I first met Dan Dombrowski when I was offered an interview through his representatives during the promotional tours for a movie called “The Estate”. The first thing I noticed about Dan was how open he was. I was supposed to have a short window with him, maybe 15 minutes, and we ended up talking for a long time about things beyond his grade on “The Estate”. But so is Dan. He is always eager to help and chat about anything. I would consider him a friend who totally happens to work in the film industry.
You may not know Dan by name, but if you watch “The Carbonaro Effect,” you can hear Dan’s music and sound effects for the first three seasons. His music was also used in the “Alaska Purchase”. Although none of his family members played music, Dan’s music career began before college where he played in a band. But it wasn’t until after college graduation that he got a real job in the music industry. Dan worked in a recording studio in New York City that was no longer open. Dan described the situation as: “I was basically a runner, like just running around town, getting stuff for sessions, making coffee, cleaning the room, setting things up and putting things away, and I got $5 and 15 cents an hour in New York doing it.”
After that period, Dan found himself going to Costa Rica for a while before getting another job at Zomba Records. He started working in the archiving department before secretly moving to the international marketing department. “I ended up working in the international department where I handled all of the release planning and manufacturing of our inventory outside of the US, so whenever we really saw, artists, anywhere in the world, I would be the guy who made it happen. At that point, CDs were being made because iTunes It was kind of happening,” Dan said.
But even at this point, with a steady job and everything, Dan felt frustrated and unfulfilled at work. This is where Dan’s story can be a message to college students: Use your talents and do what you enjoy. Dan said, like many students, “I didn’t know that [there were] Other things besides getting out of school, working a job raises the ranks.” But Dan added, “You’re not going to be happy all the time. You’re not like there’s a lot to talk about this job. Like you’re writing a piece of music, but if that’s not what the person wants.”
The biggest piece of advice Dan gave was to take a risk, especially while in school. Dan said, “You don’t need to send people money. You don’t have a mortgage, [and] Crazy payments. Then you have to chase these things, you can always get a job. There’s always a way to make a living.” Dan’s big break in writing came when he was working at Sony, and someone he knew hooked him up with someone making videos he could record. It ended up being the TV show “South Beach Tow.”
If there is one thing that can be learned from Dan, it is to find what you love and just do it. No matter what, you can always find a way to make a living. Dan knows he might not be Hans Zimmer or John Williams (yet), but he’s constantly booked and works on various projects for film, television, and video games. For all the uncertainty that many college students face, as they prepare for the world, take a look at the story of a man who went from paying $5 an hour to scoring goals in the movie The Carbonaro Effect.