Maryelizabeth O'Donnell

How Do You Gauge the Line Between Confident and Cocky?

Dear KP,

How do you gauge the line between confident and cocky? I’m on a set right now, and each actor I’m with is discussing their respective management, and their featured roles on shows they’ve been in, etc… I’m being pegged the “quiet one” because I don’t want to talk about my resume; it comes off as boasting to me. Is it better to be pegged the quiet one, or should I be participating in the conversation?

Maryelizabeth O’Donnell (USC Class of 2017)

Maryelizabeth O'Donnell

Dear Maryelizabeth,

First of all, you are on a set! Congratulations! Booking an acting job where someone is paying you is a big, big deal, so I hope you feel confident in having achieved that.

Secondly, confidence is not about volume or empty chatter; it’s about knowing who you are and staying true to that no matter the circumstances. Stay in your lane and don’t get distracted by anything other than the work and being kind to everyone on set. I’d imagine that everyone feels a little nervous, and sometimes people talk because they don’t know what else to do. Just listen and observe.

Thirdly, Douglas Ross (EP “Real Housewives”) gave some excellent advice specifically on “confidence vs cocky” in the latest MGGJ Podcast episode. Check it out at the 20:53 mark.

And remember: Every flower needs a gardner; every talker needs a listener. As a matter of fact, I bet you can make more friends by listening than by talking. Try it out and let me know how it goes.


UPDATE JUNE 2016– So this talented beauty recently booked campaigns for Ikea, Chevy and Buzzfeed. Maryelizabeth now elegantly walks on the right side of confidence! #proudteacher

Krista Parkinson

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