Kathy Griffin, Joaquin Phoenix and more offer the best advice for 2019

SalonTV welcomes artists, newsmakers, and influential leaders every day. Here's the best of their words of wisdom

Published December 29, 2018 10:30AM (EST)

Michael K. Williams; Kathy Griffin; Joaquin Phoenix (Matt Smith/AP/Chris Pizzello/Kevin Carlin)
Michael K. Williams; Kathy Griffin; Joaquin Phoenix (Matt Smith/AP/Chris Pizzello/Kevin Carlin)

In 2018, Salon talked to hundreds of artists across entertainment, music and film and influential leaders in politics and business on SalonTV's daily interview show "Salon Talks." Whether our guests were reflecting on moments of achievement or looking ahead to their next chapters, they all had great advice to offer for finding your path in 2019.

Each of the excerpts below are from “Salon Talks” episodes, which can be watched in full through the links below. For new SalonTV episodes in 2019, subscribe to Salon's Facebook and SalonTV's YouTube Channel to receive notifications of new, live conversations with filmmakers, actors, authors and innovative thinkers.

1.  Kathy Griffin: Start over
“I don't mind starting over. My show was called ‘My Life on the D-List,’ I'm a proud D-lister, but under this kind of actual security pressure has been a challenge. Yet, I thought if I could just get back to basics and tell the story and try to make it funny and relatable, that's the best tool that I have.” Watch Kathy Griffin on SalonTV.

2. Chris Gethard: Ignore the people who underestimate you
“There are so many influences trying to convince us to just stay in our lane, whether that's your boss who just wants your world to be your cubicle, or whether that's the people in your personal life who didn't chase their own dreams so they kind of don't want you to, or whether that's just a society in general that's like this is who you are—you were born into it, you stay there. I just don't believe in that.” Watch Chris Gethard on SalonTV.

3. Cuba Gooding Jr. : Keep raising the bar
"People ask me all the time, ‘You have an Oscar, what do you do? Do you stare at it, where do you keep it?’ and all this stuff. Or [they ask] ‘Do you watch your work, do you study?’ I make it, I set it back, and then at one point I will look back and say, ‘Wow, look what I accomplished.’ Right now, I'm still accomplishing.” Watch Cuba Gooding Jr. on SalonTV.

4. Sean Penn: Make your bucket list a reality
“A lot of people tell themselves, ‘One day I’m going to write a novel,’ and I had been telling myself that for a very long time. I suppose once I shed concern about perception, cultural perception, I heard the name Bob Honey and that clicked on the radio and the music played.” Watch Sean Penn on SalonTV.

5. Kate White, Cosmopolitan's former editor-in-chief: Exceed your boss's expectations
“It comes down to going big or going home. You have to do more than you’re told to do. You have to come up with ideas that are bold and innovative and possibly disruptive for your department, ideas that drive profitability, create buzz, and make your boss say wow.” Watch Kate White on SalonTV.

6. Ibtihaj Muhammad, Olympic medalist in fencing : Work on your inner battles first
“One of the hardest things that I’ve ever done was not just qualifying for the [Olympic] games and winning a medal, but this really arduous journey of trying to navigate spaces where you’re not welcomed, trying to navigate anxiety and depression, overcoming your own self and the doubt that we each have. At the end of this journey for me, I found an Olympic medal.” Watch Ibtihaj Muhammad on SalonTV.

7. Actor Michael K. Williams of "The Wire": Embrace vulnerability
“I believe we're all just one big mess underneath. I try to not get it my own way. Be vulnerable, be honest, be ugly.” Watch Michael K. Williams on SalonTV.

8. Joaquin Phoenix: Prepare, but be flexible
"I'm trying more and more to have these possibilities available, but not make any kind of decision until I'm in the experience." Watch Joaquin Phoenix on SalonTV.

9. Nick Cannon: Create your own version of success
“I stopped wanting accolades a long time ago because I realized accolades don’t last. To be the first to do this or achieve this honor, people celebrate you and then they’re like, ‘What else you got?’ So I just like to stay focused, and the youth keep me focused.” Watch Nick Cannon on SalonTV.

10. Andrew W.K. : Remember to relax
“The human spirit needs pure fun. It needs to celebrate the fact that it exists, even in all of the pain and confusion and craziness. We have to hold out hope that life really is worth living and that life is good." Watch Andrew W.K. on SalonTV.

For more insightful interviews with actors, writers, directors and more, tune into SalonTV, streaming daily on YouTube, Facebook and Salon. Subscribe to SalonTV's YouTube Channel  to receive notifications about new episodes.

By Alexandra Clinton

Alexandra (Lexie) Clinton is Salon's Executive Producer.

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