Part of Arlington-based singer/songwriter Danni Rosner’s publicity strategy is getting her songs played on television shows and in films. “I can’t even tell you the number of albums I send out to music supervisors across country, trying to get stuff placed,” she says.
Several months ago, through a friend of a friend, Rosner made contact with a music supervisor in Los Angeles, who asked that she send him her album, Piano Actress. “I sent it in a Charlie Brown greeting card,” Rosner says. “There was some funny message, but I blacked it out and wrote, ‘Here’s my album, Charlie Brown!'”
The trick worked. "He got back to me and said, 'Cute card, nice touch. I think this song is perfect for Teach."
Rosner hadn't yet heard of Teach—this was before A&E , the network behind the show, had begun its publicity push. But two words convinced Rosner that it was an amazing opportunity.
“He said, 'It's a show with Tony Danza. I was like, ‘Tony Danza?! Wow, this is awesome! I love Tony Danza—Who’s the Boss?!"
So, Rosner’s song, "In the City" will be played during this week’s episode of Teach, which document's Danza's real-life year-long stint teaching 10th grade English. The show airs on A&E this Friday, Oct.22 at 10 p.m.
Rosner says there were several months when she wasn't sure if her song would ever be make it to the small screen. “I knew it would be perfect if it happened, but in this business, you can’t get too excited until something is signed," she says. "There were a couple of months when I didn’t know, but then it finally happened. I called my parents, like, 'Mom and Dad, it’s gonna happen!' They were like, ‘Good, you’ve been talking about it for six months.'"
Rosner says she started writing and performing music professionally about three years ago, after graduating from Virginia Tech. “I’d been performing my entire life, but had never really known I would take to this extent," she says. So far, she has released an EP, On My Way, and the Piano Actress LP. Rosner also works for the MHz cable channel, hosting its Strictly Global music program.
On Friday, when Rosner's song airs on TV, she says she'll be watching with friends. "We'll be sitting around, watching it, it’ll come on for two seconds, and we’ll get excited, then we'll say, 'OK, what do we do now? Drink more wine!" she says.
Although Rosner is thrilled about her song appearing in a TV show, and actively works to get such placements, she says it doesn't influence her creative process.
"I feel like I know the right people to talk to now—there's no book on this—and I send my album out everywhere. Obviously with 'In the City' it worked, but sometimes it doesn't," Rosner says. "But I'm not writing songs thinking, this'll be great for film or TV."
But once the songs are written, Rosner does dream of potential placements. "The first song off of my EP is 'Wind Up Toy,' which is a song about going after your dreams," Rosner says. "I'm hopeful that, someday, someone like [Steven] Spielberg will write a movie called Wind Up Toy. It's a shot in the dark, but sometimes you just throw five million darts and hope something sticks."
Rosner also says that, oftentimes, when watching TV shows and movies, she imagines them with her songs playing in the background. "I always see scenes in movies, and am like, 'Oh my god, my song would be so good here!' It kind of ruins the movie, though, if you're always thinking, you know what song would be great for this? My song.”