Meet our 2018 mentors!

Get advice from Circus Star USA winners and finalists! This year, we’re pairing up competing artists with some of our most impressive past winners and finalists who will mentor the acts during their preparations for the live event, tracking their progress and giving them advice to help them become the next Circus Star champion.

Circus Star USA 2018 mentor, Sai'len Jaeger

Sai’len Jaeger

Circus Star USA 2015

Sai’len Jaeger is an aerialist with Odysseo by Cavalia, performing on aerial hoop and straps.


Sai captured the judges’ and audience’s votes as our first-place winner for Circus Star USA 2015. Following the competition, Sai successfully auditioned for Cirque du Soleil, earning a coveted spot in the database. Soon after moving to Las Vegas, he appeared in a Britney Spears video, then took a contract with Le Cirque Bijou on Norwegian Cruise Line. Currently, Sai is on tour with Cavalia Odysseo, the largest touring production in the world.


In addition to aerial arts, Sai is an accomplished pole dancer, martial artist, actor, comedian, and singer.

Circus Star USA 2018 mentor, Rachel Gauthier

Rachel Gauthier

Circus Star USA 2016
Second place

Rachel Gauthier is a multi-dimensional aerialist and stunt woman based out of Quebec City, QC. Rachel graduated from the world renowned École de Cirque de Québec and competed as an acrobatic fitness athlete before embarking on a three-year tour with Cavalia’s Odysseo where she was part of the aerialist and trick riding team and was featured as a soloist on the aerial hoop. In 2016, her Dawn of Life act on aerial hoop was awarded 2nd place overall winner at Circus Star USA.


Rachel’s work includes shows with Cirque Dreams, Cirque du Soleil, Luna Caballera and MysterAct. Her artistry has benefited many circus productions, variety shows and corporate events as well as films, television and video games. In 2016, she was on set of xXx 3: The Return of Xander Cage (2017) as a lead stunt double for actress Ruby Rose. Most recently, she’s been on board the Norwegian Getaway performing in the Cirque Dreams and Steam show with her new partner Rosalie Beauchamp.

Circus Star USA 2018 mentor, Ashley + Steven

Ashley + Steven

Circus Star USA 2016
Third place

Ashley and Steven are duo trapeze artists based in San Diego, CA. From their first performance together, they realized their goals and passion for the circus arts were similar, and a natural partnership was formed. Following an impressive winning performance at Circus Star USA 2016, Ashley and Steven went on to take contracts for Six Flaggs Magic Mountain’s Kwerkmas holiday show, followed by Sea World’s Cirque Electrique. Steven also performed in “In The Va Va Voom Room,” a contemporary burlesque show in the nation’s third oldest LGBT theater.


Both Ashley and Steven are accomplished athletes. Ashley is a U.S. synchronized ice skating national champion and two-time national medalist who qualified to represent Team USA in international competition with elite Chicago Jazz Synchronized Skating Teams. She’s also an accomplished equestrian, climber, and dancer. Steven is a certified personal trainer, nutrition coach, and behavior change specialist who runs his own personal training business.

Circus Star USA 2018 mentor, Zoe Irvine

Zoë Irvine

Circus Star USA 2016
Finalist + audience pick

Zoe Irvine was a finalist and audience favorite at Circus Star USA 2016. Currently, Zoë is a performer with Astraeus Aerial Dance Theatre, which was recently selected as artists in residence for a six-month program at the San Diego International Airport. The troupe has also won multiple awards over several years at the San Diego Fringe Festival, including “Outstanding World Premiere Performance” and “Outstanding Circus or Aerial Performance.” In 2015, she performed dance trapeze at the Montréal Complètement Cirque, an annual international circus festival, and in 2014 she was the static trapeze finalist for the Denver Aerial Acrobatic Arts Festival.


Zoë is a board member of the Circus Collective of San Diego, a collaborative circus group dedicated to creating original circus theater, and she volunteers for the national non-profit foundation Circus Now as a member of the Women & Circus team.