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Who is Samuel L. Collins?

Who are you named after? 

Samuel in the Bible and the L. is for Lucas [as in George Lucas.  In fact, his father briefly wanted to name him George Lucas Collins]

I think it’s very coincidental that we’re making an Indiana Jones rip-off.  My Dad loves the Star Wars series, especially Return of the Jedi.  His favorite character is Yoda.  My favorite Yoda quote is “Do or Do Not.  There is no try.”

Who would you like to meet? 

Harrison Ford because he played Indiana Jones.

What’s your favorite movie?

Star Wars followed by Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

What historical figure would you most like to have known as a friend?

George Washington.  I’d like to get the full scoop on the cherry tree incident.

When is your birthday?

May 6, 1996.

If you didn’t live in Tampa, Florida, where would you like to live?

Colorado Springs, Colorado.

What do you like to eat for breakfast?

Blueberry Morning Cereal.  My parents don’t let me have sugar cereal.

Who has had the greatest impact on your life?

Mommy.

What do you want to be when you grow up? 

An airplane mechanic.  That’s what my grandpa did for the Air Force during the Vietnam War.  He worked on B52 bombers. He was a Chief master sergeant.

Why do you want to be an airplane mechanic? 

I like taking things apart.  When I was little, I saw some 3D puzzles for sale at a garage sale. The Leaning Tower of Pisa was 50 pieces and The Taj Mal had 1,000 pieces.  When I actually saw the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person with my family, I was very disappointed.  It was surprisingly short compared to the pictures I had seen.  Later, I got into building model cars. 

I also like to play with Legos because I like building things without having to get out a whole tool set. 

What is the message of Samuel L. Collins and The Search for Biblical Truths?

The Bible is practical. 

Children can apply it to their normal, everyday lives.  For a lot of them, they don’t know a lot of Scripture.  Their parents don’t make them learn it. 

My parents have shown me through everyday circumstances that the Bible does apply to our lives.  We try to read the Bible.  My father reads through the Bible chapter by chapter to our family.

Recently, he read through the book of Romans. 

Paul was talking about how we need to step out in faith and go against what other people say.  Paul was trying to make it very clear that everyone sins. Jesus is the only way that you can feel relieved of your sins because Jesus took them away.  But you believe that Jesus is part of the Trinity and that He is the only way to heaven and that the resurrection actually did happen.  Without the resurrection, there is nothing special about Jesus.  If we didn’t have the resurrection, He would be just like every other person who claimed he was God. 

When did you become a Christian?

Probably around 5 and 6 years old. 

I walked down the aisle at Exciting Idlewild Baptist Church [a church of 10,000 members in the Tampa, Florida area www.idlewild.org ] and I said to the deacon that I wanted to become a Christian.  They took me back into a room where they told me more about it.  Three months later, I was baptized in the baptistery.  I remember that I wore a white robe.  I was pretty excited. 

What’s the hardest part about acting in the DVD series?

To get the emotion the character is feeling at the time. If I keep messing up, I’ll get frustrated and yet the character is supposed to be happy.  So, it’s difficult to get happy again.  My secret to get happy again is to crack a joke.  I love a good joke.

Does the director record the scenes in one take?

No, we usually have to tape scenes multiple times and from different angles.  Each take is different.  So I can be creative.  I don’t have to know my lines word for word. 

What did your friends say they liked about the first DVD?

They liked the gadgets and the special effects.  I like the different noises that my special watch makes when I talk into it.  It’s hard to believe that Roshie [the director] can make it look like it all actually happened when we filmed it.

In the first DVD release, you’re tempted to keep the cash that a woman drops on the ground in Singapore.  Would that be a temptation for you in real life?

Yes, I would feel tempted not to return the money. 

It would have been a dilemma to give it back to her.  I might spend it on a Christmas present.  I think a lot of children my age can relate to me.  That’s because people are usually greedy and selfish.  They say, “Oh that’s for me!” 

I know God says, “You shall not steal”, but that’s hard sometimes.

How did you get a couple in Singapore to agree to be in your DVD and drop the cash which prompted your moral dilemma about integrity? 

When we were filming, we went to a coffee shop.  The couple was sitting there with their child.  We asked them if they would be willing to drop the money in that scene for our movie.  We explained the idea that we are trying to teach children about integrity. They were from Bali and spoke good English.  We asked them to sign a waiver so that they wouldn’t sue us after we made it. 

Since your family travels so much, what have you noticed is different about America?

America has a lot more luxuries than other countries.  And also Americans eat poorly.  In America, they might have McDonalds in the morning for breakfast and then eat fast food for lunch and dinner.  In Bali, they eat smaller meals like rice and vegetables.  That’s a lot healthier.

In some of the Asian countries, I noticed that each Hindu family has their own set of idols.  They’re not worshipping the one true God.  They’re worshipping lots of different gods who represent the different types of seasons, different forms of weather, different elements of the earth, even demons.  It’s very depressing to see whole populations of people doing things like that to be able to have a clean conscience.   

God is very sad that Satan has tempted them away.  God has given them free choice and allows for them to decide.  The First Commandment says “You shall only worship one God.”  And the second one says, “You shall not make for yourself any graven image.”  

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Playing with friends.  Because we travel often, I don’t get to see them very much.

What is your favorite sport?

Basketball.

What is the most foolish thing you’ve ever done?

Put a key in an electrical socket.  It felt weird.

What was the highlight of filming in Singapore?

Going on the Singapore Flyer [www.singaporeflyer.com] – a  giant Ferris wheel with a good view of the city.  [At 541 feet tall, it’s the world’s largest observation wheel]

What stood out in Bali?

Seeing the jungles which are very dense with lots of spiders.  The other thing that I remember was when a restaurant served us a suckling pig [two-six-week-old piglet].  I didn’t try it. It looked like they had dipped this whole pig in a glaze.  It was very unappetizing.  Our guide from Bali laughed at me.

Speaking of things to eat, what is your favorite food?

Ravioli.

What did you like most about Germany?

When we were filming the DVD series there, it was around Christmas.  They had all of their Christmas festivals and marketplaces.  I got to hear the different holiday sounds of Germany.  And I tasted the bratwurst, a sausage they make.  It’s like a giant hotdog.

I understand you love giving Christmas presents.

Yeah, I’m a gift giver.  

For Christmas one year, I built an old Ford model car for my Grandpa.  It was the type of Ford model they had when he was born.  I just painted it.  I excluded the decals to make it look more original.   I’m a detail-oriented person.

Sometimes I’ll buy a Christmas gift for someone a year ahead of time. I like to be prepared when things are on sale. 

My sister Katie always wanted a live penguin, but then she got a book about a boy who always wanted a penguin.  When he got one, he had to take ice cold baths with his pet penguin and and eat raw fish.  He didn’t want the penguin anymore and neither did my sister. So when we visited Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo near my house, I bought a stuffed penguin names Osbert for her in the gift store.  She liked it.

How do you pay for gifts? 

People give me money for birthday and Christmas. 

But I also make pens and sell them.  You see my father and I like doing small woodworking projects.  So, at a fair, we went up to a booth that showed us how to make your own pens.  It was pretty involved.  There was the cost of the lathe machine, the gouge chisel, the sander, and the pen kits.  This company even sells different kinds of wood like bamboo, ebony, mahogany and blood wood to make the pens.

The next day I asked Dad if he could loan me $1,000 to start my pen business if I paid him back the money from the sales of the pens.  He said yes.  I paid my father back in full.  It took one year.  My father was surprised that I paid him off so quickly. 

How did you market your pens?

I market my pens in person. 

I walked up to Voddie Baucham [one of Sam’s favorite Christian speakers] and asked him, “Would you like to invest in the future?  Would you like to buy this pen that I made for $100?”  He loves fountain pens.  He looked very serious.   And then he wrote me a check for $100.  That’s the most I’ve ever sold a pen for.  But I sell most of my pens for $25-$40. 

I sold one to Mr. Phillips [Doug Phillips, Founder of Vision Forum Ministries].  After he bought one, I was able to say to other people at the same event, “You should have this pen.  Mr. Phillips has one just like it.”  They wanted one too.    

I think it’s a good idea to have a trade as a young person, because that’s a way to build up wealth so that when you get married you can buy a house and not go in debt.

When did you decide that you wanted to buy a house without going into debt?

When I was 11. 

I attended a conference with my family called “The 200 Year Plan.”  They said to write down your goals and your family’s mission statement.  I wrote up my plan on my own.  It was a list of about 12 steps on a yellow legal pad.  One of the steps said, “I have to have a house paid off before I get married.”

After I paid my father back the $1,000 that he loaned me, I made $1,000 profit that I put in the bank.

When I get older, I hope to invest in a rental property that will bring in a slow income.  I want to buy a duplex to rent it out. My father owns duplexes and he believes it’s a wonderful way to make money.  

The hard part is to make sure you always have one person in there at all times so that you’re not having to pay for it out of pocket. I’ve learned how to switch out the plugs and even how to change out a pipe for the sewer.   It’s a dirty job, but it’ll help me pay for a future house.  That’s perseverance. 

Besides making pens, what else do you like to do?

Speech and debate, swimming, and reading.

What are you most proud of?

Reaching a regional invitational in speech and debate in my first year.

Which talent do you wish to have?

The ability to draw.

You are so goal-oriented.  Are you an organized person?

Not so much.

Did your father write down the Collins Family Mission statement? 

Yes he did.  Our plan is to “Go out and reach the community for the glory of God. We can use the technology that God has given us like the key pads [the audience response technology featured in his parents’ business www.TheExtremeGroup.com] and God told us to make a movies.” So, we’ll just step out in faith and go and make movies.

What is the craziest thing you want to do?

I want to skydive.  It would be very fun to jump out of a plane and see the world from a very different perspective.  But it scares me, so I don’t think I’ll ever do it.

What’s your favorite Bible verse?

Joshua 1:9. 

God says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Why is Joshua 1:9 your favorite verse?

When I was little, I used to be afraid of the dark.  I was scared of the dark because I was worried that someone might come after me and kill me. I just know that there are some bad people out there.  My father told me about that verse and I memorized it over time.  I think of that verse and it helps me to be courageous and not to fear. 

Other children need to figure out what they’re afraid of, then recite Joshua 1:9 when they are dealing with that.  I think that would help.

What is your favorite book of the Bible?

Genesis.

Who is your favorite Bible character?

Paul. 

No matter how many hardships he went through, no matter what people were saying him, he listened to the Holy Spirit and did what God told him to do.  Paul was beaten, stoned, jailed, flogged.  At the end of his life, he said, “I have run the good race.”  I want to be able say that when I’m old and close to going to heaven. 

What stands out to me about Paul is his perseverance.  To persevere is not to be distracted from your original goal.  One of my favorite quotes is from Winston Churchill:  “Never, never, never give up.”  That’s perseverance!

My goal is to get through the shows that we haven’t put together yet and to get through my interviews smoothly. 

I think it’s a good idea for children to have a favorite Bible character in order to have someone to look up to.  Don’t choose a bad character like Goliath or Satan.

What was the toughest time in your life?

When my older sister, Katie, won several awards with her movie. (Unexpected News (Katie’s movie received awards at WYSIWYG Christian Film Festival- USA, Sabboath Christian Film Festival-Milan, Italy, and UNA George Lindsey Film Festival- USA).  She was 9, I was 7.  I was jealous.

Who do you most admire?

My grandfather -- Loren Collins.

He’s 77.  I admire that every morning he reads his devotional, goes about his day, tried to do everything he can to serve God.  When I read my Bible, I think about him reading his Bible.  He takes notes when he reads the Bible.

When you turned 13, your parents organized a Blessing Ceremony.  What was that like?

Each person gave me something special and how that item would help me to become a man.

My grandfather gave me the Bible that he had when he was in Vietnam. This is the Bible that he used when he was fixing airplanes in the Air Force.  It’s very special to me.

One of my friends gave me a book that has different Bible verses for whatever you’re going through.   Like if you’re struggling with anger, it has all the Bible verses talking about anger.  Another friend gave me a can of small rocks with a different Fruits of the Spirit painted on each one like joy, peace and patience.

My dad gave me a sword and reminded me that I will always have to defend my life.  He pronounced a blessing over me.  I remember he said, “Samuel, one day you will need to protect your family and lead them.”

My mom gave me a Willow Tree Collectible of a young man sitting on a pile of books reading to remind me to read my Bible every day.

I guess you like to read.

I love to read classic books like Johnny Tremain about a young boy growing up during the time of the American Revolution.  [Johnny Tremain is a 1944 children's novel by Esther Forbes set in Boston prior to and during the outbreak of the American Revolution.]  It’s historical fiction.

I have also enjoyed reading two different series by Douglas Bond.  One is called Crown and Covenant, about the Scottish people who were fleeing from the King of England during the Scottish Reformation.  And the other series is called Faith and Freedom about the McKeith Family, who came to America.

What’s next for Samuel L. Collins?

Shooting three more episodes and homeschooling.


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