The Wallenda name is synonymous with thrilling demonstrations. Nik Wallenda will continue to honor his family on Skyscraper Live with Nik Wallenda, premiering Sunday, November 2 on Discovery (ch. 278). During the event, Nik will cross the Chicago skyline on a high wire without the use of any sort of tether. Nik spoke with DIRECTV about the event, along with his post-demonstration meal plans.
Can you tell us a bit about your upcoming event in Chicago, and why you prefer to be untethered?
I’ll be doing a two-part walk. For the first part, I’ll be walking at an incline of 15 degrees (almost eight stories) from Marina Tower West to the Leo Burnett Building. The second walk will be blindfolded between the Marina Towers. It’s about challenging myself and through challenging myself, inspiring other people.
I prefer not to be tethered as I’ve never trained with one. It’s the way I’ve done it my entire life. To do it with a tether is not something I’m accustomed to and would actually be more difficult.
Chicago seems like a difficult place to walk a high wire, what with it being the Windy City and all. Can you talk a bit about the unique qualities that made you pick Chicago?
I love this city. My sister lived here for almost 13 years, and I’ve spent a lot of time with her. I performed for three months at the Goodman Theatre, and that’s when I had that vision. Hey, I want to do something big in this city.
In the movies, when people cross a high wire, we always hear, “Don’t look down!” Is that a real thing? Is looking down THAT bad?
When those thoughts of fear come to mind, I always counter it with a positive thought. I respect what I do—it is dangerous, but I know that as long as I train and prepare properly, I can do it.
You’ve definitely honored your family legacy with your events. At what point do you think you’ll stop performing?
By the time I’m 45-50 for the big events.
Are you going to have time to enjoy some Chicago deep dish pizza before or after the event? If so, what will you order in the pie?
I’ll likely have a slice post-walk! I’d say pepperoni, mushroom, and sausage.
Skyscraper Live with Nik Wallenda premieres Sunday, November 2 on Discovery (ch. 278).