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A Voice All Her Own

N. Massapequan set for the next step

The entertainment industry is not for everyone. It can be a cutthroat venture peppered with pitfalls and rife with rejections, insults and jealousy. But the trials of the dramatic lifestyle are worth it if the performer is strong enough – and if the talent is too great to ignore.

North Massapequa resident Elora Dannon Rosch began exhibiting a flair for theatrics at a very young age. Her first audiences consisting of family and neighbors, Rosch would perform Disney until she had a routine all mapped out; then, should would perform it again.

“My parents said I was always very dramatic when I was younger,” she said. “Then my mom threw me into an acting class.”

The hard work and perseverance between then and now has paid off, as Rosch is getting set to sing a duet with one of her lifelong idols, Broadway veteran Shoshana Bean, at the Cutting Room, 44 E. 32nd St. in Manhattan on Oct. 13.

“It’s amazing. But it’s hard to describe just how amazing it is until I’m actually there; that is when the euphoric feelings will come out,” she said, adding that it is a moment she has been waiting for since she was in eighth grade. “I’ve tried to follow her path and now to share a stage with her, unbelievable.”

In the days leading up to that performance, the 22-year-old reflects on the ups and downs of a performer’s life; from the influences of her musically inclined grandparents, to top-billing in plays like “Annie” and “The American Girl Revue.”

Rosch is a classically trained soprano and with unique singing techniques and artistic interpretations. Since the age of 10, she has studied under the direction of Terry Arrigo, a graduate of Julliard and she also attended the Manhattan School of Music Pre-college Program where she studied under the direction of Jane Olian and graduated in May 2009.

She went on to study for four years at the Boston Conservatory, graduating in May with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre.

“This is the only lifestyle I’ve ever known,” she said. “People tell me I was born for this. This is who I am and what I have to do.”

While Rosch is amazed and appreciative for the amount of positive feedback she has received in her life, like any artist, there were plenty of rejections along the way. She believes those obstacles come with the territory and if a performer cannot accept rejection and learn from it, their voice will never break through the noise.

“You have to be able to take the help from the rejection and if you can’t deal with that aspect, then you shouldn’t be in this business,” she said. “I wasn’t just handed everything in my life. It was tough and at a certain point I realized that if I’m going to be in this business, I have to be ready for certain disappointments.”

Rosch said that starting very young enabled her to grow a thick skin, shielding her from harsh criticisms. She also grew to understand the realities of the lifestyle – specifically, its unstable nature.

“A lot of times you don’t know when your next job is or if you’re even going to have a next job,” she said, adding that she currently auditions by day and waitresses by night. “Be prepared to struggle and to sacrifice. The top priority has to be to audition, get out there and book anything you can.”

Much of Rosch’s booking is done by her manager mother, Annmarie. While the singer does much of her own research now, she credits her mother with giving her the direction she needed as a young girl.

“All I wanted to do when I was younger was dance around the house. I had no idea about agents or booking or anything else,” she said. “All of my friends who don’t have managers or agents, they all want her. She makes weird miracles happen.”

Rosch also succeeds with the help of her brother Andrew, 18, who plays the alto saxophone, guitar and makes beats on DJ recording equipment. And while her father Eric is not musical, he is there for support as well.

It was her family that supported her in the early years of this lifestyle choice. And now, as she embarks on the next portion of her journey, Rosch looks to use her talents to move others to laughter or tears – always with a dramatic flair.

“A lot of times people go to the theater or concerts to escape from life in some way, and it’s the same for the actors,” she said. “We ‘live truthfully in imaginary circumstances.’ It’s a chance to escape and pretend.”