In the show, the 20-year-old plays the lead character Teddy Duncan, who in each episode films a video diary for her new baby sister, Charlie, so that she can watch it for advice when she grows up. The show deals with growing up, which connected well with audiences and quickly made it one of the channel's most watched shows. As it gained popularity, opportunities opened up for Mendler to try other things.
"As I was working on the show, I kind of started to feel that [music] was maybe a career I could actually pursue because I've always loved music," she told Young Post in a phone interview. "It was just a matter of thinking that it was maybe a dream that was too far out of reach for me."
Although she dabbled in songwriting in her own time, her background was in acting as she grew up taking roles in school plays and musicals. She wasn't sure whether her music was good enough, but eventually she gained enough confidence and sought out music managers who got her into writing sessions to experiment and work out her style.
She says it was quite a challenge as there was a lot to learn. "I had never gone into a studio and produced an album before, so I didn't know what the different sounds were or how to describe the feeling that I wanted." Luckily, she had a good team to help her understand. Her acting background also helped because she found common ground between the two.
"I think both acting and music can be about storytelling, and that's what I love about each of them. For acting, there's a different story every TV show or movie you watch, and my role in that is to play one of the characters and show their perspective. With music, you're telling a story - maybe somebody's love story, a sad story, a happy one - and you get to show it from your perspective as well."
Her debut album Hello, My Name Is ... was released late last year. Mendler wrote or co-wrote every song on the album as the tracks' pop sound was sprinkled with dashes of jazz and hip-hop for that extra kick. Her songwriting was influenced by legendary folk musician Bob Dylan - "the first guy that I was listening to and paying attention to the lyrics".
But have no fear, Good Luck Charlie fans. Mendler has no plans to quit acting. But even if she does, she's certainly found something she really enjoys to fall back on.
"There are always going to be people who are fans and people who aren't," she says. "I think it's just exciting to see people attached to my music. It's something that's so special and personal to me, so to have other people form a personal relationship with the songs and really know them ... that's really exciting for me. I can't imagine anything cooler than that."