How do I enter?

Submit your audition video here.


When and where is the live event?

Circus Star USA 2018 will take place on September 15, 2018 at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood, California.


What types of acts can compete?

Solo and group aerial and ground circus acts welcome. (Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate fire or animal acts.)


What is the time limit/duration for acts?

Acts must be no longer than 4 minutes in duration.


Who can compete?

Open to any and all circus talent ages 8 through adult.


What are the guidelines for my submission video?

As part of the application process, we require a two-minute unedited video of you performing a routine to assess technical skill level and artistry. Your video does not need to be the exact act you will perform if selected for the live event, though it must showcase the apparatus or discipline you plan to perform. If you are submitting for a duo or group act, all performers must be in the video. We will select participating contestants from the submissions. (We are not evaluating costuming with your video submission, and your video does not contribute to your final standings in the competition.) To see the audition videos for performers selected for last year’s event, please visit the 2017 performer page or the 2016 performer announcement page and click through on their stories.


What is the submission deadline?

You must submit your application by 11:59 pm PT on April 30, 2018.


When will you announce performers selected to compete?

We will announce performers selected to compete on May 7, 2018. There will also be two wildcard spots available based on public vote. We will announce performers eligible for the last two spots on May 7, 2018. Voting will be open until 11:59 pm PT on May 14, 2018. We will announce the final two performers on May 15, 2018.


How much does it cost to compete?

The submission fee is $75 per act (nonrefundable).


How is the winner determined?

There will be an expert panel of judges who will provide feedback on acts following your performance. Final standings will be determined by a combination of judge voting and audience text voting.


What are the prizes?

The following prizes will be distributed among the top three winners (meaning each of the winners will get one or two pieces of equipment depending on the final number of prizes in this category):

  • an X-Stage and lollipop lyra from X-Pole (value $1,000)
  • a crescent lyra from Cirque.Life
  • an aerial net, aerial straps, and aerial loops from Circus By Us (value $870)
  • an instructor training course (of your choice) from Spin City (value $220 – $415)
  • bag of rigging gear from Ver Sales (value $250)


The top three winners will each receive:


All performers at the live event will receive:

  • professionally edited video clip of your act (value $250)
  • professional photos from your performance (value $150)
  • a pair of complimentary tickets to any Cirque Us performance in the 2019 season (value $36)
  • one Aerial Hoop Bible (PDF) OR one Aerial Hoop Doubles Bible (PDF) from Spin City (value $20)
  • tube of Tite-Grip grip aid (value $11)
  • bottle of Girlie Grip (value $11)
  • two cans of FITAID recovery drink from LIFEAID

What apparatuses are available?

We have different aerial apparatuses available, including tissus, hoops (sizes 35″, 37″, 38″ single point with hand grip at top and 36″ double point), static trapeze (24″ and 25″ wide bar), Spanish web, and hammocks. Contestants may bring in their own equipment to be rigged if needed or if it is an apparatus we cannot provide. If you have something you’d like rigged, please contact us so we can get details and make sure it will work with the rigging space we have.


Will there be a pulley and motor?

We will not have a motor available due to power supply limitations. We will have a 1:1 pulley to change gear for each act. We may have a 2:1 pulley rigged depending on rigging logistics. If you would like to use the pulley to go up and down for an act, you must bring someone who knows your cues to pull you up and down. Acts will only be able to go straight up and down or swing from left to right due to the ceiling configuration at the venue. No orbiting or front to back swinging motions will be possible.


How large is the stage?

The main stage is roughly 20′ deep x 40′ wide with a wood floor. There is an orchestra extension (above the orchestra pit) at the front of the stage that is approximately 14′ at its deepest point and 52′ at its widest point. Aerial acts will have a five-inch thick crash pad underneath unless you choose to opt out of it by signing a release form. Ceiling height is 22′ for hang points.


Is there a place to practice our act in the days leading up to the competition?

We will reserve open gym time exclusively for Circus Star performers at The Aerial Classroom in the two weeks leading up to the competition for those of you who need a place to practice. Open gym costs $10/person/hour. We have multiple tissus, hammocks, and hoops hanging as well as a Spanish web and a static trapeze bar. If you wish to reserve open gym time or have specific requests, please contact us. The Aerial Classroom is located at 15840 Monte St #102, Sylmar, CA 91342.


What time do we need to arrive?

Talent will be expected at the theatre for tech/dress rehearsal from 2-5 pm on the day of the show and may be needed at the theatre as early as 10 am to drop off equipment, set rigging heights, etc. Showtime is at 8pm. All applicants will need to be completely available for the entire day of the competition if selected to compete. You may leave after tech rehearsal and return by no later than 7:00pm for an 8:00pm showtime.

The artist cannot imagine his art and cannot perceive it until it is complete.