Mendler does, however, admit that the stage isn't her most natural habitat yet. "I definitely get stage fright," she acknowledges. "I definitely get nervous about if I'm going to forget the words to the songs or something. And I don't enjoy being the center of attention for an hour straight -- I think that's really stressful. But I definitely enjoy it, and I think the more I do it, the less afraid I am. I just turn on some other persona that can hang with the crowd for that long, and I think it's something I'll enjoy more and more with every show."
"Hello My Name Is..." reached No. 30 on the Billboard 200, with "Ready or Not" hitting No. 49 on the Hot 100 and its successor, "Hurricane," currently climbing. "I really love 'Hurricane,' " says Mendler, who co-wrote all 12 tracks on the album, mostly with Evan "Kidd" Bogart and Emanuel "Eman" Kiriakou. "I started writing that first bit of the verse, and off of that I worked with Evan in deciding what sort of story we wanted to tell with the song, and we came up with the weather theme. Then we came up with the bridge melody; initially I wanted that to be the chorus, but Eman said we needed to keep that for the melody, and I actually took something from one of my older songs for the chorus, so it was kind of fun to re-use that little melody that had never really seen the light of day."
Mendler -- who in April released a "Live in London" concert EP -- says she hasn't been doing much writing while touring and working on the next season of "Good Luck Charlie." "I really miss it," she says. Another issue: her laptop broke and swallowed whatever song ideas she did have. But Mendler is making chicken salad out of that. "There's a way that a clean slate can be good," she says. "I'm really excited to try something fresh with this next album. Knowing what I know now, I'm really excited to try giving a new album a shot. And honestly I just love writing songs -- that's what brought me to music, my love for doing that."
But while Mendler says that "music is really important to me," she has now plans to give it higher priority than her acting work. "People ask me if I have a preference of one over the other, and I don't," she explains. "For me, they're so different, and they both feel like something that's so essential to who I am, especially because I started so young. As long as the opportunities are there I'll continue to pursue them. But as long as I can write songs, whether for myself or other people, (music) will be a big part of what I do."