Then: From 1983-2002, Jason Jaeger worked as a stuntman, Tournament of Kings jouster at Excalibur and Treasure Island pirate. His photo as captain of the TI’s ship is still on a billboard on the fourth floor of the McCarran International Airport parking garage.
Now: Chiropractor and administrative director of Aliante Integrated Physical Medicine.
Back in the early 1980s, there were essentially two career paths for Las Vegas natives: construction and hospitality. So when the opportunity to be a stuntman presented itself, Jaegar jumped at it, even though he knew the grueling career wouldn’t last. He had vague plans to study communication or law at UNLV until a car accident on his way to Excalibur in 1991 jolted his body. “With all the adrenaline in me, I felt fine right after—I even finished my shows that night,” he says. “But the next morning I couldn’t move.”
A doctor prescribed painkillers; a physical therapist taught him exercises he already knew how to do as an athletic performer. “A chiropractor helped the most,” he says. “But I was also frustrated that these [disciplines] weren’t all working together. They weren’t integrated.”
Now board-certified in chiropractic biophysics, Jaegar lectures all over the world, and his practice is a medical chiropractic and physical therapy facility used by Cirque du Soleil. He also treats swashbucklers, acrobats and dancers from other Las Vegas shows.
“I had an unusual path, but my entertainment career really gave me an edge in building my practice,” he says. “Some doctors flat-out suck at bedside manner, but I’m confident and comfortable in just about any setting—whether it’s lecturing in front of several hundred people or just being in front of one person. When you step onstage, it’s all about putting yourself aside and being totally there for the audience. It’s the same when you walk into the exam room.”