I’m doing that thing again where I feature my friends in Addicted because, well, I have some really cool friends. Moreover, I have friends with really cool jobs, and that’s what the Dream Job Diary is all about.
When I first started writing about music, way back before Addicted was even born, I was pulled into the music industry not only by my love of music, but by the great people that I met, and the amazing work they do. One of the coolest jobs I discovered in that journey was music supervisor. Even if you haven’t heard of the job itself, you’ve definitely heard the work of a music supervisor in your everyday life. A music supervisor, in a nutshell, is responsible for the music you hear in your favorite movies, TV shows, video advertisements and more. My dear friend Dondrea Erauw just happens to do this very cool job, and since she’s also an incredible human that I know and love, I figured it was about time to share her personal and professional coolness with you, my dear readers.
Dondrea has been a musical person her whole life, singing, composing, playing in bands and general immersing herself in her musical addiction. She graduated from the music industry arts program at Fanshawe College in London Ontario. She then moved to Toronto, where she landed her dream job as a music supervisor, working at instinct entertainment, a company founded by veteran music supervisor Michael Perlmutter. There, Dondrea has made her musical mark on television shows like Beauty and the Beast (Showcase/CW), Degrassi (Netflix/Family Channel), Ten Days in The Valley (CTV/CBS), Private Eyes (iON/Global). Dondrea has placed music indie films, Kiss and Cry, Firecrackers and The New Romantic. Most recently, Dondrea was recognized at the 2018 Canadian Sync Awards, winning the award for Best Music Supervision in a Feature Film for Kiss & Cry. Watch the trailer here (be warned, it totally made me cry):
Dondrea took the time to chat with me about her awesome job, the work she’s done
What is your official title? Do you have one?
I’m a Music Supervisor at instinct entertainment. A Music Supervisor basically curates any and all music needs that accompany picture; whether that be pre-existing recordings, score, custom music, etc. Any time you hear a song, melody or music to picture, it’s a Music Supervisors responsibility to not only creatively help the client find the song they’re looking for, but to also legally secure the rights. At instinct, we mostly license music for TV & Film.
Is this a job you attained or did you create it for yourself?
This was definitely a job I attained. Michael Perlmutter (instinct entertainment) has been music supervising for 21 years and he hired me about 6 years ago. Initially, he was looking for an intern when I applied. I would have done anything to have gotten that internship, as I knew I wanted to Music Supervise. I was ready to work multiple jobs just to keep myself in the city too. However, my interview quickly turned into a conversation about music, goals, life, and he called me the next day to hire me as a full-time employee. I’m still so blessed. Michael really took a risk on me, as I didn’t have any Music Supervision experience whatsoever. I had only worked at publishing company, where I handled copyright for a year or so, but my goodness am I happy I got the opportunity. Michael is the most supportive person I know. He really loves to see Mikaila, Natalie [Dondrea’s fellow supes at instinct] and I thrive and succeed in our careers. He gives credit where it’s due and he allows us to work on our own projects within instinct. It’s really amazing to have an employer give you that much freedom, trust and support. He’s so wonderful.
How did you get into your current line of work? / Did you go to school/get training for your dream job?
I took the Music Industry Arts program at Fanshawe College, which I honestly feel is the best program in our industry. I learned everything from production, to engineering, to business and that’s where I learned what a Music Supervisor was. I’ve always been obsessed with music in movies and TV, (Almost Famous, The O.C. to name a couple) but I never realized that it was actually someone’s job to find the music and license it. I love music a lot, and obviously came into this industry as a musician first, but I also love films and TV shows. Music Supervision is this magical world where you get to work in both industries and it’s so great.
Right before graduating from Fanshawe, I got an offer to work at a publishing company (Casablanca Media Publishing – now known as Red Brick Songs), to cover a leave of absence for 3 months. They asked if I could start immediately, and I left school before taking my exams (I went back to write them of course). I ended up sleeping on a friend of a friends futon until I could find myself an apartment too. It was scary, considering I’m a small town gal, but I knew I needed some experience in licensing & copyright if I wanted to get into Music Supervision. That 3 month contract, turned into a full time position, and about a year and a half after that, I met Michael. The rest is history!
What achievement are you most proud of?
Well, I just won a Canadian Sync Award for Best Music Supervision in a Feature Film for Kiss & Cry over the weekend! I was very much not expecting it, but I’m really proud to have been a part of the film and to have my work recognized. If you’ve never seen the film, it’s a pretty remarkable one; it’s a true story about this young woman from Toronto named Carley Allison. She was training to be an Olympic figure skater and she also happened to be a singer/songwriter. At the age of 17, she was diagnosed with a rare form of throat cancer (1 in 3 billion). She was such a positive beam of light throughout the whole tragic experience, and the film is about her journey and how she celebrated life. It sounds like a tear-jerker and it is, but man, does it give you perspective. She was such an optimistic woman who touched many. The music was a pretty pivotal part in telling her story too, as she was a music lover herself. It’s available on Netflix in most countries around the globe, including Canada & the U.S.