Start a YouTube channel and whenever a show comes along that you want to be in, post your audition. Don’t wait for the casting office to call you in. You don’t even have to send it to casting. Just post it. Publicly.
If you’re good, people will start to watch the videos, and share them with their friends. Eventually, (and I’m talking after 2-3 years, minimum) you will have amassed such a dedicated following that the casting director will be calling you. Not the other way around.
But what if you’re not good? Well then you’ve learned that maybe acting isn’t for you. And you’ve learned it without having to go bankrupt paying New York City rent. Plus, making videos in your mom’s basement is a whole lot less frustrating (and more fun) than standing in line of 500 people at 7am just hoping you’ll get to be seen to sing your 8 bars of music. In 1975, the cattle call was the only way in. In 2015, that system just seems broken, doesn’t it?
I’m not saying that this is THE solution for struggling actors. But I do believe that in 10-15 years, it’s quite possible that the majority of actors will be doing this, or something very much like it. Most people won’t do it now though. Why?
Because the system (no matter how broken) and the status quo (no matter how frustrating) are the most comfortable places in the world.
For the few in your industry who are willing to jump though, they may just find themselves ahead of the curve.