To Be or Not To Be

Disappointment.  I’m feeling that today.  Doubt.  Another good word.   To Be or Not To Be.  It’s something we must all ask ourselves.  If you are someone who is in a great place today, where things are just happening, where you are in the “TO BE” place, not the “NOT TO BE” place – good on you.  Keep at it.  Bask in that place of pure glory, purpose, direction, excellence and affirmation.  And maybe reach out to someone who may need a little bit of your shine.

I marvel at those who are individuals.  Who stick it out and carry on regardless of life’s setbacks, disappointment and doubts.   Things can change overnight…but the wait can be hard and to remain true to yourself during that time can be harder.   If you’re looking for encouragement, if you’re an artist or writer and things are not going the way you want, remind yourself who you want to be in this life.  It’s a hard question, but a good one to ask.  If there is a burning desire in your heart, stay true to yourself and don’t look at everyone else around you.   Be an individual.   Don’t be afraid…admit your failures, setbacks and disappointments.  There is no shame in that.  Tell others.

So, onto mine:

My screenplay PLAY BALL has been with a producer for 3 years now and word came last week that she has decided not to renew the option.  The contract was signed back on August 12, 2014 and she has optioned the script twice in that time period.  I had a sense this was going to happen and of course I’m disappointed.  But at the same time, if it was not meant to be with this particular producer, then it’s time to move on.

The prestigious Nicholl Fellowships quarterfinals were announced and my name was not on that list.  It’s a tough list to get on with over 7000 entries and only about 350 advance.  However, I did receive 2 positive reads for my script The Living Water and ended up placing somewhere in the top 30% of entries.    Not bad…but not good enough.

I also entered The Living Water in the Bluecat Screenplay Competition…another writing contest that receives over 3000 scripts, and I did not advance in their quarters list, but received positive notes including this about my screenplay:   It is a subtle, yet beautiful journey of two broken souls offering something the other needs. It shows very down-to-earth and natural storytelling in which people could project themselves into this world.”

You take the good with the not so good and forge forward. But it’s never easy to remain positive when forces around say otherwise.  You must always look for the next road to take…then take it.  I’m writing  a new script right now for another fellowship which is due at the end of September.  I’ll write more about that in my next blog.   I’ve devoted the last 2 months on this particular story and there is still a lot of work to do.  And so this is the road I drive on now, trying to enjoy the journey.  Onward to better days.  Better results.  Better opportunity.   Better hope.  To be or not to be?  I say be yourself.  Be true to who you are.  Don’t be afraid to be an individual.   It’s very easy not to stand out in a crowd.



  1. Lisa England Williams says:

    Hey Romeo, have missed catching up with you lately. I just binge read your past few blogs and received an awesome dose of personal and professional lifelines because of your wisdom, your frankness, your generosity, your caring, your spirit — they LIFT all of us up with every word and quote. Thank you & may God continue to bless you personally & professionally, as he sure has blessed us with you & Studio Speranza!

  2. Charnelle & Tobi O. says:

    Hi Romeo, another well-written post, thanks for being so transparent with us.
    We’ll be keeping you in our prayers. God has a great plan for you!

  3. Josie Beylerian says:

    It is a rocky road that you are on now but it does not last. You are being refined at the moment. God has given you talents that you are willing to use for Him. In the meantime, keep looking ahead and you will come out with much experience under your belt at the end of the road. You will be a better person as a result of your travels.

  4. Thanks for sharing this with us. It is important to be reminded of the challenges that people face in life. I myself have had many challenges in recent years with my career but I have recently seen some progress. Cheers

  5. Annmarie Morais says:

    It’s a hard truth that we all need to both hear and speak. Thanks for sharing Romeo, keep on keeping on.

  6. Karen Coles says:

    Abraham Lincoln, Michael Jordan, Romeo Ciolfi, individuals who were defeated numerous times before achieving great success. These individuals would not have been if they had given up when first rejected by electorate, by basketball coaches in high school, by those who select plays for production. Romeo, this is how I see you described in months, perhaps years to come. And when that day comes, those of us following you will be celebrating with you because of your transparency, your talent, and your willingness to share valuable insights that highlight perspectives we may feel but not be able to put into words. Keep being; keep sharing; keep writing; God placed you here and gave you a talent for a purpose.

  7. Such a hard, but necessary post, Rome. Necessary for others to hear, I mean. We will all experience failure in our careers, especially if you’ve chosen one in the Arts. In this current climate of curated online selves, where it may seem like everyone else is happy 24/7, your honesty about disappointment and setback is heartfelt and helpful, and heartening. We are not alone in our losses. Your vulnerability is a gift to all of us reading. Thank you.

  8. The best role we play in life is our own selves so “just be”.

  9. Heather Hughes says:

    “You take the good with the not so good and forge forward.”

    Yes! Never give up. Live to do the art you were put on the planet to do. Don’t measure yourself by the success or failure of other people, because you will always be dissapointed at your place in the lineup. I bet Oscar winners think, “What’s next?” a minute after the ceremony.

    Thanks for your writing!!!

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