Episode 1 of Life Is Strange: Before the Storm was a blast – thanks to Steph Gingrich’s DM skills, giving Callamastia (Chloe) and Elamon (Mikey) a tough fight against the final boss: Duurgaron, a massive minotaur with fire immunity. That D&D fight wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for Katy Bentz, Steph Gingrich’s voice actor. Below, we talk D&D, video games, and advice to aspiring actors/voice actors!
Cliqist: Hi Katy! Thank you so much for letting us interview you for Cliqist. You’ve recently completed a role as Dungeon Master Maven Steph Gingrich in the new Life is Strange game. We’ve gotta ask: do you play D&D (or any other tabletop RPGs) in real life?
Katy: I have never played D&D or any similar games, but I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t planning on it! Getting my DM on with Steph was so much fun. I would love to play D&D, and eventually get comfortable enough with the game to take a swing at being a DM. I think that would be a lot of fun!
Cliqist: If you were to create the perfect character in a tabletop RPG, what would their name, abilities, class, and race be?
Katy: As of now, I would rather be Slink, the Rogue Halfing who specializes in Dexterity (Stealth and Sleight of Hand), OR Aikaterina, the Druid Elf who specializes in Intelligence (Nature) and Wisdom (Survival and Insight).
Stumbling Upon Life is Strange
Cliqist: Okay, now that we’ve gotten the hard-hitting Steph inspired questions out of the way, let’s dive deeper into who Katy Bentz is. Did you play the original Life is Strange, before you were cast as Steph?
Katy: No, I didn’t. I honestly hadn’t heard of the game prior, and when I auditioned for the game it was under a different name, so I had no idea that I was cast in the Life is Strange franchise; I found out right before the game was released. Once I figured it all out, I started watching gameplays of the first season! I was shocked to find out I was a part of this franchise. It really does a lot for everyone who plays it. It’s a beautiful story filled with relatable characters, themes, and journeys. I can see why it has such a devoted fan base. The fandom is filled with dedication, support, and love, and I can’t get over what I have walked into. Everyone has been so great and welcoming!
Cliqist: Deck Nine captured the essence of Life is Strange beautifully in BTS. Who’s your favorite character in the game (besides yourself!) and why?
Katy: Rachel, so far…one more Episode! I honestly think Rachel is such a free spirit, and the way she presents herself is inviting to the player. So many people strive to be more spontaneous and to have the ability to not care what others will think – and I think Rachel captures that perfectly. She is dealing with a lot of personal issues, and the fact that she can put a smile on and keep going is inspiring for a lot of people going through their own personal problems. Each character has their positives and negatives and slip up at times, but having played the first two episodes, I can’t hold that against Rachel.
Cliqist: Now for the real question: what’s your all-time favorite video game?
Katy: Having not grown up a gamer, I was unfamiliar with the gaming culture before Life is Strange, but out of the games I have played, my favorite would have to be Heavy Rain or Spyro!
Two very different games! Heavy Rain to me was such a cool interactive game that I had never played before. I thought the choose your own adventure aspect was awesome, and having the ability to be so hands on with tasks was fascinating and fun!
Spyro was my FIRST game I ever beat when I was younger. I remember getting it for Christmas and I stayed up all night Christmas Eve playing my PlayStation. My mom had to tell me that Santa wouldn’t come if I didn’t go to bed! Haha!
Cliqist: I love Spyro! Ripto’s Rage is one of my all-time favorites. Next question: If you could be a voice actress in any game series (based on those you know of) – past or present – what game would it be and why?
Katy: While I’m loving every moment of this new adventure in my career, it’s all still very new to me with not having a gaming background. With that being said, I can’t pin point an exact game series, but I do know that I enjoy character development in games. Through Life is Strange, I could dive a lot deeper into enjoying these types of games. As an actor, it’s challenging and that’s what I love. I want to be able to take a character, whether it’s live action or animated, and grow with that character. To be able to make a character my own and experience life through them is such a rewarding feeling.
Cliqist: Character development and story-rich games are some of my favorites – I can totally see why you love them. Diving into the experience is so fun! We’ll be closing this out soon, but thank you again for talking with us, Katy! I have one last question: what advice would you give to any aspiring voice actors (or actors in general)?
Katy: I think it’s really important, and this goes for all actors, to never stop. Always be submitting yourself for auditions, even if you have an agent. Never stop learning. That’s the beauty of being an actor, we can learn something new by sitting on a park bench watching the world go by or by taking handfuls of acting classes.
Everything we learn is added to our personal actor toolbox and each toolbox is different. We have the option to pick and choose what works best for us. Understand that the industry is subjective. It’s not necessarily about how talented you are, and more about if you physically fit the part. Once you understand that, everything will be a lot easier. You must know that you’ll be rejected far more than you’ll be accepted, but you can never stop. Always know there’s another audition, another callback, another booking. If you truly want it and you are putting in the much-needed hard work every day, it will happen. When I get discouraged, I tell myself all of this. It’s hard, and that’s a fact, but just know you bring something unique to the table and everyone will start seeing it.
There you have it, Strangers – inspiring words of wisdom from Life is Strange’s very own DM, Steph Gingrich, played by the talented Katy Bentz. The wait for episode 3 is going to be intense!