Riley Schillaci


Birth name Aliases
Riley-Ann Schillaci None
Birth date Birth place
December 22, 1982 Rochester, NY
Date of death Place of death
Known for
Sword swallowing
Sideshow Artist and former Kodak Baby

Riley Schillaci is recognized internationally as one of the few female Sword Swallowers in the world. She has appeared in local publications, news broadcasts, and at Ripley's Believe It or Not! in Niagara Falls and Times Square. She has also opened for international bands and was a featured contestant on Season 6 of America's Got Talent.

Riley's other skills also include: Fire Eating, Fire Breathing, Fire Spinning, Fire Hooping, Fire Fans, Human Pincushion, Human Blockhead, Bed of Nails, Mouse Traps, and Burlesque.

Riley Schillaci was born in Rochester, New York on December 22, 1982 to Michael Schillaci and Deborah Schillaci (Healy). She is third generation Sicilian on her father’s side. Her mother’s family is of Irish, German, and English descent. She briefly moved to Allentown PA in 2009, but returned to Rochester in the spring of 2012.

Schillaci's first brush with fame came early. In 1983 she became a "Kodak Baby", one of 13 infants featured in a panoramic photo taken by photographer Sam Campanaro which was used in Kodak advertisements worldwide. The photograph was also used on the cover of Photographing Your Baby by Eastman Kodak Co. Editors (1984). Three more versions of the photograph were taken of the children at various ages.

Shillaci is one of less than a few dozen active professional sword swallowers performing around the world today. There are less than 20 women practitioners of the art.

Educational Background

Graduated Webster Schroeder High School in 2001, with a New York State regents diploma.

Received an Associates Degree, in Liberal Arts, from Monroe Community College in 2003

Graduated from the State University of New York College at Brockport, in 2006, with a double major in sociology, and health science.

Performance Career

Schillaci had opened for musical acts such as Type O Negative and My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, and performs at private and public events. In 2009 Schillaci was chosen to represent the Sword Swallowers Association International at Ripley's Believe It Or Not! [WWW]Niagara Falls, in honor of International Sword Swallower Awareness Day. On April 17, 2010 Riley Schillaci appeared on a live webcast with members of the band GWAR for their first annual Crack-A-Thon, streamed on Ustream.

Television Appearances

Print Appearances

Riley's last name is pronounced Sha-lacy.

Schillaci is also an amateur musician and writer. She plays guitar, is classically trained in vocals, and also plays trumpet.

She traveled to Vietnam for 2 months while studying for her Bachelors Degree at SUNY Brockport. Here she worked with the elderly and with children affected by Agent Orange. She also taught conversational English to adults.

Schillaci has turned down two offers to appear on the Jerry Springer Show and a Too Hot For T.V. special because they wanted her to appear completely topless, for as she puts it, "chump change".

"Booze and Broads" are in Schillaci's blood. Her great-great grandparents ran a speak-easy in New Jersey, during prohibition, and her great-great grandmother used to sing at burlesque/vaudeville shows in the Atlantic City.



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