Now a resident of the Point Loma area, Schillings grew up in Medford, Ore., heading south in the summer of 2005 to pursue her dreams of a career in acting or music.
“I believe that music chose me first,” she said. “From the age of 7, I fell madly in love with every instrument that I touched. Playing by ear, creating and mimicking songs, melodies would pour through me. I used music as my form of expression when words failed. Music gave me a voice and I am forever grateful and inspired for that.”
Within a year of her discovery of a love for music, she began to work aas an actress. “The stage is my second home,” she said. “I began at the age of 8 performing and touring with ‘The Nutcracker’ in our local ballet company. I fell in love with theater, gaining my first role in ‘Alice in Wonderland’ as Alice's shadow.
From the age of 12 to 16, I was performing two to three performances throughout the year,” Schillings recalled. “I continued to take part in theatrical performances around town while performing in the theater program at my school. I dedicated my life to art and it became my lifestyle.”
While she is cast as a singer-songwriter, her music has a modern pop edge, with echoes of artists such as Natalie Merchant, Stevie Nicks or Sarah McLachlan, as heard on songs such as “It’s All You,” from her recent self-titled E.P. While her performances might include songs by the likes of Patsy Cline, Tom Petty or Otis Redding, her focus is squarely on her original music.
“I hope my songs encourage you to embrace your fears and imperfections, feel empowered to put your passion into action,” Schilling said. “Everything I see or hear is a gateway to a song, nature, people, so on. Sometimes it’s a story that inspires me, or just one word that creates great visuals and, of course, my own personal emotions and ponderings.”
As much as she likes creating music, part of the attraction of being a performer for her is the opportunity to travel. Like many San Diego performers at the moment, she is finding particular success abroad. “I love touring Europe,” she enthused.
“Last summer, I toured through Basel, Switzerland, Vienna, Austria and one of my favorite countries, Germany. It has become my second home and holds a piece of my heart,” Schilling said. “The people, their appreciation and respect for music, is something that continues to draw me back again and again.”
Schillings plans more touring and recording in 2017, with San Diego as her continued home base. She is happy with her move down the West Coast.
“I am so grateful for San Diego’s strong music community, the love and support not only shown by the local musicians but local businesses as well,” she said. “San Diego is the land of progressive-minded entrepreneurs and innovative start-up businesses focused around supporting local art, music, food and wellness. I believe this supportive energy is what cultivates this close-knit local music community to grow even stronger and more connected,” Schillings remarked.