Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez — those are just a few of the people you grew up watching on the Disney Channel. And 12-year-old Peyton Elizabeth Lee was right there with you when she was younger! So she can’t believe that now she gets to follow in their footsteps as the star of Disney’s newest show, Andi Mack.

“This has always been a childhood dream of mine!” the actress tells J-14. “Growing up, I had a Wizards of Waverly Place poster in my room. It’d be incredible to see a girl with an Andi Mack poster in hers!”

Peyton started acting when she was 8 years old — she worked hard and went on lots of auditions. “Getting jobs was always exciting, but when you don’t, you have to pick yourself up and go for the next part,” she explains to us.

The California resident had some let-downs, but she soon discovered why. When she got an audition for Andi Mack, she realized that other jobs hadn’t worked out because this is the role she’s meant to play.

“I was so excited to go in for every audition,” she recalls to J-14. “I spent late nights and early mornings working on it, and everything was super exciting.”

She became so attached to the role that she worried how she would feel if she didn’t get the part. But after a two-month process, she got it! And it taught her a valuable lesson about following her dreams — one she wants you to get, too.

“The most important part of your journey is those times when you don’t get what you want,” she shares. “Those are the times that you learn from!”

Interview and story by Caitlin Murphy. “Meet Disney’s newest star, Peyton Elizabeth Lee: ‘How I made my dreams come true!'” originally appeared in the May 2017 issue of J-14.