How Tamales Ruined Choir

humor influence music neuroscience Apr 29, 2024

One thing that surprises A LOT of people is that my family runs a Mexican restaurant in Los Angeles.

You read that correctly: a Mexican restaurant in Los Angeles. And do you know what’s better? It’s named, “Los Gringos Locos.”

“The Crazy White Guys.”

Because that’s what you do when your last name is Hansen, and your Danish Mormon pioneer ancestry is as diverse as a bag of white beans.

You see, our family LOVES Mexican food, and since the 70’s we’ve been in the restaurant business trying to create the perfect enchilada. In high school I worked on weekends making table-side guacamole.

(Proof: 16 year old me making guacamole to laboratory specifications)

After several years of indentured servitude, my high school Spanish skills were raised to “devastatingly effective” whenever I encountered a Mexican restaurant menu.

Think: “The name’s Hansen. Christian Hansen. And I’ll have my salsa shaken, not stirred, thank you very much.”

This was all well and good…. until… it ruined my first ever solo in a choir concert.

You see, the song was in Spanish, and I had a small solo in the middle. We had been practicing for weeks, and each time I had nailed my part and felt confident.

However, when the ACTUAL concert came, things went horribly.

The song started out fine, and I felt my moment coming. The notes were clear, everyone was doing great and then suddenly… it was my turn. I opened my mouth and… nothing.

Not a single squeak.

My mind went blank… and I had completely forgotten the words.

(Imagine the world ending here.)

But you know what I DIDN’T forget? Our restaurant’s menu.

And so, in front of the ENTIRE audience I began to sing the first several lines of our menu INSTEAD of the actual words of the song. And if I do say so, “Green Corn Tamales” had never been given such beauty and phrasing in the history of the world…

(Please see my selected musical text from the “Classics” section of our ACTUAL menu…)

Here’s why this matters for influence.

My brain had been wired to speak our MENU more that it had been wired to sing the words of the SOLO. And when the crunch moment arrived? My brain reverted to what it knew best…

Similarly, when you are trying to influence people to choose you, we often revert to words and thought patterns that we’ve used over and over again. But my question is: are the words and thoughts you’ve been taught to use…. INFLUENTIAL?

It’s time to actually use words that are engineered from the start to influence people to choose you… and train your brain to get you the results that you want.

Check out my free report, “The 10 Phrases to Get People to Choose You” to get a head start.

That way when show time comes, you won’t fold like a taco…..

Speaking of tacos, when’s lunch btw?

Until next week,


CHRISTIAN HANSEN has gone behind the scenes in some of the biggest organizations in the world to find out the reasons why some people get chosen and why others don’t. As the #1 bestselling and LinkedIn Top Ten ranked author of “The Influence Mindset: The Art & Science of Getting People to Choose You” Christian helps teams and organizations who want increase their earning potential by standing out from the crowd and influencing people to choose them. With degrees from Brigham Young University and The London School of Economics, he’s helped thousands of individuals position and sell themselves. A fan of international communication, history, and choral music, he currently lives in Utah with his wife. Reach him at:


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