241: The Wake Up Call With Vera Chok

Vera Chok is an actress, writer, and performance maker. Her poetic text has been published in Rising and The Brautigan Free The Wake Up Call With Vera ChokPress and performed at the inaugural BareLit Festival for writers of colour. Vera‘s thoughts on being “yellow” will appear inThe Good Immigrant, a collection of essays on race in the UK, out in Sept 2016. As well as acting for the National Theatre, The Kenneth Branagh Company, in the West End and on screen, Vera founded experimental theatre company saltpeter and international creative society The Brautigan Book Club. She makes work that investigates connection.

Vera used to think that she would be valued as a human being if was always achieving something.  She was so achieved focus to the point she was burnt out.  A series of breakdowns gave the wake up call she needed to become a more confident woman regardless of her achievements.  Tune into the episode to listen to her story.


Vera Chok is an actress, writer, and performance maker.

Cultural Background

Vera is of Chinese descent.

Favorite Self Confidence Quote

Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.

Definition of Self Confidence

Having faith in the person you are. Staying in your own shoes. Knowing that not everything is an opportunity. Remembering the billions of victories, big and small, you have already achieved and that my victories are specific and precious.

The phrase, “authentic self” makes a lot of sense to me. I’ve come across it recently as I’ve started meditating and taking better care of myself. Confidence, assurance, comes not from achievements, but from being the you-est version of you. Not “best” but deepest and purest and brightest – the most authentic.

Her Life Before the Discovery of Self Confidence

Vera was the over achiever.  She was always chasing opportunities and was achieved focus.  Being achievement focused made her believe that was what gave her worth as a human being.

The “AHA” Moment

Key events and discoveries in Vera’s life along with a breakdown which was a wake up call made her realized she had to asked for help to become better.

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Her Life After the Discovery of Self Confidence

Vera does more work on herself and has a deeper understanding which makes her happier and confident.

The One Self Confidence Tip For the Listener

Find a little bit the context of the world, look at the big picture

Interview Links

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