by LIZ ONUFER | photos by Lauren Nygard Photography

The Schmidt Family Song

Somewhere between a song, a stage, and a sports field you can find the Schmidt family – Jill and Joel and their kids, Lydia and Ryan. Residents since 2000, this active and creative family appreciates the good life in Carlsbad.

But song and stage aren’t just hobbies for this family. Joel is a professional musician and actor, and while Jill may spend her days teaching elementary school at Vista Unified School District, she’s as comfortable on a stage as she is in the classroom. In fact, the stage is where the couple met in the Washington, D.C. area. “Joel and I met filming the show South Pacific. He was playing Emile, and I was Nellie,” Jill explained. After the couple married, they relocated to Carlsbad for the weather and lifestyle.

“Joel has songs for all of us and some of the kids’ friends, too. If you would like your own personal song, just ask him.” – Jill Schmidt

The performance gene seems to have been born into the kids, as well. “We have passed our love of theatre on to the kids, so we have become involved with Carlsbad Community Theatre (CCT),” Jill said. Lydia, 13 and a student at High Tech Middle, is a member of the Theatre’s Showcase Company, performing with the youth outreach group in shows around the community. Lydia is also in a DVD series that teaches English to children called Disney English. Soccer takes center stage when she plays for the Carlsbad United F.C. soccer organization.

Lydia’s match is her younger brother, Ryan, 10, who will begin school at High Tech Middle this fall. Ryan most recently played the role of Roger in 101 Dalmatians with the CCT. Equally as competent on the field, Ryan plays football for Carlsbad Pop Warner and rugby for the Carlsbad Thunder Rugby Club.

Being involved and active in the community is important to the Schmidt family. Jill volunteers as a Girl Scout leader, and Joel coaches soccer with Carlsbad United F.C. Around town, the family’s favorite spots include the Batiquitos Lagoon, the beach, Greek Corner Café, and Tip Top Meats.

Whether out in town or on stage, the family is never far from breaking out into song. “We can make anything into a song. We all sing a lot – of course, Lydia and Ryan don’t appreciate it if we do it in public,” Jill shared. Joel is the most prolific at this pastime. “Joel has songs for all of us and some of the kids’ friends, too. If you would like your own personal song, just ask him.”


Parents: Jill and Joel Schmidt
Children: Lydia Schmidt (13, 8th grade at High Tech Middle); Ryan Schmidt (10, 6th grade at High Tech Middle)
Community: East of the Village since 2000
Parents’ Hometowns: Jill – Ocean Springs, MS; Joel – Silver Spring, MD
Parents’ Occupations: Jill – Elementary Teacher; Joel – Actor and Musician
Pets: Brindy – Dog, Cary – Cat, Raspberry – Fish, El Toro – Hamster, Apollo – Bunny
Favorite Places to Visit in Calrsbad: Batiquitos Lagoon, the beach, Greek Corner Café, Tip Top Meats, and chasing our dog wherever she happens to run