As some of you might know, I’m a huge fan of the Life is Strange-series, and when I got the opportunity to get an interview with the voice of Steph Gingrich, I couldn’t be more stoked!
Katy Bentz is a Los Angeles-based actress. She is the voice of Steph Gingrich in Life is Strange: Before the Storm, and has starred in the movie The Crossbreed. Plus, she’s a livestreamer on Twitch and makes vlogs on YouTube. She has also modeled for clothing and product companies including, Loomed, GLAUDI Bridal Dresses and LA Fashion Week.
– How did you get into voice acting? Have you had any education when it comes to acting/voice acting, or did it just start out as a hobby? How did you get the role of Steph?
“I started acting when I was in high school and studied theatre in college. It has always been an interest of mine and I decided a year and a half ago to make a career out of it and move out to Los Angeles! I had self submitted on one of the casting breakdown sites for Life is Strange: Before the Storm, that at the time was under a different name, and then called into audition and the rest was history. This was my first VO (voice over) gig, but I am always looking for more opportunities in the VO world!”
– You’ve recently acted in the movie The Crossbreed, how are acting in movies different to being voice actor for a videogame?
“Great question! It’s really different for me. With VO you’re alone in a sound booth and you have the VO director and a few sound people on the other side. Being on a set you have the crew and other actors. With VO you usually don’t have your scene partner in the room, you’re just going down each line. It’s a lot of fun though and creates a challenge as an actor to be able to work in different environments with the idea that the tools you collect will cross over to other acting jobs. There’s something really calm being in a sound booth alone with your voice and I can’t wait for that next opportunity!”
– What project are you working on currently (that you are allowed to talk about)?
“I was just cast in another indie feature film and we begin filming middle of April! Can’t really say too much right now, but I am really excited to be able to dive into this new character. She has a lot of range and it’s going to be a fun challenge!”
– What is the best memory you have from playing Steph? Can you relate to her in any way? What was the most difficult part in playing her? Were Steph based on anyone, on your part?
“[The] best memory would be getting really into her DND lines when she’s describing in pretty gruesome detail about the acid melting away the skin of one of the characters. Every time I had the chance to play with that dialogue my body would naturally ground itself in place and my core would activate, which is really cool for me because in college we focused a lot on training our core and breath. Being able to see my body go right to that was a pretty awesome moment as an actor.”
“I definitely can relate to Steph’s “I don’t care what people think” attitude. She just goes by the beat of her own drum and that’s usually the way I go about life as well.
The most difficult part about playing Steph was not being able to go further with her, I would love to know more about her personal life and how she could relate more to the Life is Strange world.
I didn’t have a person in mind when giving Steph her voice. I just thought about how a 16 year old nerdy, confident, dragon loving lesbian would hold herself and what kind of voice she would have. It was such a crazy moment when I said her first line knowing that was the start of Steph”.
– What is your dream project to work on? Say you had all the money/time you needed, what’s the biggest dream you have?
“Oh man, these are awesome questions! I would love to play a femme fatale character, Tomb Raider, Hunger Games, etc. I’ve always wanted to portray that badass female. But on the other hand playing a more mentally messed up character, Harley Quinn, characters from Orange is the New Black, etc. would be such an awesome, exhilarating challenge. To be able to get in the mind of a character that has split minds, etc. and figuring out how to bring that character to life. A character with a mental struggle, no matter how messed up, ugly, run down they are, sounds a lot more appealing than the girl next door any day!”
– Apart from Steph (and perhaps any other Life is Strange characters), do you have any favorite video game characters? And how about games, any favorites?
“Since LiS came out I started really getting into video games. I have a lot of catching up to do haha. I would say so far, Trevor from GTA V is an awesome character. Again he’s got that mental struggle going on that I’m sure the VO had a crazy time bringing to life. Currently I’m playing Fortnite and I’m addicted, so it’s probably my favorite game at the moment! As I mentioned above, I’m catching up with a lot of games, old and new, so I’m hoping I find that game that I just fall in love with soon!”
“Yes! I stream 3-4 times a week! I have a variety of streams from creative to self help to video games. Twice a month on Wednesday’s I read wisdom quotes from a book called 8,789 Words of Wisdom for people in my chat. It’s one of my many self help streams I do. I like to create a community where people can get away from their everyday life and have a place that they know they’re welcome and feel at home. I also do monthly makeup streams and have done a few acting streams, which is always fun! I am currently playing Outlast and Fortnite! I’ll be playing LA Noire and Shadow of the Colossus in the next coming months!
We also just got our first sponsor! The organization is called BetterHelp, easy to use, affordable online therapy. We’re all really excited about that, it’s honestly a perfect sponsor for my community. I am also planning my first charity stream and hoping to find an anti-bullying organization to donate the funds too!”
– If you could invite three people to dinner, living, dead or fictional – who would they be?
“Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, and Margot Robbie.”
– Lastly, if there’s someone out there who wants to work in the video game industry, do you have any “words of wisdom” (see what I did there) to them?
“Oh hey!!!! Haha love it! It’s a tough industry with a small door and I only got a toe squished in the door, trying to open it more. But with any industry, any dream, any goal, you have to be persistent. You have to work harder than the majority. Take classes, meet people who are doing what you do, ask them questions and more importantly meet the casting directors/directors and ask them questions. And apply, apply, apply for everything. If you have an agent, self submit as well. That’s how I got cast in LiS, not through an agent. You have to work hard everyday and it will eventually come full circle. But just know it won’t be easy.”
We would like to thank Katy for the interview, and wish her all the best in the future!