No one can accuse Christian Kebbel of having a passing interest in a subject. But a passionate interest? Most definitely.
Mention music and he’ll talk about his show on WPRK, Leafy Green Digest, and excitedly mention his favorite Spanish metal band, then that he’s taught himself both piano and drums.
Mention theater and he’ll tell you that when he was 16, he directed (yes, directed) Cabaret at the IceHouse Theatre, won two Cubie awards for best lead actor and, oh yes (modestly), he was once a child star and still teaches acting at an Orlando talent agency.
Mention food and he’ll share his dream of opening restaurants around the world, speaking to customers in their native tongues (he’s studying Spanish, French, Italian, and Arabic), then about his love for the green market as well as his work packing sandwiches for Help for the Homeless.
And oh, by the way, did I mention he is also a gifted writer, filmmaker, and photographer, and is intensely curious about world cultures?
“I tend not to do anything halfway,” he said. “I think that’s why Rollins is such a great fit for me. Only at Rollins could you be taking a physics and philosophy course, a scuba-diving class—that allows you to get certified and go to Grand Cayman—while you learn how to fence and take creative writing, while still feeling like you’re taking the steps necessary to graduate on time.”
Kebbel’s passionate interests should in no way suggest flightiness. He is the kind of serious scholar who catches the eye even of President Lewis Duncan. In August, after providing him tutoring in physics, Duncan traveled with Kebbel to Alaska to guide him on graduate-level research on the ionosphere.
“Where else would it be possible for me to do research with the president of my college the summer after my freshman year?” Kebbel said. “I’m still puzzled how it happened for me.”
Major: Self-designed interdisciplinary studies (modern languages, anthropology, creative writing)
Hometown: Winter Park, FL
Little-known fact: Starred in a Muppet movie as a child (Kermit’s Swamp Years)
Listens to: The Bicycles
Admires: Actor Gary Oldman, Chef Anthony Bourdain
Favorite literary character: Fievel
Known for: Prominent Adam’s apple
Admits to… doing nothing halfway
Favorite toy as a child: Life-size blow-up Batman (still has it)
You did what? Taught myself quantum physics
Breakfast: Slow-cooked whole grains, crushed walnuts, raw almonds, bananas, strawberries and blueberries (all organic), unsweetened soy milk, dash of cinnamon; two hard-boiled eggs, glass of pure cranberry juice, cup of hot green tea and one tablespoon fish oil
Dream job: World chef
In 10 years: Toddlers. Bliss.