and recover well. I would work with Sam again as he took direction well and was always pleasant to work with on set despite some of the long shoot days and poor weather conditions.

  • Rivenmaster: How long did it take to shoot and edit this short film?
  • Amanda: Filming took about 40hours over 5 days. Editing was about 250 hours.

  • Rivenmaster: Where are you hoping to bring this film so it can be viewed?
  • Amanda: I would like to enter the film into film festivals given the opportunity. Also it will most likely screen on triangle and status. The film had a private screening at the universities theatre where each actors/crew received a copy.


bluedividerSam continues to stay busy and now that summer is around the corner in New Zealand I’m sure that things will really take off for the Band with performances on a weekly basis.

Coming up in January Sam and Hannah will be performing at the

Parachute Festival 2011.

Sam performed last year in this event and was a real crowd pleaser! The audience never tired and begged for an encore.

Here is the latest video published to Sam’s YouTube site of  his bands performance at the award ceremony held at the school tonight December 6th, 2010.




Sam it goes without saying that you will become a huge success in anything you set your mind to do. Keep singing and acting and performing and following your dreams.  You are an inspiration to all of us and we are always looking to see what your next big event will be..” ………………………………………………. Rivenmaster


Here is just a few of Sams Songs for you to enjoy!  Be sure to leave him a comment below this article!

[ti_audio name=”Sam Verlinden”]

4 thoughts on “Sam Verlinden Singer, Showman, Actor, Star!”

  1. Heya SkyKid…. awesome email.
    I was really into Hanson a few years ago too – i had their CD and carried it everywhere along with my MJ History CD.
    Cool to hear you have that instant recognition thing happening, that’s awesome 🙂
    Good to hear you and Ethan are friends too, us kiwi’s (New Zealanders) stick together.
    Take care, keep up your awesome great work on SkyKid radio and promoting all the young talent that you do. You know we all appreciate it, all the support that you give (all of you).
    It’s so generous that you support and promote us and in a positive and safe environment.
    Have a great Christmas and keep rockin’ too.
    Sam and family :S

  2. I am glad to have your site as a source of updates about Sam. He has made a lot of progress since the first time I heard about him – which in my case was when John did an article for my site back in 2008. And he is the second talented singer and performer from New Zealand I came to know and follow ( the first being Ethan2Rock) . And kewl a new band – this has been trending – being in a band that is and I think its totally cool. Few years ago when I was really into Hanson ( I still am ) me and two girls were planning to start a band – it never happened ( we lived in different cities ) – but it was fun planning and doing few practices – so I have just a little bit of band experience .

    I was reading the articles ,and while doing so – seeing the pictures and watching the clips I had this feelings – you know its not like I know Sam in the real life / offline that is/ or that its likely to happen but I see a picture of him and I think ” Oh yeaa Sam Verlinden ” like in the next second or so . I mean that`s just this instant recognition that not too many people get . I don`t know for me is something to think of him that way – you know the way one thinks about stars / musicians , performers / etc – and I am sure that I am not the only one that has this ” instant recognition feeling ” – it says something about what he has achieved I guess .

    And when it comes to the short film “Closed Doors “ – I like what I saw from it. May be it could benefit from a bit more attention to the audio – but I liked the editing and the performance of the actors. The subject matter is a harsh one – I guess the director have seen the two best full feature films with similar theme – ” The Cure ” and ” Oscar et la Dame Rose ” . If not I have written a review
    on both of them and would like to really recommend them – as both are powerful and emotional dramas.

    Keep on rocking Sam and have a Merry Christmas too !

    By the way just saw the first clip – kewl – isn`t amazing how much can one find in just few minutes of video. Hmm Sam I would love to be a photographer ( I have won few contest on that – but its just a hobby ) , FireFigher – unlike the TV host I don`t think its that cool , but working with the animals is awesome ( :

  3. Bronwyn & Family,

    Thank you so much for your kind words and your support as a parent.
    I am honored and happy to support Sam in all is efforts as an artist. I watched with amazement his debut performance in this film. It is very different to go from stage theater to film. The close ups the camera required to show facial expression and emotion demonstrated Sam’s true acting ability. This film roll opportunity demonstrated just how versatile Sam has become.

    It goes without saying that I’m not just a supporter but also a fan. I listen to Sam’s original song “Break These Walls” often. It has become a real favorite of mine.

    I pray that your Holidays are joyous and I’m already looking forward to writing the next update about Sam.

  4. Hi Rod, thanks again for all your hard working putting this months article together on Sam.
    You are an inspiration to all these kids that you support and I know each and every one of them appreciate all that you do.
    It’s so important for young people to find people that genuinely support them and care for their wellbeing, and you do this without question.
    Thank you on behalf of our family and all the other families out there … this is an awesome journey we’re all taking and it’s fantastic to be able to share our kids and their talent – with you.
    Much regards, Bronwyn & family xxxxxxxxxxxx

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