Courtney Gilroy

NJF: Wake Up with Marci is about empowering women to heal and transform through the inspiring stories you share. Why is this mission so deeply personal for you?

Marci Hopkins: My background has always been in television. I’ve worked in operations, programming and on-air promotions. I started off in operations at Liberty Sports Communications for Prime Sports Rocky Mountain in Houston. Liberty Sports and Fox merged and I moved to programming and became the Program Manager for Fox Sports Rocky Mountain in Denver, Colorado. I then transferred to LA and moved into on air promotions for FX and became the On-Air Promotions Director.

I moved into acting in my 40s and started off with commercial print then moved to commercial acting and indie film acting. Television has always been in my life. Being creative and bringing joy to others is my passion and what better way than through the medium of television and entertainment.

The mission is so important to me because I myself was sexually abused and abandoned by my father. I’ve dealt with a lot of pain throughout my life and turned to drinking to mask that pain. My mother is an alcoholic, so it was hard for me to determine what was normal or not. I realized that I myself was an alcoholic. I’m now almost four years sober and the happiest I’ve ever been. I want others to know that healing and happiness are possible because I’ve done it.

NJF: How did the show get its start?

MH: I started Coffee with Marci in 2017 because I wanted to tap back into my creative side. I was a stay at home mom and I had taken some time off from the acting because it was too hard to keep up with the schedule; it was taking time away from my family and they have always come first. I realized I wanted to help entrepreneurs and nonprofits in the community and give back in some way along with harnessing my work in television. That’s when I decided to launch Coffee with Marci and give entrepreneurs and nonprofits a voice. While I loved doing the show, I knew I wanted to do more. I wanted to tell people’s stories. I’d started my healing journey and my life was growing in such a beautiful way that I wanted to give that to others, and that’s when I knew that I needed to launch Wake Up with Marci and empower others. I launched on YouToo America but I’m currently on CBS owned WLNY-TV 10/55.

Marta Chodur Photography

NJF: What have your guests taught you?

MH: I’ve learned that healing and hope are possible no matter how bad the circumstances. We’re stronger than we think and from these hardships there’s triumph. My very first guest lost her husband in 911 and she had a little girl. Not long after her loss, she was let go from her job. She went through a very hard year, but she knew she had to bring herself out of it for her daughter. She found true strength and has since written a screenplay inspired by her experience, and her daughter just graduated college. She gave her daughter a wonderful childhood and is now a successful actress, screenwriter and director. One of my guests was sexually abused and sold by her father. She had a brutal upbringing, but has since written a book to help others through her story, got married and pulled herself through such tragedy and has now found happiness.

NJF: You regularly check in with daily inspiration for your followers on social media. What would you say is the main message behind them?

MH: I love to give inspirations daily to inspire people to think about circumstances in another way. For instance, I like to encourage others to be kind, to be grateful and to communicate in a positive way along with giving examples how. I want others to believe in themselves and be their best selves. I draw from everyday occurrences and give encouraging thoughts. Sharing the stories on my show has helped me to want to do more. The guests I meet continue to give me strength. I’ve built strong relationships and we will work together to make an impact.

NJF: One of the most important themes on your show is to erase the stigma behind things like mental illness and abuse and to shift the focus toward healing. How has this helped in your own healing?

MH: Sharing the stories on my show has helped me to want to do more. The guests I meet continue to give me strength. I have built strong relationships and we’ll work together to make an impact.

Marta Chodur Photography

NJF: What advice do you have for women going through a very hard time or a scary transition?

MH: For any woman going through a hard time, I want her to know that she’ll get through it. It may seem it’ll never pass, but it will. You’re not alone and there’s help and hope. You’re stronger than you think.

NJF: Where do you film and how do you stay connected with the community?

MH: I currently shoot in Ramsey, New Jersey at a restaurant called Favales Trattoria. I connect to the community by bringing on specialists from the Tristate area to educate on multiple subjects and provide resources for my audience. Whether it’s pain management, breast cancer, mental health, menopause, wellness, midlife, college prep and more.

NJF: Where and when we can see your show?

MH: The show can be seen on CBS owned WLNY-TV 10/55, NJ on Air (an app on Apple and Android), Roku and has past shows and upcoming guests. All my shows are on YouTube and I post shows on Monday on Instagram (@wakeupwithmarci) and Facebook at Wake Up with Marci.

Hair and makeup by Courtney Gilroy/@talkcurlytome
Dress by Boutique 811
Styled by KR Wardrobe Design