Marti MacGibbon, CADAC-II,
I-CADC, is a veteran standup comic, inspirational motivational
speaker, author, and substance abuse counselor who inspires,
entertains, and moves listeners to overcome fears, create
possibilities, and make real changes in their lives and the
lives of others. Marti is a member of the National Speakers
Association. She is also a member of the California Association
of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC), and the Indiana
Counselors Association on Alcohol and Drug Abuse (ICAADA).
Martiís personal story is powerful and uplifting. She is a
survivor of human trafficking, addiction and homelessness who
rebounded to live an exultant and prosperous life. Her knack for
storytelling and humor makes her a favorite with audiences as
she recounts the negative beliefs and poor choices that led into
her downward spiral, then changes tack and relates specific
principles and techniques she used to turn her life around and
succeed in fulfilling her dreams. Martiís warmth and high energy
onstage is contagious, and audiences come away feeling that
anything is possible, and armed with simple techniques they can
use to transform their lives.
narration is funny ó she can laugh at her old
self, even as she shows the reader the terror
and loss she felt in the pastÖMacGibbon is
self-aware, and is able to show the humor of the
moment without losing the tense pacing of the
story. The memoir whips along, hardly taking a
breathÖan excellent story, both inspiring and
entertaining." Foreword Reviews:
Where did you grow up and was reading and writing a part of your life?
Who were your earliest influences and why?
Marti MacGibbon: I grew up in a small
college town in Indiana -- my father was an English professor at the
university there. My parents, especially my father, read aloud to us
every day when we were small. From my parents, I learned to love
literature, language, and mythology. I always had a book going, even
when I was strung out! My very earliest influence was my father. He
quoted whole passages from Shakespeare and the classics -- he was
amazing. He taught me to appreciate the spoken word as well as the
written word. I always loved John Steinbeck. He was one of my earliest
influences. And maybe this sounds weird, but I really loved Homer -- not
Simpson, but the one who wrote the Iliad and the Odyssey.
do you write?
Marti MacGibbon: I write because I
have stories to tell which are too long to tell on a stage. Iíve
experienced things in life and seen things and known people. I want to
share those experiences with others.
Briefly discuss your new book Never Give in to Fear: A Memoir.
Marti MacGibbon: Hereís the short
description of the book on Amazon.com:
Never Give in
to Fear: A Memoir is a raw,
unflinching account of an emerging standup comicís struggle with
addiction ignited by maternal despair. In 1984, despite a
scheduled appearance on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson,
Marti MacGibbon begins a drug-fueled descent into the
underworld. With brutal honesty, humor, and clarity, Marti
vividly describes her experiences as she rides her downward
spiral: a near-miss with a notorious serial killer, a series of
tragically hilarious misadventures in the California drug world,
and a terrifying account of imprisonment at the hands of
Japanese organized crime, to name a few. A thrilling story of
hope and redemption, Never Give in to Fear: A Memoir introduces
readers to a remarkable woman who triumphs over addiction,
learning how to give, and to accept, love and forgiveness.
Explain your title "Never Give in to Fear: A Memoir" as it relates to the story.
What is your personal definition of Fear?
Marti MacGibbon: The title is an
excerpt from some dialogue in the text -- advice from an unexpected --
and qualified -- source. But it is also a clear message which is
repeated throughout the story. I learned to Never Give in to Fear:
A Memoir, and
thatís how I stayed alive, kept my soul alive, through all of it.
Addiction is a fear-based disease; itís a shame-based disease. Love
conquers fear. I learned how to give, and accept, love and forgiveness.
Iíve heard fear described as, ďFalse Evidence Appearing Real.Ē
Briefly discuss your life now as a substance abuse counselor while
looking back at the old Marti -- If "New Marti" could have had a
conversation with "Old Marti" how would that go? What would you say to
became a substance abuse counselor with the intention of helping those
who are where I was years ago. If I can help even one single person to
heal and recover from addiction; to avoid paying the terrible price I
paid, then I havenít lived in vain. Looking back at my former self, I
see a woman with a lot of life, love, and courage who suffered from
self-loathing, shame, and rage fueled by the disease of addiction. If my
present self could go back in time and talk to my former self, I would
tell her, ďItís okay if you made wrong choices -- forgive yourself and
start over. Begin a program of recovery and make a spiritual connection.
Learn to love yourself and find your inner healing force.
PageOneLit.com: Where and what was your ĎBottomí?
Marti MacGibbon: Iíve never tried to
define where I hit bottom. I think I skidded along the bottom for years
before reaching the jumping off point: the place where I had to quit
using or die.
Briefly tell us about your stand up - When did you first know you were
funny and could make a living at it? Do you still do stand up? In Never
Give in to Fear: A Memoir you talk about being booked on the Tonight Show with
Johnny Carson - Discuss.
Marti MacGibbon: I knew I was funny
when I was a little kid. I used to watch comics and practice jokes on my
parentsí friends and people around the neighborhood. I was always joking
around at school. As far as knowing I could make a living at it --
depends on what you call a living. I started doing standup in 1983, at
the Comedy Workshop in Austin, Texas, and at the Comedy Annex in
Houston. I still do standup, but only in benefits and fundraisers for
recovery homes, shelters, things like that.
story of how I got offered the audition for Carson, and got the booking,
is a very funny one. I wonít tell it now because I am going to include
it in my next book, which will be the prequel to this one. Itís going to
have a lot of kickass stories in it about the years I worked in the
Texas oilfield, then switched to standup.
There are going to be a lot of folks reading this that may have some
kind of addiction - As a substance abuse counselor - What do you want to
say to these people?
Marti MacGibbon: As a counselor,
let me say that addiction is a primary disease. It is not a moral
weakness. Thereís no shame in seeking treatment, any more than there is
shame for sufferers of other disease such as diabetes or cancer. Like
diabetes or cancer, there is not yet a cure for addiction, but treatment
is available, and there is a lot of new, cutting edge information about
the disease of addiction.
are you grateful for today?
Marti MacGibbon: Iím grateful for my
recovery. Iím grateful to my husband, Chris, for loving me, and to my
daughter Anne for giving me a second chance. Oh yeah -- and of course
Iím grateful to Yuji.
are a survivor of human trafficking. Explain.
Marti MacGibbon: I think my book
explains what it means to be a survivor of human trafficking.
do you hope to achieve with Never Give in to Fear: A Memoir?
Marti MacGibbon: In writing this book,
I hope to entertain, amuse, caution, inspire, and motivate my readers,
because my story is a comeback story. As a recovering addict, I also
hope that it may help alcoholics and addicts who still suffer from the
disease, recovering addicts and alcoholics, and anyone who is involved
with an addict or alcoholic to understand that even the seemingly
hopeless cases can and do recover.
was the last book you read?
Marti MacGibbon: The
last book I read was ďThe
Road of Lost Innocence,Ē by Somaly Mam.
MacGibbon: My goal is to bring
the message of recovery to as many people on this planet as I can, and
to raise awareness about human trafficking, which is an awful violation
of human rights -- an ongoing global crime. I will begin writing my
second book, another memoir, sort of a prequel to "Never Give in to
Fear: A Memoir." I've been writing articles about living in a state of gratitude
and wellness, and I'm currently being published in corporate
you have any hobbies? What are they? How do they enhance your writing?
MacGibbon: Hobbies? I do
storytelling and standup on stage, and these activities have helped me
to establish my voice and set a rhythm to my writing. I also love to
hike in the forest, a park, on the beach -- any place where I can be
outdoors and close to nature. I believe that if I stay in touch with the
earth, sea, and sky, and I am touch with myself and eternity. And that's
an ideal launching pad for any creative venture, especially writing!