Christiana De'Shaun-Marie Beasley Alum Q&A
Updated: May 4
Christiana De'Shaun-Marie Beasley, a 2016 communication arts graduate focused on audio, video and cinema production graduate, tells us a little bit about her story.
Beasley grew up in Anderson, Ind., but did not attend AU- at first. After being at a school across the country, she decided to come back. She wanted to go to film school and get involved immediately. Beasley speaks about this desire in a conversation she had with the department chair at the time, Dr. Don Boggs.
“I distinctly remember Boggs sharing his thoughts on me joining the department; sharing he saw something in me that didn't come around there often. I know what he saw. He saw and understood my yearning for OPPORTUNITY. He said, the opportunities are here for anyone who wants to take them. And the rest is history.”
When did your passion begin?
Her passion for storytelling began at a very young age. She enjoyed reading and loved stories. She recalls stapling pieces of paper together and writing her own books to read to her family when she was young.
How did I get to where I am now?
“How can anyone say ’no’ if you don't ask first?”
Beasley says she did not have huge connections in the film industry, so she decided to take initiative and get creative. She speaks of how asking professionals in the field, often through LinkedIn, would lead to professional advice and sometimes actual job opportunities that could lead to bigger things.
“It was like this golden telephone (or email for lack of better words) that offered me close-to-immediate access to those in the entertainment industry… I remember I'd watch the credits to projects I wanted to work on, finding names of individuals who I admired their work (Producers, Set Designers, etc.), and I'd cold-connect them. I like to call it cold-connect instead of cold-calling!”
One connection stood out though. A production assistant working on The Walking Dead series connected with Beasley. Beasley said the assistant being from the Midwest and starting as a “dayplayer” (where you work for a day and another day isn't promised) connected the two. A year later, for one day, Beasley found herself on the set. The opportunities did not stop there. A few months later she went to Atlanta to work on the set again. After that she booked Game Night and the show The Originals.
What were some of your favorite experiences here at AU?
“My life at AU, especially living off campus, still consisted of many long nights ON campus! I was active in a multitude of exciting ventures but, primarily found my home away from home being our production studio. Most people don't know about it; it's a house that sits at the back corner of Reardon. Whether working on class or simply passion projects - I always found myself immersed in creative spaces within that building,” she said.
“I remember my first summer working as a student manager. Times were changing and newer technology was emerging. I was a part of the process in renovating our entire control room in the production house. We spent hours upon hours, and more hours removing BNC cables. I remember dreaming about doing this because it was so repetitive. It was a tiny little room with barely any space to move around. My fellow student managers and I worked so closely that we were forced to connect and bonded almost immediately. The laughter in that room, the memories...puts a smile on my face every time I reminisce.”
What are you doing now? What have been some highlights?
Constantly moving around, trying new things, and immersing herself in exciting experiences, Christina finds herself in a variety of places. Whether working on Netflix features and HBO Max series or building her own businesses, she is always using her creativity to share a story or express herself artistically. She emphasized the commraderie and importance of the relationships she has built in her field.
What have been some challenges ?
“I am a young-er, bi-racial, woman in the industry. So, oftentimes it seems like many things are against me. Gratefully, our industry is changing and I'm finding myself on more diverse sets, working with people who are more open-minded, and where politics aren't the center but the creative process is!”
How have you felt AU has prepared you for your career?
AU prepared her for her career by giving her opportunities.. She was passionate and determined and active in taking those opportunities. Christina was heavily involved in the department. She was a student manager at Covenant Productions and radio station 98.7 The Song.“AU, my family within that production studio specifically, gave me a platform to learn, grow, and emerge into the professional creative I am today.”
What are some hopes and dreams you have for the future?
Beasley loves being a storyteller in the production world, but has other asspirations as well.. One of her biggest passions is giving back to people and the earth. This can be done in a variety of ways.
“Whether I'm guiding female motorcycle riders on a road trip out West, or volunteering to better Wildlife Conservation in Africa. Not only do these ventures fuel the soul, but it truly clears the mind and I believe makes the world a better place!”
What advice would you give current AU students? Especially ones from your department?
“Do it; try it! You'll never be "ready".We live in a world where others are constantly telling us to like this, be that, and where perfection is a misconception. I truly believe that if one wants to discover their passions leading to their purpose, you have to be active in life. Take action on trying the things that interest you. Take action on your curiosities. The unknown can be an uncomfortable place but, keep in mind that comfortability stunts growth. So keep growing, and keep going! And if you're waiting around thinking you'll be 100% for anything, you're more likely to miss out on everything.”
Delaney Dye is double majoring in public relations and youth leadership development with a minor in family science. She is from New Castle, Indiana, and is now finishing her last year at Anderson University in Indiana. Dye is a member in PRSSA, and a second year associate with Fifth Street Communications®, a student-run public relations agency at Anderson University.