1. You are a photographer, model, dj and mom — a multitasking talent! Do you prefer to be in front of the camera or behind it?
Cate: I have to admit that I’ve been very lucky to have the opportunity to switch from photography to modelling and back. This gives you 360 degrees exposure to the process of image-making on every level – from theory and ideas to production and physical experience. As a model, you have to let go of your ego and put your faith in other people’s decisions. There is a different amount of control in what you give and what you take as an artist. But there has to be 100 percent trust in what you do, no matter what position you’re in.
2. When you close your eyes and think of the ocean, what is the first thing you feel or that comes to mind?
Cate: The smell of the ocean breeze.
3. If you only had 10 minutes to pack for a spontaneous summer getaway, what pieces wouldn’t be missing from your suitcase?
Cate: A swimsuit, obviously! Camera, sunglasses, open toe platforms and couple of pairs of wide-leg pants.
DJ, wellness director & entrepreneur, Tiff Mcfierce creates community, conversation and self care for women through her wellness brand, Look IN. Their pillars of music, movement & meditation continue to change the way wellness is accessed for marginalized communities, while bring tangible tips, support & action to the forefront of being well. A sought-after DJ/music director, curator & thought leader, Tiff Mcfierce is an award-winning artist with a passion for community curation and storytelling. She’s written history as the first woman and black woman assistant music director & resident DJ in the NBA, NHL & WNBA for the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden, while being a multi hyphenated maven. Soundtracking spaces, leading wellness workshops and writing for brands such as WebMD, Google, The Grammys, & many more, Tiff Mcfierce is a vibe setter & visionary listeners love to hear through all mediums. Follow along with Tiff on Instagram and Tiktok at @tiffmcfierce for more!
2. You have created an amazing playlist for us (which, btw, we have on repeat). What does music mean to you?
Tiff: Music is my meditation. Music, sound & frequency are some of the main ways I communicate. I get so much love, safety, reassurance and radical joy from music. It can transport us to a memory, a feeling, a scent, a location, a vibe – it truly is the universal language. I grew up dancing my entire life, (I LOVE to dance), in classes by age 4 and having a professional commercial dance career for over two decades, along with DJing & musically directing for a decade, and using music and frequency as a sonic healer through meditations for myself and guiding others – music is my closest friend & one of my wisest teachers. I can literally see sound as colors since I was a kid and I am super grateful to have music be such a vessel in my life.
3. You dance like no one’s watching! How can we do the same, (besides improving our skills 😊 )?
Tiff: Dancing is also my meditation & a huge way I’ve always expressed myself! The best way to dance like no one is watching is to do it for you! Dancing lifts your spirit, brings joy & is a big symbol of freedom. Connecting to dance for your own fun & disconnecting it from anyone’s opinion is a must! You deserve to let loose & groove so turn on my specially curated playlist I made for you, and forget about anyone looking! And if someone sees you, you’ll most likely make them want to dance like no one’s watching as well!
4. What effect does pretty clothing (Dorothee Schumacher) have on your overall vibe?
Tiff: I absolutely love being able to express myself through style! Music and style go hand in hand & just the way I dance like no one’s watching, I experiment with my personal style the same, (even though I love a good personal runway show on the streets of NYC where I was born and raised hunnay!). A great outfit and immaculate pieces like DS elevate my mood, and push my creativity to explore more ways to piece things together or play with how I wear them! I love beautiful art and pretty aesthetics as a lifelong entertainer and those things always feel fun and joyous. They’re icing on the cake of a vibe I let come from within to all work together and shine.
5. Best part about a date for one?
Tiff: I take myself on some of the best dates and my favorite parts are putting together my look, and picking where I want to go and what I want to do. I like making my solo dates all about adventure whether it’s a hike in a new place, a new restaurant, finding a cool art show, or just a new part of a NYC park I’ve never been to, the possibilities are endless. I love having my unplanned self-dates the best, where I Just go where the wind takes me and explore the city with huge main character energy and romanticize the entire outing. I live like that in general and a date for one often has helped that.
6. We know it’s super important self-care to embrace alone time – any tricks for dealing with loneliness that sometimes comes with it?
Tiff: Not running away from the loneliness and facing it head on can be really freeing. I have allowed myself to have the thought, say the things that make me feel lonely, scared, sad or abandoned, write them out and/or say them aloud – especially in nature and to the trees. You have to sometimes name it, to tame it. Self-care as we all know isn’t always the most fun or glamorous at times and being honesty about how loneliness makes us feel is a step in the direction of also not letting it control our movements or mindsets. I still get lonely like everyone else, but facing it with self-compassion and curiosity after I allow myself to feel the feels however I must, has allowed me to become clearer on what my needs and boundaries are, and what surface and cellular ways I need to show up for my self-care & wellbeing. It’s a nuanced, non linear road that is better off traveled than avoided so that I don’t just settle for anything – friendships, career, partnerships, that do not align or serve me because I just want to get rid of feeling lonely. Another tip: I’ve also done more of the hobbies or things I’ve wanted to try and kept my energy open to meeting new, aligned people. Deciding to try something new after facing how you feel for real is always a step in a direction that can connect you more to yourself, and others!
7. #1 piece of advice you would give your younger self in a sentence:
Tiff: You’re a Pheonix baby girl, never dim that fire for anyone or anything-let it light your way.
8. A tip for helping us hold on to our inner child?
Tiff: Do things that make you laugh, feel fun, that you’ve always wanted to try, or that you tried when you were little and felt you didn’t have space to give it a fair shot. I always thought I was “bad” at art, so I got a paint set and did a few easy, fun & free painting classes with no pressure. I dance in my room all the time like I used to when I was little, or out in nature where I feel most supported. Making time for hobbies that have nothing to do with an end goal or work is important. Speak softly to little you while you try something new, and allow them to just BE.
9. What are your plans for the future? (Please never stop Tiff Talk!). Maybe you’ll even give us some insight into your current vision board...
Tiff: I have goals and dreams like everyone else but the biggest plan I have right now is not to force anything. I can get very head strong about what I want which I plan on keeping around especially because I am a visionary & I see things way past what they can be in just the now. But after such a long & expansive career & accepting I don’t need to chase in my life, my biggest goal is alignment. I feel like I am just getting started! I have a lot of plans as an entrepreneur, music director, sound healer, writer & speaker, and I look forward to seeping further into limitless possibilities that make sense on how I share my offerings with the world. Tiff Talk is most definitely not stopping as I am working on a book & a podcast as well!
10. Favorite green spot for some Zen time in NYC?
Tiff: Parks have brought me so much solace, healing and comfort, especially the past 3 years with what we have all been going through globally. I love the green parks in NYC like Central Park and exploring new grounds and trails as it’s so big, as well as taking a break on the big lawn, especially in the summer.
1. You are originally from Germany. Was it always a dream to move to New York?
Maya: Yes, absolutely! Since I can remember I had this feeling we call “wanderlust” in German. A deep desire to travel and explore the world.
2. 3 best things about NYC:
Maya: The food, the people, the bodegas.
3. How would you describe the shooting day with us in 3 words?
Maya: Fun, fabulous and colorful!
4. Please finish the sentence: Something that makes me really happy is…
Maya: Seeing others around me happy. I care very deeply about my friends and their wellbeing. The better my team does, the better I do.
5. What does the perfect weekend in NYC look like for you? Would you mind sharing one of your secret City tips with us?
Maya: My perfect weekend consists of a lot of quality time with my loved ones and plenty of snuggles with my dog. Maybe one cheeky night out in the City and some time to be crafty or get some cultural input like visiting an art exhibition. My secrets stay secret, but I can tell you that the brunch at Nura in Greenpoint is my favorite thing right now.