The Brief Wondrous Life of Zina Lahr of Ouray, Colorado
Geege Schuman stashed this in Creativity
After she died, a five-minute video surfaced of Zina standing in her bedroom in her grandmother’s house, which had shelves crammed with robots she’d built and other art projects. In the video, she explains that she has “creative compulsive disorder” and can’t stop making things—especially robots. The video was the first hint at what Zina was: an impossibly innocent and gifted eccentric on the verge of breaking out in the world of animatronics and stop motion. It was an audition for a Los Angeles–based reality show called Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge, a SyFy channel program premiering March 25 that’s sort of like Project Runway for animatronics artists. She’d turned down a spot on the show in order to move home and care for her grandmother, who’d been diagnosed with lung cancer in September.
A Reddit group generated hundreds of comments, most of them from people who wanted to understand how someone like Zina could even be real. “Where the hell does a person like this come from?” wrote one. “I think most people, myself included, eventually become jaded and lose that sense of wonder we once had when we were children. Based on the little bit I’ve seen and read, though, it seems she managed to keep that, which is incredible to me. I feel like there is an incredible lesson to be learned from the way she appears to have lived her life, but I can’t grasp at what it is.”
Did they ever figure out where she came from?