Artist Snapshot: Mishki Vaccaro
Origin Story: Born and raised in Toronto, Canada to hippie Buddhist parents, I spent most of my childhood trying to hide the fact that I was a straight-up weirdo with a very active imagination and a rich inner life. Which basically means I had no choice but to become a writer. What else was I gonna do with all those feelings? I moved to L.A. in 2013 and earned my MFA in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California. Since then, I've worked in feature film development at Simon Kinberg's Genre Films, in network television development and production at Jason Winer's Small Dog Picture Company and in the writer's room on NBC's Perfect Harmony to name a few. I've written and produced an interactive short called I'm F.I.N.E. (Fucked Up, Insecure, Neurotic & Emotional) with New Form Digital and Eko Interactive and co-wrote the season finale of Perfect Harmony. I consider writing to be a form of "good magic" and gravitate towards female-centric dark comedies about the deep fears and dilemmas of the human experience.
Pipeline Accolades: Script Pipeline Screenwriting Runner-up (#FreeBritney)
- 2022 Humanitas Quarter Finalist - #FreeBritney (feature)
- 2018 Sundance New Voices Second Round - Wreckoning (pilot)
- 2015 Austin Teleplay Second Round - Damaged Goods (pilot)
On Being an Artist: I've been studying with the Joan Scheckel Filmmaking Labs since 2017, and my favorite quote of hers is: "Before it was a job, it was a need."
That's the whole thing, isn't it? As humans, we have a need to express ourselves. And at the most fundamental level, as artists, it's why we do what we do.
Fueled by: A continual investigation of what gives life meaning. To me, that's what I'm personally going through and what I observe friends, family, and society at large grappling with. It's a way of diving into the complicated business of being human to uncover deep emotional truths.
And when things get sticky and self-doubt creeps in, I always remind myself of something Ira Glass of This American Life once said. I'm paraphrasing, but it's basically that we all get into this business because we have great taste, yet it takes years for our skillset to catch up with our taste. So not to judge ourselves, but to instead keep making stuff, keep going, keep getting better. I take this as a reminder that it's OK to continually feel like a beginner and like I have no idea what I'm doing. As long as I keep putting one foot in front of the other, I'm doing what I came here to do.
Currently: Writing as much as I can. Working on a new feature and another TV pilot, as well as a short that I plan to produce and direct.
Someday: A writer/director/producer with my own production shingle who works in television and film, making my own projects and supporting and uplifting new voices.
*Feature Photo: Mishki Vaccaro