Back to SchoolBy Deanna BarnertColleen Cusick Posted: May 6, 2004
For the 10 men and women chosen as finalists, these dreams will be a little closer to reality when they are announced May 14 on CBS' THE EARLY SHOW and their live screen tests air on THE EARLY SHOW on May 17. After the fans vote for their favorite finalist at www.cbsnews.com/earlyshow, one lucky student will win the job of a lifetime -- a role on Y&R.For a task this big, Saitta needed help from the experts: the cast of Y&R. Greg Rikaart (Kevin) was on hand for the first round of auditions, hitting Southern Methodist University in Dallas and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on March 29 and 30. Keith Hamilton Cobb (Damon) managed the next two, at University of Maryland at College Park and University of Minnesota in Minneapolis on April 6 and 7.Finally, Lauren Woodland (Brittany), herself a Y&R campus visit discovery, hopped on a plane with Saitta to suss out the scene at San Francisco State. "We had a great turnout," Woodland says of the April 8 casting call. "A lot of people came just for the heck of it. There were people who were pre-med that were interested in acting, but had no desire to pursue it professionally. They just went for it anyway. Those are the people I got a kick out of. It's great to go after things you're interested in on a whim, just for fun. It's a great attitude, but they really had to be on and work fast. It was overwhelming for a lot of [the auditioners]."A live screen test on THE EARLY SHOW and a multi-episode role on Y&R are also overwhelming, so the show had to be sure their final five guys and five gals could hack it. "It wasn't an easy audition," Woodland admits. "It was a cattle call, basically, so they had to wait with 60 other actors and that can be very intimidating. Their first scene, specifically written for the auditions, was very short and sweet. It was five lines and you can tell pretty quickly if they're on the right track and if they're confident."The taped callback scene was more intense. "It was complicated, so it was quite a difference from the initial audition," she continues. "It was a four-page scene between Kevin and Colleen, with a lot of different levels in it. The poor guys had to play Kevin, which is a very difficult part. They only had about half an hour to work on it, so it was challenging, but they did a great job. They were so positive and excited."Woodland enjoyed playing her role for the day, but admits "Lyndsy Fonseca does a much better job at Colleen than I do. I would be miscast in that part for sure! But it was fun trying to put myself in Colleen's shoes. Also, acting with so many different actors at once is fun. It was an incredibly valuable experience for all the actors who came. Everybody learned something, including Marnie, me and everyone from CBS."