American Ninja Warrior star Daniel Gil garnered his uncanny ability to perform in front of both a massive in-person audience as well as millions of viewers at home through an unlikely source: theater.

“Growing up and playing different sports I kind of got used to, you know, getting out and performing a little bit,” Gil told uInterview Founder Erik Meers in an exclusive interview. “So, to speak like knowing that you know it’s game time, it’s time to give it everything that I’ve got, but in my high school years I think what I credit, you know, my ability to compete on American Ninja Warrior most to is the fact that all through my high school years I was a big theater person, like singing dancing, performing, all of that acting, I absolutely loved it.”

“There was something about stepping on stage in front of the lights, the cameras, the audience and you know just flipping that switch and saying ‘okay it’s go time I’m on,’ and whatever might happen the show must go on, you know having that type of mentality, and so then when I got into American Ninja Warrior I trained my body to be physically strong enough to overcome these obstacles even though we would have no idea which new obstacles we’re going to have when I show up at competition,” Gil said.

Then I think to myself ‘okay I’m stepping up on the starting line, here’s the lights I see all the cameras, there’s an audience’ and I have to perform, so to speak, and so I think the mentality for me in my performance years in theater and singing, dancing, all that good stuff translated so much to American [Ninja Warrior] because it’s not just the sport, I mean it is a production, it’s a television show so you have to kind of have that mentality like ‘okay, I’m here to create a show,’ but of course I’m there to compete, to win, to do what I came out there to do … and I think like I said the singing background helped me tremendously to compete on Ninja Warrior each year,” the television star said.

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