Recently, I have been pretty active on Yahoo!Answers - responding questions about the business of acting. How to get started and where.
80% of the Questions were posted by Young Adults inquiry about wanting to be an actor, and wanting to be on the Disney Channel.
Everyday, I basically copy-and-paste my answers to one to another post (with some modifications based on the question). It's pretty much the same thing they wanted to know.
Questions: I want to be on the Disney Channel. Where do I start?
Before you can land an audition for any Disney productions, you need the following:
3) Talent Agent
I would strongly recommand you to take acting classes either at your school (Theater classes, or Drama Club). Get involved. If your school doesn't offer that, see if there are local Theatre Groups/Workshops that you can attend. (You can either find them in newspapers or online). If you want to be an actor/actress, you have to aquire the craft of acting first.
It is at your classes or workshops, that you will learn more about the business in acting. Develope your own network, or even, from your classmates, you'd get a referral to see their talent agents. - But do as much work as you can - audition for location theatre productions, student films, indie films... you name it. This will help you develope a good actor resume.
For headshots - I would just suggest you to find a friend, with a good camera and take a neutral photo of you from the shoulder up. (Do not spend $500+ for professional photos, unless you're already in the Union and have done a bunch legit works) As a starting actor, a good quality headshot is enough. (My first headshot is the one I took of myself in the bathroom - and I landed a national commercial) Once you are signed with a talent agent, he/she will recommand a reasonable priced photographer to you. (But make sure you do a research on the agent and the photographer first. check out http://www.easybackgroundcheck.com)
To find an agent - well, google for them, check out local newspapers... The world of mouth is the best way. My first agent that I freelance with was though referral from another actor while we were on a filmset as background extras!! Remember, network, network, network!! Some acting school offers Netowrking/Seminar events - it's a good way to meet Talent Agents (or Casting Directors) face to face - and leave an impression. Who knows, maybe you will be called into their office and get signed.
Also, if you have been doing a lot of local theatre performances - you will been seen, and discovered. Some Talent Agents *DO* attend the shows!1 Ask your castmembers to invite their talent agents and managers to the show.
Once you have a good resume, a decent headshot, and a talent agent (or manager) to represent - then that's where you tell your agent/manager to look out for any breakdowns or auditions from a Disney production. As him/her to submit you to them and see if you'll get an audition invite.
If you already become a popular name in various theatrical productions and commercials - Disney will probably be asking for you before you have the chance to ask your agent to submit you.
Other ways to find an audition with Disney production is to check out disney website often (also, ABC.Com). Sometimes they will have casting notice for various of projects, either promotional, reality show, or game show contestants. All of them helps, to get your foot in the door.
Places that are available for Young Adults/Teens to start acting in New York:
HB Studio: http://www.hbstudio.org/classes/index.htm (scroll down and click on "Young People's Class"
They offer training classes as well as industry networking & seminars.
TVI Studios - Young Actor Program: http://www.tvistudios.com/youngactors
Stage Coach: http://www.stagecoach.co.uk/stagecoach/html/country_usa.php?cid=9
If you are in LA, then The Network Studio West offers Intensive classes for Teens: http://www.thenetworkstudioeast.com/los_angeles_intensives.php