I recently read an article by the same title as this blog post and it inspired me to consider the topic. This is what I encourage you to do:
The first thing an actor needs to do to be "discovered" is to stay active as an actor. Keep doing community theatre plays, student and indie films and extra work. Be an actor. If you are not an actor you cannot be discovered as one.
Next the aspiring actor needs to be in a professional acting class as often as possible. This is where you network and become known as part of the professional world. Take audition, cold reading, and film acting classes and workshops. You can be in a class and be in plays and films at the same time.
Of course while doing these things, you are practicing "Networking for Success" as I describe it on my web site and in my book. Along with this you need to study how the business works, reading all you can about it in books and articles that you can find and in those that I suggest. Learn who the more effective agents are in your area. Learn who the casting directors are who are working in your area. Stay up on what is happening in the business, where films are being made and why.
Make sure you are working in places where there is a lot of opportunity for work. When you apply for an audition, make sure it is for a role you are suited for. If they want twenty-something middle eastern types, and you are a 19 year old blonde or thirty year old red head, forget it.
This is a direct steal from the article I read but it is an absolutely brilliant strategy: Surround yourself with people who are successful as actors, who are making it professionally and avoid hanging out with those aspirants who never do anything to get ahead. Learning who the winners are and what they are doing can help you, hanging with the losers will make you one of them. Keep moving forward in your career.
Frequently review what I say about developing the proper behavior and the lists of such that I have from Mamet and Franklin in my book, The Tao of Acting. Make sure you are emulating them.
Everyday renew your resolve to succeed and plan two or three things you are going to do that day to move your career forward. Stay acting and positive. keep your networking tools up to date and more impressive, build your demo reel, and remember to send out post cards., do charity work, and get your name and photo in the newspaper or on TV for it.
Finally save up to attend Regional Unified Auditions where you will be seen by lots of directors casting semi professional and professional theaters. There is no better place to be discovered than on stage in a professional theater. Do your research and find out where and when these will be held and budget your time and money so you can attend. There are several of these use them as stepping stones to your career. If you are getting nowhere in your career where you are-- moving to another area might make more sense than keeping repeating what is not working for you.