Snapshot: Bianca Ursillo

Snapshot: Bianca Ursillo

Origin Story: I was born in Rhode Island to an Italian family that loved hard, but unfortunately didn’t believe in therapy. While I was an incredibly shy kid, under the surface I was feeling every emotion at a 10 at all times—which led to a lot of suppressed angst in my early teen years! Overwhelmed with the need to express myself, I turned to writing and became my own therapist (kids, don't try this at home). By writing through my emotional turmoil, I found my calling as a storyteller. Pair that with a borderline unhealthy obsession with television, and the rest is history.

Pipeline Accolades: Script Pipeline TV Writing Finalist (Palmer Island)

Accolades: Upon graduating from Tisch’s Dramatic Writing MFA program, I received departmental awards for Writing for One-Hour Television and Outstanding Writing for the Screen. I was a participant in the 2018 WAN Writers Workshop, as well as a semi-finalist for NBC’s 2019 Writers on the Verge Fellowship and the Disney/ABC’s 2019 Writing Program.

My pilot, Palmer Island, was a Top 10 Finalist in Script Pipeline’s 2021 TV Writing Contest and a Top 100 Finalist in the Launch Pad’s 2021 Pilot Competition.

My pilot, Damsel, was a semi-finalist in the 2018 Tisch Alumni Showcase “OTHER,” a second-rounder in the 2017 Austin Film Festival’s AMC One-Hour Pilot Category, a semi-finalist in the 2017 PAGE Awards’ TV Drama Pilot category, and a quarter-finalist in Script Pipeline’s 2017 TV Writing season.

On Being an Artist: Like most writers, I definitely struggled hard with “Imposter Syndrome,” particularly when I was starting out. It took many years for me to even feel comfortable using the word "artist" to describe myself without putting sarcastic quotation marks around it. What I’ve come to realize over the years is that you have to stop looking outside yourself for validation. Sure, accolades are great, but if you don’t believe in the validity and worth of your own work, first and foremost, I can pretty much guarantee no one else will either.

Fueled by: Anger, an Italian trademark! Seriously though, a writer once told me that your most successful work comes from your obsessions, and I’ve discovered that I obsess over things that enrage me. My pilot, Damsel, was born out of the rage I felt watching superhero shows where female characters were constantly reduced to damsels in distress and nothing more. Another pilot, The Club, was born from the anger I felt after a conversation with a group of friends about the abuses we suffered at the hands of men. For me, if something gets under my skin enough to rile me up, it means I have something important to say about it.

Currently: I’ve been working support staff positions in various TV writers’ rooms for the past few years, but am looking to make the shift into staff writer.

Someday: I’ll be a successful showrunner who runs bold, female-driven shows that inspire, educate, and evolve their audiences. But until then, I’ll happily staff on them!

Follow: Twitter

*Feature Photo: Bianca Ursillo

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