Want some insight into Ian Harding’s acting soul? The Pretty Little Liars actor recently shared the story of the exact moment he decided to become an actor in an anthology called Starry-Eyed: 16 Stories that Steal the Spotlight, and it’s positively swoon-worthy! The Huffington Post reprinted Ian’s heartfelt words online yesterday, and we thoroughly enjoyed the intimate and humorous look into a turning point in Ian’s adolescence and life.

“I remember the exact moment I decided acting was my life’s passion. This epiphany, if you one could call it such, came out of someone else’s mistake,” Ian’s essay begins, pulling us back into his days as a high schooler performing in his school’s production of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” A senior at the time, he tells the reader of his turn as Mr. Biggley the play’s “crotchety older man who runs the World Wide Wicket Company.”

Without giving too much of Ian’s story away we definitely suggest you check it out for yourself a missed entrance from another performer gives way to Ian as improv actor, trying to stay in character to bring his cast and the production through a misstep without the audience noticing. The experience was very affecting for young Ian.

“It’s not the applause, the laughter, nor the praise, (in fact, I’ve mostly received the opposite of praise),” Ian tells us. “It was the alive-ness. I know that’s not a word, but that’s what it is. Danger, excitement, connectivity, the moment, and what comes out when those things are combined. Just throwing myself out there. That’s why I do it.”

Well, we are glad Ian’s co-star missed her entrance, if it means we get to watch Ian on PLL today and, if it means Ian gets to do something as a career that makes him come alive.

What do you think of Ian’s story? Share your reactions in the comments below!

Catch the Pretty Little Liars Season 4 winter premiere on Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC Family.