Talks at Google sat down to interview three of the creative minds behind the Dungeons and Dragons show, Critical Role. Dungeon Master Matthew Mercer, Marisha Ray (known for her roles as Keyleth and Beauregard), and Travis Willingham (known for his roles as Grog and Fjord) joined in.
The interview addressed how the show started, how much it has grown, and how they all got into D&D. After about 35 minutes, questions from the audience were welcomed. The cast, as usual, was warm and welcoming through the entire process. Willingham recalls:
“We thought nobody was going to watch this. We’ll do it one time, like 15 people will watch. And we’ll be like, okay, that was fun.”
Marisha Ray comments:
“So I think it wasn’t until our first New York Comic Con that we went to and we ended up having a line around the block, and we were like – oh. I think more than 10,000 people watch our show. I don’t think that’s accurate unless all 10,000 are here in New York City.”
The show began in early 2015. They have played every week on Thursday since then. In 2018 they left Geek and Sundry to form their own company to have more creative control. They put out additional shows, a comic book, two art books, and opened a store in the United States and the United Kingdom. They have also released their own campaign guide along with contributions to other Dungeons and Dragons books. Critical Role has performed to sold-out shows in Indianapolis and on Broadway. Their episodes get uploaded to YouTube after airing, and have millions of views, C1 E1 is currently at 9 Million and C2 E1 is sitting at 3 Million.
In regards to the unique character-driven storytelling of D&D, Mercer has this to say:
“I think that’s one of its biggest strengths. I think it’s a safe space, especially when you have a group of friends that you trust at the table to step into the shoes of another person. Whether it be someone that you want to be more like, or somebody that is not like you at all, but you want to try and connect with and empathize with experiences outside of your own personal ones. . . . It’s a really great place to learn to fine-tune empathy and self-esteem and really discovering the things in life that you appreciate and the things you want to change.”
What were your thoughts on this interview? What are you hoping to see from Critical Role in 2019? Let us know in the comments below!
Ashley is the author of the Thread of Souls book series, an avid traveler, and a Dungeons and Dragons enthusiast!