When your name is Rush, why wait?
Because it was a great job, says Devyn Rush of her work as a singing server, waiting tables at Ellen's Stardust Diner in New York.
Well, not everyone could wait; indeed, the diner's management couldn't, firing the 21-year-old for taking time off.
But this was not idle time but "Idol" time as New Hope's new hope for a major talent progressed in the Hollywood rounds this past season on TV's megahit "American Idol."
"I loved my job; I made such best friends and still stay in touch with them," says Rush, refusing to dish on the diner management.
But did she have the magic touch for what Simon says — or said — in his last year as the show's snippy seer? Special of the day, or return to kitchen for more seasoning? Ultimately, being called "a train wreck" didn't wreck Rush's training schedule: "I wanted to have a learning experience," reasons Rush of why she tried out for the show.
"And it was the best experience of my life."
What she did for love is paying dividends — and singing dates. Next on her increasingly hectic schedule: A performance alongside "Idol" contestant Andrez Fredericks (Season Six) this Saturday night at Bob Egan's Supper Club and Cabaret at the Ramada of New Hope.
All that jazz — and show music, as well as Rush originals — are on the supper club's menu.
Song in Her Heart
That's just one part of Rush's weekend tab; the flip side has her performing and "Playing for Change," a benefit to assist musical education for kids at a time when music is playing less an instrumental role in school lesson plans.
That engagement is set for this Sunday night at the Highline Ballroom in New York(www.highlineballroom.com).
Highlights of her offstage activism include a vocal role on behalf of Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Jonathan D. Krist Foundation, which also abets kids and music.
Good bet Rush is more assured of herself now, more so than during her days as a kid at the Baldi Middle School in Philly, where she faced some problems.
Bullied at Baldi? Better believe it, says the singer, who recalls "being an easy target. I was scrawny and teased a lot."
Even after her family's move to New Hope from Philly, she faced the same old song. But a new love helped ease the pain and straighten the path: "I discovered yoga," says Rush.
And now, years later, she's a student-cum-certified teacher, giving classes in New York where she now lives.
Susan and Bob's little girl has evolved into a singer with a style and sense of mission. "My ideal career is combining yoga and music," she says, meeting with encouragement from both parents.
And if she doesn't give it the old college try, well … "When I applied for college, it was my mother who suggested I take the year off after high school — so opposite of what you think a Jewish mother would say — and then, after I did, she suggested, why not take another year off."
The years of living dangerously in New York? No, but successfully, getting gigs: She opened eyes of theatrical producers, nabbing the role of Anna in the Lincoln Center staging of "Spring Awakening," then understudying the role in the off-Broadway incarnation. And then there was the attention from her short-lived time on "AI."
The singer knew from forever that she wanted to perform: "My first show was 'The Sound of Music'; I was 4, but I got kicked out because of child labor laws," she remembers of the regional theater production.
"That was not what I wanted to hear," she says of the sound of firing.
But Rush, "going to auditions since I was 8," had other ample opportunities to be heard. When it comes to sound advice, she can't sing higher praise than that she offers Edie Robb, her longtime talent manager from Philadelphia (with offices in New York and Los Angeles), with whom "I signed when I was 6 months old."
She reconsiders, then laughs. "Well, I couldn't actually sign at that age."
But it was, she avows, a sign of the times, working with "this brilliant businesswoman whom I trust and respect," alongside Robb's husband, business partner and talent teacher Rodney.
On the record is a record; Rush is ready to record her first album, which she is readying now and will preview at her New Hope gig.
As for those long-ago bullies, Rush slaps back at the memories, having evolved gracefully and prettily from her "scrawny" daze.
And what better tongue-lashing to a bully than being able to record her hopes and dreams while those who stalked her can now only sit back and listen — and maybe go from fiends to fans.