I constantly talk about needing to have a healthy dose of ego in order to make it in the ‘biz.’ A healthy dose of ego is what makes you charismatic on stage. You have to be able to walk out onto stage and truly believe in that moment that you are the best person for that role in this place. You step on stage and give your story with all of your heart. Every ounce of who you are has no problem stepping out in front of a crowd to dance, sing, or characterize because you deserve it. Because you are the best ‘piece of moving art’ the audience could be watching. You have no doubt that you are the best for here and now.
But Pride? That’s the destructive stuff. Ego is part of who you are, it is your self-reliance, self esteem, and self-assurance. Pride is a flaw. Remember in high school you learned about hubris? or “Pride Goethe Before the Fall.”
Although they can be used as synonyms in most cases, for the clarification of what is good for a performer vs. what is bad for the person, we’ll use specific definitions provided by Webster’s, and assume that the two words are not interchangeable in any situation.
Pride: 2) … disdainful behavior or treatment, 3) a : ostentatious display: characterized by or given to pretentious or conspicuous, in an attempt to impress others.
Ego is confidence. Pride is arrogant or bragging. Look at it this way, if your self-assurance makes you a jerk, that is prideful behavior. If you display confidence in a way that hurts other people, being pretentious or condescending, by bragging, or putting down others because they haven’t ‘accomplished’ what you have, then you are a prideful jerk.
Please do have ego because that is what makes you glow onstage. Pride makes you smell like shit backstage.