Student Spotlight: Beth Casteel

Disclaimer: This is a satirical piece.

By: Beth Casteel

An old episode of “Tales from the Crypt” served as background noise for Beth Casteel, a junior at Cleveland State majoring in journalism, film, psychology and promotional communication, as she wrote a student spotlight for an upcoming issue of The Cauldron.

Pausing for a brief moment, she watched as the Cryptkeeper introduced yet another episode of the show. With a sigh, she picked up her sticker-covered laptop and began to type once more.

This may not be the first time she’s ever written a student spotlight, but something about writing it about herself has made this particular article nearly impossible.

“I’m definitely not cool enough to have one of these written about me,” Casteel said. “The only cool things about me are my love of hockey, horror movies and a band called Seaway.”

These interests, that are apparently the only cool things about her, have helped her decide her future career path. She would love to one day do video production full time, whether that be creating one of those slasher movies she so desperately loves or filming gameplay coverage for a hockey team.She’d be happy doing either.

While film may have her heart, that doesn’t mean she is planning on letting her journalism degree go to waste.

Journalism was a love of hers since childhood. While other kids played during recess, she’d sit off to the side reading a magazine or book. Some may assume it was because she had no friends, which may have slightly been the case, but she didn’t mind the exclusion because it gave her more time to catch up on her latest reads.

Those reads varied all the time, but she found that she had a deep connection with books and magazines talking about music. Her interest in music, she noted, was something that was guaranteed from the start.

Being named after the Kiss song “Beth,” she’s been surrounded by rock music throughout her life, but she isn’t complaining. It wasn’t until the fifth grade when her taste in music changed, and she began to fall in love with a more alternative scene with punk music.

Listening to bands like Sum 41 or Taking Back Sunday, it was a dream of hers to one day meet the bands she would spend hours listening to. It wasn’t until she picked up a copy of Alternative Press Magazine that she realized she could not only meet the bands she loved, but she could write about them too.

Picking up that magazine was the catalyst for Casteel to decide that pursuing journalism and working at Alternative Press was something that she wanted to eventually do. So, the following years were spent reading as many articles as she could, writing whatever came to mind and listening to punk bands that most people have probably never heard of.

Fast forward to college, she’s been actively trying to break her way into the cut-throat world of journalism.

It hasn’t been easy. Between trying to figure out her writing style to actually throwing herself out there, it was a series of trial and error before she found her footing.

“I’m the type that likes to try a lot of things just to see if I’m any good at it, and I think that’s a big factor as to where I am now,” Casteel said. “I’m a serial adder, and I apparently enjoy taking too many projects on at one time. While that may not be a good thing, I’ve managed to make it work.”

And make it work she has. Being a 50-year-old trapped in a 20-year-old’s body, she’s been lucky enough to be extremely good at planning and scheduling. Never leaving home without her planner, she’s got a method to the madness.

That madness comes in the form of school work, her internship and film projects that seem to come one after the other. While it may seem like a lot, she wouldn’t have it any other way. Plus, coffee is practically her best friend so anything is possible.

While she doesn’t seem to slow down, she doesn’t mind the constant go. Even when she’s off, she doesn’t like to spend the day doing nothing.

A day off for Casteel, when she’s not writing article after article or filming, will likely see her either at a punk show around Cleveland, eating an entire pizza by herself or watching “Back to the Future” for the millionth time.

While her days off seem few and far between, she wouldn’t change it for the world. Honestly, who needs sleep anyway?

Granted, she’s got a lot going on, but with the support of her family and friends, she’s optimistic to see where her life takes her. Whether that’s becoming the next Wes Craven, which she’d totally die if that happened, or writing articles for the rest of her life — life’s an open book, and she’s excited to fill the pages.

She still has a lot to figure out, but as of right now, she’s happy with how things are going.

Getting an editorial internship with Alternative Press Magazine and filming hockey games on the side, she’s optimistic on where her future will take her.

“I’ve worked hard to get to where I am today, and it’s so surreal to me that I’ve been fortunate enough that I can say I’ve achieved my childhood goals,” she said. “I’m not sure what’s going to happen next, but I’m pretty excited to see where life takes me once I graduate.”