Have you ever had such a strong desire to do something, you were convinced it was your destiny? Actress Allison Williams of the HBO comedy-drama series Girls has. In her case, her dream was to play the flying, singing, and whimsical Peter Pan–and to her delight, the 26 year old was indeed cast to play Peter Pan in NBC’s upcoming musical Peter Pan Live! to air in December. Williams will wear Peter’s traditional green garb and a boyish wig in the adaptation of the 1954 Broadway musical. “I have wanted to play Peter Pan since I was about three years old, so this is a dream come true,” Williams said in a statement. “It’s such an honor to be a part of this adventure, and I’m very excited to get to work with this extraordinarily talented team. And besides, what could go wrong in a live televised production with simultaneous flying, sword fighting and singing?”

Williams posted a picture of her three-year-old self adorned in Peter Pan costume on Instagram with the caption, “Thrilled to be playing Peter Pan live on NBC in December. I’ve been rehearsing for a REALLY long time.” Allison has talked about her belief that she would one day be an actress as well:

“I wanted to be an actress before I understood anything else about my life — before I went to school, before I understood what it is that my dad does. It was innate. Everything, everything that ever happened in my life happened in the framework of my knowing that this was where I was going to end up.”

Who’s her father? None other than the NBC Nightly News anchorman Brian Williams, and her mother is a TV producer. Allison explains how even though she wanted to act since she was so young, her parents always insisted she couldn’t pursue acting professionally until she was in college. So during her college years at Yale University, she took some beginning theater classes in addition to majoring in English. But she also joined Yale’s improvisation group called Just Add Water which she asserts, “gave me so much good experience. Just knowing on set that anything could happen and I would be able to go with it has been a really valuable skill.” After graduating from college in 2010, she explains she needed to create “a calling card, some kind of business card that people can link to my name and face.” She regarded posting videos as “the new way of getting seen.” In response, she performed and recorded The Mad Men Theme Song…With a Twist music video in which she assembled the Nature Boy lyrics made famous by Nat King Cole with the Mad Men opening credits song called A Beautiful Mine by RJD2. She released the new creation as she moved to Los Angeles, and it went viral on YouTube. One of those YouTube viewers was a huge Mad Men fan–who also happened to be an executive producer for Girls, Judd Apatow. In Williams’ first audition for Girls she was asked to improvise, “and as far as I’m concerned I probably wouldn’t have the part if I didn’t have [that experience with Just Add Water].”

As far as Williams’ role as Peter Pan, the producers of the show have stated, “She will reinvent the iconic role of Peter Pan with her wit, her warmth, her dynamic flying and her wonderful musical abilities.” Interestingly, Christopher Walken will be cast as Captain Hook. Williams is following in the magical footsteps of Tony Award-winning Mary Martin in introducing the musical to a new generation of kids. Allison says it’s been “so fun” and adds “I can only imagine what the next couple of weeks and months are going to bring. I cannot wait.”

Last December, NBC brought The Sound of Music Live! telecast starring Carrie Underwood which garnered an impressive 18.6 million viewers. Next year’s live production will be The Music Man.

It seems Allison Williams had a dream and a goal at a very young age, and she simply believed in the dream and walked toward that goal with a single-minded focus. Sounds like a plan to me!

Do you agree with Williams that posting videos is “the new way of getting seen”?

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