Mystery Guest

Sep 15, 2017

This episode's mystery guest, Emily Perina, teaches an unusual class for women. Can you solve the mystery before Jonathan and Ophira do?

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OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

While Bree and Caitlin get ready for the final round, it's time for us to play a game. This is Mystery Guest. A stranger is about to come on stage. Jonathan and I have no idea who this person is or what makes them special. But our puzzle guru Art Chung does.

ART CHUNG: That's right. Ophira, you and Jonathan will work together as a team to figure out our mystery guest's secret by asking yes or no questions. Mystery guest, please introduce yourself.

EMILY PERINA: Hi, my name is Emily Perina, and I teach an unusual class geared towards women.

CHUNG: And to clarify, this class is unusual because it teaches two very different subjects. So you're going to have to guess both subjects of the class.

EISENBERG: Ok. Can only women attend this class?

PERINA: Yes.

JONATHAN COULTON: So are you teaching them some kind of a physicality, some sort of physical thing that they're learning?

PERINA: Yes.

EISENBERG: Is it self-defense?

PERINA: No.

COULTON: Is it self-offense?

(LAUGHTER)

PERINA: No.

COULTON: Is it an art?

PERINA: Yes.

CHUNG: Well, it can be used to make art. How about we say that?

EISENBERG: It can be used to make art?

COULTON: It is a physical skill that can be used to make art.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Yeah, we both reject that.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Does not exist.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: No.

COULTON: Next mystery guest.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Does it just involve any implements or tools or...

PERINA: Yes.

EISENBERG: ...Props? It does.

PERINA: Yes.

COULTON: Could this be used to make a visual art?

PERINA: Yes.

COULTON: OK. So, like, painting or photography?

PERINA: No.

EISENBERG: It's a visual art, though.

COULTON: Is this a difficult skill to learn?

PERINA: A little bit.

COULTON: Can anybody do it?

PERINA: Anyone can do it, yes.

EISENBERG: Let's see...

COULTON: Is it pressing flowers?

(LAUGHTER)

PERINA: No.

EISENBERG: Oh, how about is it - is it anything, like, to be a blacksmith? How about to be a blacksmith or a smelter?

PERINA: Closer.

EISENBERG: Closer?

PERINA: Closer.

COULTON: Oh. Is there heat...

EISENBERG: A welder.

COULTON: Is there heat involved?

EISENBERG: Wait, a welder.

PERINA: Yes.

COULTON: A welder. You teach welding.

PERINA: Yes.

EISENBERG: All right, were you inspired by "Flashdance?" OK, forget it. Only me and, like, four other people my age.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: So that's one.

CHUNG: Besides teaching welding to women, there's also another subject that's taught in that class. And as a hint, it starts with the same letter, W.

EISENBERG: Welding to women and another W? Oh, my God, your branding's amazing.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Water colors? Welding, water colors...

COULTON: Washing windows?

PERINA: No (laughter).

EISENBERG: And this is something that is totally counter to that.

PERINA: Completely.

EISENBERG: Completely counter.

PERINA: Completely counter.

EISENBERG: But the two of them work together in some way?

PERINA: Yes.

EISENBERG: OK.

COULTON: Is the other thing a physical skill as well?

PERINA: No.

COULTON: It's an intellectual thing you're learning.

PERINA: It's not necessarily a skill. Can I say that?

COULTON: It's not a skill?

CHUNG: It is something you'd take a class in.

COULTON: Something you take a class in that is not a skill.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: I'm so mad right now.

EISENBERG: I know.

(LAUGHTER)

CHUNG: We actually discussed this earlier in the show.

EISENBERG: We did?

CHUNG: Yeah.

COULTON: I'm just going to look through the script.

EISENBERG: Yeah, let's just read the script.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Alexa, find me all the W's in the script.

EISENBERG: OK.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: But it's learning about a subject.

PERINA: Yes.

EISENBERG: Witchcraft?

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Wow, welding and witchcraft.

EISENBERG: That would be good.

COULTON: Open that 'cause that's good.

EISENBERG: Yeah, that's right.

COULTON: Is the subject related to the arts?

PERINA: No.

COULTON: Is it related to the sciences?

PERINA: No.

COULTON: Is it related to history?

PERINA: No.

COULTON: Is it a language?

PERINA: No (laughter).

EISENBERG: Is it related to food?

PERINA: Yes.

EISENBERG: Oh, ok.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Take a class - you're taking a class...

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: You're taking a class to learn a thing, it's not a skill, it's related to food.

EISENBERG: Water...

COULTON: Wine.

PERINA: Yes.

EISENBERG: Oh, of course.

(APPLAUSE)

CHUNG: So Emily works for Staten Island MakerSpace, a community workspace for artists, craftspeople and general hobbyists to build and create things. She's currently teaching women, welding and wine, a month-long workshop in which women learn to weld and also drink some wine.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: All right, so what wine pairs with welding?

PERINA: All wine pairs with welding.

EISENBERG: All wine, yeah. I would like to take this class.

PERINA: Please come down. Take the class. You're definitely invited.

EISENBERG: OK.

PERINA: And so we teach you, like, the basics of welding, the safety and all this stuff so you can come back and do it on your own in our space.

EISENBERG: So it's, like, in a welding - yeah, what is it, a welding workshop?

PERINA: Yeah, so we're in a Staten Island MakerSpace. We are a makerspace, so we have a full metal shop, woodshop. We have digital fabrication, 3-D printers, laser cutters, anything you could possibly want to make anything. We have it all. And you can come be a member in our space and make your own projects and do whatever you need to do.

EISENBERG: Yeah. They...

COULTON: I would assume you do the welding first and the wine comes afterwards.

PERINA: Yes, definitely.

COULTON: You don't want to have a bunch of drunk people with hot metal.

EISENBERG: (Laughter) Right. Except for you're safe because you've got those big helmets on, right?

COULTON: Nothing can happen. Nothing bad can happen.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: So there's four weeks of welding.

PERINA: Yes.

EISENBERG: And what's the finished product?

PERINA: Obviously, a wine rack.

EISENBERG: Oh, yeah. Of course. Brilliant. Brilliant. And you are a welder, I take it.

PERINA: Yes.

EISENBERG: And why - how and why did you become a welder?

PERINA: Well, I went to school for art. So I learned a little bit in college. And then I learned the rest of what I know from Staten Island MakerSpace.

EISENBERG: Very cool. And what do you want women to go forward with their welding skills to do?

PERINA: Anything they want.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

PERINA: Fix things, make art projects, more wine racks?

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: More and more wine racks.

PERINA: After the very first night, it's very empowering - immediately after doing the first weld.

EISENBERG: Because you're liquefying metal?

PERINA: Literally.

EISENBERG: Yeah. Right. Yeah, so that feels, like, amazing. You can change the form of something solid and rigid...

PERINA: Yeah.

EISENBERG: ...To something to be whatever you want.

PERINA: Lots of sparks. It's very fun.

EISENBERG: (Laughter) Lots of sparks. Excellent.

CHUNG: And Ophira made a joke about "Flashdance," but that is actually something that's come up in the class.

EISENBERG: Sure.

PERINA: Oh, yeah. And, actually, it's in the description of our class. It's that you can feel like you're from "Flashdance."

EISENBERG: That's very cool. Everyone give it up for our mystery guest, Emily Perina.

(APPLAUSE) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.