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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A hub for up and coming death defying escapes & a learning space for all: to build hope, inspire, captivate and engage our nation in a call-to-action to shift HIV perception, reduce infections among our youth and guide those who are out of care to get back-in!
It's been some time since I have posted; I wanted to share with you why as well as what you can now expect from me and my posts moving forward. 

Over the last year and a half as I have been re-introducing myself to the world (since my fall in 2002 when I was diagnosed with HIV), I had some most amazing moments getting my hands and heart involved in some amazing projects and calls-to-action; as I started on this adventure of new life my goal was to discover where my true calling would best fall into place in the fight against the wars on HIV that our nation is continually facing. 

I tried the activism thing. . . a bit too radical for me. I tried the social media thing, and found I am too ADD to sit in front of a computer for hours at a time, and besides there are some awesome social media projects out there, so rather than recreate another wheel, its best if I support what's already in motion and do my part to spread those messages. And lastly, while I am an advocate for the rights of those living with HIV/AIDS, I have learned through much feedback and through personal reflections that where I believe I fit, and have found my true calling is to simply remain dedicated to presenting motivational speaking, training and educational programs to youth and HIV service professionals while balancing my dream to be positioned (once again) as one of the most talented escape artists since the Houdini era.

I have now presented/performed to more than 10,000 people (youth, service professionals, general public) over this last year speaking on topics that change the perception of those living with HIV/AIDS; delivering heart-pounding and life-saving messages to youth in an effort to inspire youth to make healthier choices; I have been featured as a plenary speaker at national conferences presenting on topics such as outreach strategy, and the importance of communities including the voices and faces of those living with HIV to inspire change. And as many of you know my show Beyond Belief, which has been a huge hit, toured nationally and is now in the planning to return to New York City later this spring. With all this said, I write this not to just 'float-my-own-boat'; yet more to share with you my commitment to inspiring communities to engage in more education efforts especially at the High School level. Students respond to 'real-talk' about sex and other "out of the classroom and when parents aren't looking" behaviors when they are given the chance to engage on an equal playing field with a speaker bold enough to speak to them at their level. This creates change! I have seen it!

With all this said, moving forward, I will be posting bi-monthly; providing updates on experiences I have had as I continue to speak. What works. . . what doesn't. My hope is that this information will be shared and read by educators, parents, HIV service professionals, the media and anyone else who has an interest in deepening the learning experience among our youth about the risks of contracting HIV and other STI's. Additionally, another one of my core missions will be to reach out to the media whom I believe is the solution to reversing the war on HIV Stigma in our nation. It was the media who frantically educated us about HIV based on FEAR. Since they are responsible for shaping the fear of HIV they will (and do) have the power to reverse the stigma. I will keep you updated with my efforts.

So welcome to my blog once again, a refreshed space providing tools and educational strategies that may provide useful to inspire change, engage HIV service professionals and empower youth to make healthier choices in life.

Thank you for following my blog!

With life, 


Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Will Clark Show presents one amazing star studded line-up to benefit the awe-inspiring and life-saving work of the Iris House of New York City!!

I AM HONORED that Will Clark (a total super hero of mine who does awesomeness for the HIV/AIDS community) called upon me to team up with two of my New York City favorite stars (and role models), the absolutely sensational Witti Repartee (who is also Empress XXVI of the Imperial Court of New York) and the ultra fabulous MargOH Channing, to be featured guests at The Will Clark Show on Thur., Jan. 17, 2013: 7 pm to 9 pm @ The Ritz, 369 w. 46th St., (which happens to be one of my all time favorite venues in New York City). Together, all of this razzle and dazzle will benefit the Iris House - A center for women living with HIV/AIDS.

I rarely ever (in fact almost never) ask friends, fans or strangers to donate money to any specific HIV/AIDS charity / cause. The reason for this is that I personally am bombarded with gazillions of events every year where I am asked to make donations to further a cause - there are a lot of amazing causes yet my wallet can stretch only so far!  HOWEVER, with that said, I am breaking my rule. . . just this time; AND LET ME TELL YOU WHY!!! The IRIS HOUSE SAVES LIVES. . . and I am now asking you to join me and my fellow fabulousters (Will, Witti and MargOH). . . just this once - to make a difference because I asked you to! (Yep that's as direct as it gets!. . .)

I went to visit the Iris House headquarters where I was given a personal tour, by the truly amazing Michael B. Jones, Director of Development (A.K.A. Witti Repartee), of their services and programs offered to Women (and to men). . . who are living with / affected by HIV/AIDS. . . and let me tell you, I AM INSPIRED! There are many organizations that serve the HIV/AIDS community in NYC which do great work; however the IRIS HOUSE. . . performs miracles; they are "Saving Lives"! [I am still in awe-shock - in fact the goose bumps have not left my arms since my visit last week.]

So, let me share with you what I learned:

Just over the last 2 fiscal years, Iris House has served nearly 10,000 persons through their on-site and community programs! I could write for hours about all the amazing programs Iris House offers . . . however, there is a full outline of all their services and programs which are outlined and explained best on their website; so check them out and see why my heart is still beating with a pulse for their motto "Saving Lives".

While so much of the success and very high rates of changing lives that Iris House achieves really hit home with me, there were a few things that were shared with me that had me in shock. . . I went into tears after I had left . . . One of the main [and many] programs Iris House offers is a food and nutrition program which had lost significant funding back in 2010 - however still managed to serve 116,000 meals in 2012 to persons living with HIV as well as to community members [How freak'n awesome is that!!]. HOWEVER, more times than none when Iris House serves lunch (Tues - Friday); the lines are so long that a NOTE - "SORRY NO MORE LUNCH" is taped to the door when the meals run out. [I seriously had to GASP for air. . . and do all I could to hold back my tears. . . this is sad. . . so sad!!]

So now you know WHY I want you to come out this Thursday and spend 2 hours with me, Witti and MargOH (not only to be entertained - AND OH BOY WILL YOU EVER - and also to play Porno Bingo ($1 bingo cards) with fabulous prizes to be won . . . MORE IMPORTANTLY I WANT YOU to come out to share in and support the magic of life - to make a difference in one person's life. . . to allow another person to not be cut off that lunch line!

Like any non-profit, I wanted to find out how the money, that they are raising during my very special appearance, is going to be allocated. Well, check this out. . . Iris House allocates .88 cents of every dollar raised to direct programs and services! That is nothing short of amazing! So you can dig even deeper that night and be greeted with such warm thanks and love as The Iris House staff will be present at this star-studded Will Clark Show to accept your donations; and you can be rest assured your contribution is absolutely going to make a difference. Now, I know many of my readers are out of the New York City area so in the event you are unable to book a last minute flight and make hotel arrangements to attend the live event, please know you can still attend in spirit by making a donation online HERE.

So from me to you. . . a very special thank you to all those who will come out and join in on this very special evening. . . and to those of you who are unable to attend, Thank you for making a donation online!

NOW. . . for those of you who do come out I plan to perform one piece of really awesome magic! AND. . . as a special performance bonus I will attempt a death-defying feat (Houdini's famed mailbag escape). . . which I have NEVER performed in a setting this close up before! Very dangerous, very [almost] cloth-less and well pretty "sick" if I make it out alive! [Um, yes, that is me in my boxer briefs as a willing volunteer ties my hands and feet up with clothes-line rope - and that sucker tied me up tight too, I almost didn't make it out. . .]

I look forward to seeing you all out! Please do come up and say hi to me after the show [assuming the escape attempt is a success]. . . and let me know you supported the Iris House so that I can be sure to give you a BIG HUG!!

Quickly, again:

- For additional information about the Iris House, please click here.
- To make a donation online please click here.

My name is Daniel and I am Living Pozitively! Thank you for taking the time to read my blog!