PEOPLE's Ones to Watch Stars Reveal the Moment They Felt They 'Made It'

Stars like Julia Michaels, Paris Jackson and Jack Quaid topped PEOPLE's list of rising stars in Hollywood this year

PEOPLE honored the crop of Hollywood’s hottest rising stars at its annual Ones to Watch party Wednesday night, which featured the best up-and-coming musicians, actors and influencers in the industry.

Among the 26 honorees is Star Wars: The Last Jedi star Kelly Marie Tran, Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan‘s 25-year-old son Jack Quaid, country crooner Carly Pearce, Michael Jackson‘s model daughter Paris Jackson and many more. And PEOPLE had one big question for the talented roster of celebrities: When did you feel you “made it” in Hollywood?

“It’s nice to have things like this. We may not have made it, we may not be on Meryl Streep level [of] ‘made it,’ but this is pretty awesome. You can’t be mad at this,” Damon Gillespie, the 23-year-old Broadway star (he had a title role in Newsies) and Rise actor joked.

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Quaid, who grew up seeing his A-list parents star in blockbuster hits like Far From Heaven, The Parent Trap and Sleepless in Seattle, still feels pretty grounded and unaffected by the whole concept of fame. “This is pretty cool,” the Logan Lucky actor told us. “I don’t think, I don’t know what this means. But it is just really fun doing this. So let’s just keep it up. Making it or not this is great.”

TheWrap and Getty Images SXSW portrait studio at The Plexus House, March 11-12, 2017
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For “Every Little Thing” singer Carly Pearce, her most memorable accomplishment in music just happened recently when her latest single jumped to the top of the country charts.

“I think now being the only female in the country top 10 on radio with my current single, I think that is probably it,” she said. “I knew I was getting close but once it happened and now it is sitting at No. 7, I just really am proud to represent the women. I think we need more women in the country genre.”

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The Cleveland Show writer J Lee put everything on the line after college to move across country to follow his dreams in show biz, which to this day, is still the one moment he felt like he “made it.”

“I feel like when I actually got across the California state line,that was sort of my moment of I’m doing the right thing because I’m from St. Louis,” he said. “I went to school in Indiana for music and theater and just making the decision to go after your dream, that is the main decision. So once I decided that everything else was just hard work.”

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Courtesy Chelsea Brandon

To hear more from PEOPLE’s rising stars in Hollywood, watch the video above.

And read more about PEOPLE’s Ones to Watch 2017 in this week’s issue of PEOPLE magazine, on newsstands now.

What rising star are you going to be looking out for? Sound off in the comments below.

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