You might think a number you do is absolutely fantastic - everyone else might not. Try to stay tuned in to what people other than your own self think. Sometimes we perform as a cathartic expression of ourselves, but more often than not we hit the stage to entertain *others.* Don't lose sight of that and become, what I like to call, a "masturbatory performer." You know what I mean by that? When you're watching someone perform and you're thinking, "Yeah...he's doing that because it feels good" or "Look at him tooting his own horn up there on stage." I don't want to see you masturbate on stage a la "Oooh, look at me, I'm amazing, aren't I? Oh God, I *love* me! Mmm!!" I'm happy to know you have feelings for yourself. Now put down the narcissism complex and entertain *me!*
In truth, I associate a lot of bad behavior with ego issues - whether they be inflated or insecure. The entertainer that comes into the dressing room and takes up 6 stations with his stuff = inflated. The entertainer who speaks badly about others = insecure. The entertainer who texts you 20 minutes after a show has started to tell you he won't be there = inflated. The entertainer who gets upset when someone else does the same song as him = insecure. The entertainer who constantly talks about how much he gives back to the community = inflated. The entertainer who starts rumors about others = insecure.
The truth of the matter is - there will always be someone out there better than you. Always. There will also be someone younger, thinner, buffer, a better dancer, better on the mic, or who has more bling. There will always be someone out there who markets and promotes themselves better than you. There will always be someone who seems to get booked more than you do whether you think they are deserving or not.
When you win a pageant or competition, be it local or national, keep in mind: this doesn't make you the BEST in the whole super duper wide world!! It makes you the best out of the people you competed against on that ONE PARTICULAR NIGHT. Maybe the guy who came in 2nd had the flu but would have beaten you had he been feeling better. Maybe the guy who would have beat you had an emergency arise and wasn't able to make it out to compete. Maybe the judges liked your face better than the other guy. Maybe on that one night you performed your talent number the best, but if you did it again the following night someone else could beat you. Maybe the judges like pop more than rock and scored your Justin Timberlake number higher than that other guy's Green Day number.
It is delusional to think any higher of yourself than what you have achieved. I just won the Mister Southern States USofA MI contest. I competed against 5 other Kings. All that crown means is that I scored the highest out of the 6 of us on that one evening. It doesn't mean I have more fans, better costumes, or more shows than *anyone* else. You have to look at these things rationally and not allow your ego to run away with you.
And it is my personal belief that staying humble actually makes you better!! If you think you're the King of the Universe...where do you have to go from there? Knowing that there are people out there who challenge you forces you to raise the bar! You can't just sit back and stop working hard while other people continue to grow! Competition makes the world go 'round, and conflict drives us. I strive to be a better entertainer every single day, and I will NEVER stop that no matter how much I achieve.
The laissez faire attitude I see with some performers who feel like they no longer have to work for anything at all is rather disheartening. Even if they are good entertainers. Don't let your ego get in the way - people see it when it does, be they other performers, show directors or the audience you're there to entertain, and trust me it does not reflect upon you in a positive light.