La Cañada resident Ron Pearson has been entertaining audiences since he first learned to juggle in the fifth grade.
From there, he went on to appear on television on the “Mike Douglas Show” in 1979 at the ripe old age of 14. One year later, he set a world record on a Jerry Lewis Labor Day MDA Telethon for longest time spent juggling with no stops and no drops.
At 19, he dropped out of the University of Washington’s business finance program to study the comedic art of juggling in France and came back to perform on the streets of San Diego.
“The starting salary for someone with a business degree from University of Washington was $18,000 a year,” Pearson recalled during a recent interview.
“I made $24,000 that first year doing street performing just on the weekends,” he added.
In the decades that followed, Pearson built a solid career as a juggler, stand-up comedian and actor, appearing on “The Late, Late Show,” “That ’70s Show,” “Malcom and Eddie” and “The Drew Carey Show.”
He also warms up live audiences before television tapings and does keynote speeches and corporate events.
At 9 p.m. on Friday, Pearson will make a special television appearance when the CW Network broadcasts the season premiere of “The Big Stage,” a non-competitive talent show that will feature artists from around the world hand-picked by the show’s producers.
The La Cañada father of two, who performed two, three-minute segments on “The Big Stage,” said he was thrilled to find out his material is being used for the show’s debut episode.
He attributes his success to connecting with audiences and years and years of diligent practice.
“It takes years to become good at stand-up, and it takes years to become good at juggling, so it’s really rare to be prolific at both,” Pearson said.
“My goal [with audiences] is let’s go on a journey, and the journey is going to be fun and have a lot of surprises along the way,” he added.
For more about Pearson, visit ronpearson.net.