Few people realize that their dreams fuel the visions that can become reality. Richard and Elanore Minor understand that their son, Jason, is one of them.

At age 7, Jason was featured in local and national TV and print advertisements promoting clothing, Play-Doh and "Ghostbusters" toys. By the time he was 10, he had performed in more than a dozen local plays and educational films and performed in two Broadway productions. He licked 72 Jell-O Pudding Pops taping a commercial with TV superdad Bill Cosby.

Now he's a Mouseketeer on "The Mickey Mouse Club," which features 15 teenagers who entertain millions of children after school with music, dance, celebrity guests and comedy sketches. The half-hour show airs weekdays on cable television's Disney Channel.

The 13-year-old actor, singer and dancer says it's all just part of being "a regular kid" who plays sports and helps with the household chores -- and one who dreamed he'd one day perform professionally on stage and screen.

"It's all happening so fast," said Jason, surrounded by his parents and his sisters, Kristen, 10, and Embrey, 6, at their home in Glenn Dale.

On Saturday, Jason will sign autographs, pose for pictures and distribute Mouseketeer applications at the JC Penney store in Lakeforest Mall.

Jason is learning how to divide his time among the show, school and other responsibilities, according to his manager, Linda Townsend, of Oxon Hill.

When the show is in production in Orlando, Fla., Jason's schedule includes 3 1/2 hours of on-set tutoring and five hours of rehearsals a day, five days a week. He studies dance and singing when he is not working, and performs in front of a live audience to tape "The Mickey Mouse Club."

From September through January, he is back at home, where he attends Martin Luther King Middle School in Beltsville.

The adjustment from star to student has had its rough spots. "Boys who didn't know me would ask to fight daily, and I told my parents I wanted to transfer," Jason said recently, recalling the start of the fall semester at King.

As his father explained: "The boys didn't take the time to get to know him as a person. They assumed he had an ego. Now they accept him. But we're concerned about kids trying to get close {because of} the status."

Jason's favorite aspect of being a Mouseketeer is what he describes as "awesome stuff many kids my age don't get to do."

"People always ask if I'm missing out on my childhood. I'm missing out on a few things, like school sports. But there are kids who would be glad to miss out on a few things to get to do the things I'm doing."

Jason entered the business at age 7 when a friend, who was a client of Townsend's, recommended that he audition with her for work as a model. His parents decided to allow both Jason and his sister Kristen to audition for Townsend, who took them on as clients.

The family is not allowed to discuss the terms of their son's contract or his salary, said Townsend, who added that 30 percent of Jason's salary goes into a trust fund as required by Florida law.

Disney talent scouts first saw Jason on stage in 1989 while he was on a national tour with "Gypsy." They were impressed with his performance as a newsboy, and asked him to audition. He did -- and beat out 15,000 youngsters to become one of the Mouseketeers chosen in December.

"We selected Jason as a Mouseketeer because he has a wide range of talent," said Stephen Fields, Disney's senior vice president of original programming. "It's important for kids at home to view Mouseketeers as their friends and welcome them into their homes. He has that spark and kids love him."

Jason's surge in popularity is evidence of this. He got mobbed by pint-size autograph seekers when he showed up at a promotional farewell party for retiring Mouseketeers, and he had to get a police escort out of Tysons Corner Mall.

Although the experiences of being a Mouseketeer are thrilling for him -- meeting celebrities who appear on the show, such as original Mouseketeer Annette Funicello and pop groups Milli Vanilli and Seduction -- Jason's favorite moment was meeting entertainer Michael Jackson. "Michael said he likes the show. He told me to study and don't do drugs," Jason said.

While in Orlando, Jason lives in a rented apartment near the studio, with a relative acting as chaperon. "He calls us every night and we do fly down to see him. And he comes home and fits back in with his friends," said Richard Minor, an insurance agent with a firm in Silver Spring.

Jason plans to continue acting and perhaps pursue a career behind the camera or in medicine. "I'm enjoying acting," he said, "and everything that's going on in my life right now."