"I was sitting in my apartment in New York, and I needed to go," the Orange Is the New Black star tells PEOPLE, "but I realized I also was going to need to acknowledge the Emmy nominations before I left."
Though her publicist had tried calling her earlier, Schilling had left her phone off – on purpose.
"I didn't really want to be at home," she says, "so I just walked to the river, which is really close to my house, and then I took my phone off airplane mode and called my publicist. For some reason it was very important to me to be outside."
Schilling was one of five actors nominated from OITNB, landing a nod for comedy lead actress. In all, the show garnered 12 nominations.
Once she got to set, Schilling says, "It was insanity. Everybody came to set. The entire cast came."
The celebration was marked not with cake, "but there were lots of bowls of oranges," she says with a laugh. "People were putting them down their shirts. I put them down my shirt. They were throwing them, we were bouncing them off walls. It was bonkers."
A few photos from the day have been posted on Instagram, and Schilling explains why she has wet hair in the shots.
"I had to do this stuff to my hair to get ready for this thing I'm doing tomorrow," she says. "We had to take all these staged photographs and I have wet hair and it's a mess, but it was fun."
She hasn't begun to think about her Emmy gown yet but she assures fans she won't be matching her prison garb.
"Oh, my god. Someone would have the right to throw eggs at me if I wear orange," she says.
"It was a fantastic day," Schilling adds. "I am so proud of our show. I could not be more proud of everyone."