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Ruth Pointer

Entertainer, Pointer Sister
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Biography

Ruth Pointer provides a front-row seat to the highs and lows of showbiz dating back to the early '70s, when she joined her siblings Bonnie, June and Anita in the Pointer Sisters, riding a crest of success that exploded in the '80s and continues on unabated.

But the eldest sister of the top-selling act that helped define the MTV era with hits like "I'm So Excited" and the GRAMMY-winning "Automatic" and "Jump (For My Love) fell hard into mental illness, cocaine addiction, overeating and exhaustion. After a near-fatal bout of meningitis in 1984, she embraced a life of sobriety she maintains to this day.

With candor and grit Ruth shares stories of family, fame, faith — and fighting her way out of the fast lane that almost killed her. Finding transcendence through her hard-won journey to health and harmony, Pointer spins a cautionary tale of recklessness, redemption and renewal that sings with a passion only true life can.

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Topics

Through the Fire: My Journey from Addiction to Recovery

As a Pointer Sister since 1972, eldest sibling Ruth has seen her share of successes — and excesses, from late nights at Studio 54 in the '70s to the high-flying fame that came with the Sisters' 1983 Breakout album and subsequent MTV presence. Having to be constantly "on," whether in public, on stage or in front of TV cameras, took its toll on Ruth, and she spiraled into cocaine and alcohol abuse, followed by overeating. After a bout of meningitis nearly killed her in 1984, Ruth found her way to Alcoholics Anonymous and Overeaters Anonymous, embracing a sobriety through structure and measure that she has stuck to for more than three decades. In this presentation targeted to both sobriety adherents and seekers, she shares her stories of kicking booze, cocaine, and junk food in accordance with the 12-Step Program, her devotion to hard work as a performer, and her deeply held faith. At once inspirational, harrowing and wise, Ruth Pointer's path to recovery is a cautionary tale like no other.

I’m So Excited: How Faith Will See You Through

Ruth Pointer grew up in the Church — her parents were both ordained ministers in Oakland, California, and she sang in the church choir as a teenager — but she didn't come into her faith until later years, after life in the fast lane as a Pointer Sister brought her to the brink of death in the '80s. Since then, her faith has been guiding her as she continues to sing on stages across the world. Indeed, it's Ruth's deeply held faith that makes the performing possible and not vice versa, although it took hitting rock bottom for the superstar to realize how much she needed a Higher Power to get her through the struggles that tested her faith. In this inspirational presentation on the importance of faith-based community and devotion, Ruth shares stories of coming into her spirituality, and how a daily practice of prayer and fellowship can make even the toughest struggles feel surmountable.

The Shifting Shape of Show Business — Not All Silver Linings

As the eldest sibling in the Pointer Sisters, and a member of the popular trio since 1972, Ruth Pointer has experienced her fair share of show business highs and lows, with limousines, Champagne and white-glove treatment on one hand and isolation, addiction and physical exhaustion on the other. For her, a career in entertainment is a double-edged sword that glistens seductively one minute before stabbing you in the gut the next — but a weapon one can master and learn to wield responsibly and gracefully. In this presentation examining the dual nature of fame and celebrity, Ruth draws from her own experience in the limelight to argue that the showbiz life, while seductive, isn't all it's cracked up to be — especially when you wind up shattered at the end of your world tour from the excesses that invariably stem from too many successes. In this presentation targeted to fame seekers, fame watchers and fame skeptics, Ruth cuts to the heart of what many see as the good life, demystifying celebrity as the tough work and hard road it really is. She advocates the adoption of balance and structure as well as sobriety and support networks as key strategies for maintaining entertainment careers that endure for the long haul rather than enable the quick fix.

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