The Upper Room: Ron Pearson

Comedian and Juggler Ron Pearson

On January 19th, 2019, The Upper Room presented a unique performance by comedian Ron Pearson.

Founder and host, Ron Strand, took the stage with his band and greeted the audience. At the downstroke of 7:30 pm, the band opened with bluesy tune “Paradise,” which featured three rhythm guitars, one electric guitar, bass guitar, drums, keyboards and a harmonica. Ron said he enjoys country/rock and much of the set featured songs in that musical vein.

Ron introduced recording artist, Brenda Harp, who sang the country tune, “Someday Soon.” The song featured Larry Meyers on fiddle and Ed Arthur on harmonica.

Next, Ron delivered an amazing vocal on Neil Young’s “Old Man.” Brenda performed a soulful version of Don Henley’s “The Heart of the Matter.” Larry played mandolin on the song, which added a touch of folk. Brenda sang the deeply-affecting Joan Osborne song, “One of Us.” The band closed out their set with a worshipful rendition of the popular chorus, “King of Glory.”

Ron introduced Ron Pearson, who took the stage like the Tasmanian Devil; he had high energy throughout his performance. Within the first minute of his routine, Ron had borrowed a ball cap from an audience member and successfully balanced the bill of the cap on his nose. He returned the hat and jokingly informed the owner that he now had lice.

This opener was a microcosm of Ron’s entire performance. The balance of his show was an entertaining blend of humor and feats of skill.

Between sketches, Ron shared some tidbits of his background. He’s the youngest of eight kids and has been married for twenty “consecutive” years (an important distinction in this day and age). He grew up in Seattle and majored in business. His decision to become a comedian was no laughing matter to many in his family.

Ron shared his frustrations with raising a five-year-old. He acted out what a kid looks like at the dinner table, which was hilarious and quite accurate. Ron gave this parenting tip: always tell your kid their picture is amazing, even if it looks like it was drawn by Helen Keller in an earthquake.

Ron broke out his juggling clubs and did a routine where he added a club for each new milestone in his life: wife, kids, career, etc. At one point, he couldn’t keep up with all the responsibilities and dropped the clubs. It was a humorous and poignant illustration of the many things people must balance in life.

Ron did an act where he laid on his back and propelled a ping pong ball high into the air and then caught it in his mouth. The stunts became increasingly complex. Ron juggled three clubs with one leg of a bar stool balanced on his chin. In the next act, he upped his game by juggling with one leg of an aluminum ladder balanced on his chin.

For many of his routines, Ron prevailed upon members of the audience to assist him. Ron sought out Keegan, a young boy who had torn his ACL. Ron spun a ball on the tip of his finger and transferred it to Keegan’s finger. It was a fun bit and Keegan, who hobbled up and down the stage on crutches, was a good sport.

For the grand finale, Ron recruited three audience members to help him mount a tall unicycle. Once balanced on the unicycle, he bit the end of a wooden stick, spun a ball and balanced it on a dowel at the other end of the stick and juggled three clubs…all at the same time. An amazing feat!

The Ron and Ron show made for an unforgettable evening of music and comedy at The Upper Room.

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