Nicknames: "The comedian," "The Jack of All Trades," "The Ginger" / Age: 29 / Started at Howl at the Moon: 6 years ago / Favorite song to perform: "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen / Favorite Bands: Queen, Led Zeppelin, Elton John Jeff Staus vividly recalls the first time he connected with the crowd at Howl at the Moon. "I remember just getting off the piano and coming to the back, and just shaking from the adrenaline," he said. "I had never felt a rush like that before." Music didn't seem like a viable career, until he landed the gig at Howl at the Moon after college. Staus does a little bit of everything there: He plays the drums and piano and sings. Staus started playing piano around the age of 7. A friend's mom suggested lessons for him after noticing how he used to come over and play their piano. He took lessons for years, but the moment that may have sealed his fate as a performer was being crowned Mr. Middletown High School. "It's like a pageant that they hold at the end of the year, but I performed "Bohemian Rhapsody,'" he said. "That song kind of stuck with me, and has a special place in my heart." While there are still magical moments on stage like that first time, Staus admits that with time, they're fewer and farther apart. Still, he sees this as a long-term career, and hopes to one day become an entertainment director. "I've had people say, 'This is the best night of my life,'" Staus said. "To know that you can affect someone like that -- there's nothing more rewarding."
Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore Sun photo