When Adam Neuhaus founded Headsets and Highballs three years ago, he says it was really just for fun. The idea was to create a community: get some young media types together (nearly all were and still are under 30), have a few drinks, start a few conversations and maybe some things would happen. But in 2006 the media climate was a little different in New York than it is today: new companies were starting up left and right in the cradle of Silicon Alley, magazines were flush with ad pages and a stimulus package was something prescribed by a doctor to save a marriage.
In those days the base for Headsets and Highballs was built — the same people coming to the events and moving toward something more than the typical networking meet and greet. Fast forward to 2009 and Headsets and Highballs is still meeting regularly, but there's a noticeably grim pallor to its city. The media pros gather every month — like clockwork, says Neuhaus — but now they have a chance to help each other and others out. Networking during the worst depression since the first one often means looking for a job or dealing with job seekers, but that doesn't change the essential purpose of Headsets and Highballs. "Don’t go to so-called 'networking events,'" Neuhaus cautions. "There are too many people trying to do the same thing under the same pretenses. Any events advertising the word 'job' are a bad use of your energy. Go to events within your network, field and areas of interest."
Neuhaus is adding a job board to H&H, and at the same time giving back to the community at large, and asking everyone already involved or who would like to be involved with Headsets to join in supporting its new non-profit partner Ghetto Film School. GFS teaches talented kids all over the city the art of filmmaking. H&H is raising money for the program as well as offering assistance in getting the students internships and connecting them with media companies, adding a valuable component to the education. But teaching film at no cost does not come cheap, and GFS is constantly in need of funds. "I wanted to do this, because I wanted to give them a big check," says Neuhaus.
The next Headsets and Highballs event launches the job board, is primarily a fundraiser for Ghetto Film School, and, of course, serves as the regular meeting. Like clockwork. Tickets for Friday April 24 at Studio 450 (450 W 31st, nr. 10th Ave) event are $50 and a limited number are available here.