We had the good fortune of connecting with Katy Bentz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katy, why did you pursue a creative career?
When I was younger I was extremely shy and it made me a target for bullying. I endured bullying throughout my elementary and middle school years, even a little into high school. My mom put me in a cheerleading group when I was around 10 and she said that was what started me coming out of my shell. It’s like it gave me permission to perform, to entertain, to be someone other than the shy little girl to pick on. I hadn’t found the right group yet until I found the drama club in high school. Once again I was given permission to be myself and accepted for who I was, loud, weird, goofy, emotional, despite being bullied still on the outside of that group.
Performing to me when I look back at it, was a form of escapism from the noise, from the bullying and I just kept going. I didn’t know really what to do after high school so I decided to study Theatre in college and after college once again knew I needed to keep going and moved to Los Angeles. This path always seemed like the right and obvious choice and once I landed my role in Life is Strange and the game came out, my life changed forever. Fast forward 6 years later, months after Life is Strange True Colors has come out and I’m writing this. Everything happens for a reason. Everything adds up to where you are at now in your life, despite the pain, sadness and discomfort you may have gone through to get here. I am an artist and a content creator and I have been able to use my journey and experiences to help others.
I have been streaming on Twitch for over four years now and it still blows my mind the responses, the messages, the letters, videos, etc. I receive from members of my community expressing how much my streams and the online community I started has changed their lives. It’s given them a purpose, given them friends, and allowed them to find joy again. When I was younger I always said I wanted to make an impact in this world either big or small and to know that I have brought people out of their own dark personal times and shown them life is worth living, is an extraordinary thing. It’s still hard for me to understand how it all came to be and why me, but each time I click that live button I tell myself that I am making an impact. It drives me to keep going everyday.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am an Actor/ Twitch Streamer. Acting introduced me to Twitch, specifically being a part of the Life is Strange Video Game franchise, and I have been stuck ever since. I absolutely love what I do and the impact I am able to make for people all around the world, just by being me. I am Katy and I learned to just be Katy on my streams. It’s about the permission I am given again. My community accepts me for who I am and as soon as I have that acceptance I run with it. Whether it’s me being freaking weird or shedding a tear. I’m vulnerable and let people see that. I share with my community things I am excited about and things I am struggling with and I think that has helped me get to where I am today in the online world. People want to feel a connection with someone they are watching online, they want to relate. I relate so much to my community members, more than I think they even realize. I think my ability to be vulnerable in this career has definitely been a positive and I am grateful to each and every person that has given me that permission over my lifetime.
It wasn’t easy to get to this point of self reflection and gratitude. There are always struggles and I still struggle to this day. But I am grateful for the support system I have inside and outside of the Twitch world. I’ve learned to listen to my body more than ever now. I think as artists and creators we have this go-go-go mentality and we don’t stop to think about our well-being or our physical health until it’s too late.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Ooooo! I love this! Okay!
So I always say there is WAY more to Los Angeles than the Walk of Fame and the Santa Monica Pier. Side note I won’t take anyone to Santa Monica Pier LOL
If you want to go to the beach I will be taking you to a little beach in Malibu on a weekday. There are hardly any people and the swimming is perfect! We’d also travel down to Hermosa Beach and eat at one of the restaurants on the beach.
There are INCREDIBLE hikes all around LA, you just have to drive out a bit. St Gabriel’s Peak, Echo Mt., Malibu, Topanga Canyon, the list goes on. You can get incredible views of the city, mountains and ocean.
The food in Los Angeles is pretty amazing, and the bar scene is a lot of fun too! We’d go to a new area everyday!
Sawtelle Blvd in Santa Monica is amazing. Kuru Kuru for Sushi is my absolute favorite. It’s conveyer belt which is always a good time. There’s also so many Pho places you will lose your mind.
There’s the LA Farmers Market in mid city. That place has the best empanadas and is just a really cool environment, plus The Grove outside shopping mall is attached too it!
How can I forget the best Milk Tea Boba in town! Search up 7 Leaves and take a drive. I recommend the Oolang, if you’re into an earthier taste, or the House Coffee. You will never look at Boba the same.
Man talking about all this makes me REALLLY miss life pre-pandemic.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
100000% Deck Nine Games, Webb Pickersgill and Zak Garriss for trusting me with such an important character in an important video game series. I was fresh to LA when I first was cast as Steph in Life is Strange: Before the Storm and the stars aligned to have Steph return in Deck Nine’s latest installment in the series. Being a part of this game has hands down changed the entire trajectory of my life. It’s given me a platform to be Katy and to entertain. Younger me would never believe this.
Other: Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/katybentz
Joanna DeGeneres Photography