“Borne In the Gulag”: The Unboring Story How This Show Came To Be

The secret is out.

I married up.

In this episode of The Committed, my beautiful wife Sana and I talk shop, have fun, and tell the story behind the name of our business, and the accompanying podcast.


Related: Why My Wife is My Wife


So those of you who are listening in my apologies, you've probably heard the best part of this entire podcast episode. But my name is James Newcomb and I have been working on a new podcast. It's called The Committed with James Newcomb and it’s sponsored by our company Committed Media LLC.

And we're going to be talking to all kinds of people. I've got Robert Borrelli, ex mafia, ex mafioso, who became a born again, really very committed Christian. And then I have Rebecca Kiessling, a very prominent pro-life activist. And then Abel James, just booked this morning, he's a hard charging entrepreneur.

So that's just a little taste of what you can expect on The Committed with James Newcomb. And just recently I've been working on the opening script for the show, and I have the wording just about where I want it.

I had my colleague Kurt take a crack at doing the voiceover. And he did fine, but my wife Sana said, you know, James, I know that Kurt did a fine job with this, but I think that I can do it better. And so we have been working on getting this intro for the committed podcast just right.

I decided we need to get the cameras rolling and get this on, on tape because this is really funny stuff what's going on. So Sana saying, adding megahertz to my voice, she did that spontaneously and it was hilarious. And then she did it not spontaneously and it wasn't as funny. Would you agree with that?

SD: Yes. I agree with whatever you say.

JN: And so I want to see if you can remember and share the story [of the podcast] with our listeners.

SD: Okay. So James comes back to Vietnam after five glorious months. I wish it was a bit longer, but it's okay. So after five months he came back and he has to serve some sort of army camp.

JN: The Wyndham Garden maximum security facility in downtown Hanoi.

SD: Right. So everybody goes to local hotels. I'm a good wife. I don't mind to pay a bit more for my husband to have his luxury room with luxury Western food. And I decided to put him in Wyndham Garden. So he have to stay there for two weeks and he's going to be released.

But the promise is that he has to promise he should not leave the room. He's not supposed to see me. I'm not supposed to give him anything. So during that period, my husband got enlightened and noticed that all this wouldn't be possible if two people who are in partnership, they are not really committed.

Because pretty much if many of you following our podcast, you have heard many times that we are going through some arduous time filing some petition for me to go to U.S. and reside and live with my husband because, my step son, his son is living there and of course he needs his father there.

So we have to go there at least for a few years until he's grown, then we can decide where else we can go. So. Being Iranian, it's quite difficult to overlook the fact that during Mr. Trump's administration, there was a sanction against Iranian nationals to travel back and from U.S. So writing a petition to government to allow me to apply for visa to go there. It kind of looked impossible, but we both never gave up and we tried our best to be calm, pray together every day and try to go through the whole process. And paying all this big, hefty amount of money here and there.

Hours and hours sometimes a week like a form that is given us by government. And many times we kind of gave up and we went to kind of a quiet depression.

JN: I don't think we ever gave up, but it was like, man, this is a lot.

SD: But anyways, we were always together. We supported each other and my husband is amazing. He's a leader of a family. He has shown his leadership quality, many places that I've quietly gave up. And he was like, honey, hold on that we are there together. We are in this together and we can do it. So the whole idea of The Committed came from all these stages of our phases of marriage life here, going through together.

JN: I needed a name for the business and I had one that I had been using, kind of like a DBA of doing business as type of thing, acting as a sole proprietor, but kind of using a certain name as the name of the business. And the CPA that I retained, he was filing the paperwork in the state of Virginia to form an LLC.

And he's asking, what do you want the name of the business to be? And I actually first initially gave him the original name that I had in mind, which was fine. It was a good name and it would have worked just fine. But it was during that quiet time. And I guess there was one redeeming quality or one redeeming aspect of that time in quarantine that I just had time to think.

And I just was just thinking about how Sana and I, we were both committed to the relationship. I mean we're committed to each other, but more importantly, we're committed to our marriage and making the relationship work.

And if we didn't have that, man, I don't think we would have made it honey, because just getting our marriage legalized in Vietnam was demoralizing.

But we finally did it because we are committed to it. So I was just thinking that should be the name of the business as Committed Media. And then a cliche that I heard several months ago and that really stuck with me, it was if you're merely interested in something, then you will do what is convenient, or you will do what's comfortable for you. But if you're committed to something, then you'll do whatever it takes to make it happen.

So that's the name of the business is Committed Media and then the slogan for the business is, “Whatever It Takes,” hence the first line of the podcast introduction that Sana so eloquently and elegantly stated.

Listen to the entire conversation between James and Sana at https://committedmedia.org/3may21