Wanderer Session #7: Anna Zailik
Filmed in New Brunswick, New Jersey
After unsuccessfully chasing after Anna Zailik, a few open mics later, I caught her during the Arthouse Social and asked if she wanted to do a Wanderer Session. Anna’s eyes widened up and the girl erupted into gratefulness and wonder. I told her I love the range of her voice. “It’s tough to shoot your voice out there as loud and yet as sweet sounding as yours,” I said. She was happy to the point of a frenzied wonder at everything I said to her. A fact I remembered well, especially during the shoot a couple of weeks later.
We filmed her Wanderer Session on a rainy Douglass Friday. I wasn’t at all prepared with a location and had only made a single, small lap around the area. “How do you feel about bridges?” I asked her, having settled on the walkway connecting the Art buildings. She shrugged and said she loves bridges in the same cheerful tone as the night of the Arthouse Social. We spoke more in between songs while sitting, freezing our asses off on some half-covered bridge.
We spoke of New Brunswick, its art, its music, and its general scene. She loved all of it and could only declare in excitement at all the opportunities and fun she’s had. “New Brunswick in the Spring is just amazing,” she says.
With all the conversations I’ve had with the old guard of New Brunswick organizers about the subject, it was nice to have one without anything about torn buildings, “the machine,” cliques, bubbles, and politics. I think, in a way, some of us have lost a bit of our innocent marveling at the charisma of this community. Some of us have just delved too deep into its core that we’ve lost track of all the things we fell in love with in the first place.
I watched Anna play her songs with a big smile at the passerbys on the bridge for the rest of the afternoon. Somewhere during then, at least for a little while, I forgot about the pitfalls and foxholes of New Brunswick and thought only of the great effects that happenings like open mics, art shows, and Pollifax could do to the new crop of talent coming into the city. I don’t think scaring them early with the ugly side of New Brunswick helps the organizer/devoted artist count get any higher for the future…