Natalie Duran is a first generation Filipino American. She is an athlete, television host, actress, influencer and scientist. A pioneering YouTube star, Ninja Natalie began her career on the video platform producing comedy videos in 2007. She was amongst the first content creators on YouTube to be recognized by advertisers and traditional media companies. Early in her YouTube career, Natalie was hired to work on projects with Tennman Records (Justin Timberlake’s company), Katalyst Media (Ashton Kutcher’s company), Disney, Intel, Geico, The American Cancer Society and an Addy Award winning campaign for JC Penney.
Natalie has also been a keynote speaker for the U.N. Girl UP Conference on Self-Defense. Where she lead a workshop with her partner Andreas Alfaro, teaching girls about basic physical skills of defense and the importance of awareness and carrying yourself with confidence in public spaces.
Despite her online success, Duran took a break from YouTube to pursue her education at the University of California, Riverside, where she received a Neuroscience Degree. Upon graduating, Duran was hired as a Clinical Research Assistant at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine. As a part of her responsibilities, Duran authored several published articles on the topic of stem cell-based therapies in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. She presented her findings at medical conferences all over the world.
As an athlete, Natalie has been rock climbing professionally for 6 years. Her success in the male-dominated sport led to her being cast on NBC’s American Ninja Warrior (and Team Ninja Warrior on the Esquire Network), where she is a reoccurring competitor and one of the show’s top personalities. On American Ninja Warrior: Celebrity Edition, Duran coached actress Mena Suvari. She is the first Filipina-American to compete on the show. Duran has recently been hired to work as a course tester + Challenge Development for CMT’s Broken Skull Ranch, NBC's Titan Games, and as a Challenge Producer for TBS's Wipeout.
Ninja Natalie’s outgoing personality and comfort in front of the camera has led to opportunities hosting television segments for E! and Entertainment tonight. Her appearance on American Ninja Warrior has been widely covered by ESPN, Justine Magazine, Travel Channel, MTV, TV Guide, Asian Journal, and more.
Before coming a Ninja Warrior, Natalie has her athletic beginning in the world of Rock Climbing. She has now 10+ years under her belt, specializing in boulder, free climbing, and some experience in free-soloing. During the week she focused on power & strength conditioning in local climbing gyms. Then her weekends ether involved in Climbing Competitions or as a Weekend Warrior exploring beyond the trail on real rock. Often times spending a few nights alongside a vertical facing wall in Yosemite, CA or starlit nights in the back country of Joshua Tree National Park.
"Live every day like you're a superhero. You don't know what you're capable unless you attempt to push past your limits."