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...And Action: Alex And Benjamin

On Monday, The Early Show began the weeklong "Soap Star Screen Tests," a dramatic acting competition in search of America's next soap star. And you, Early Show viewers, get to decide who it may be. Your votes this week will land two contestants roles on daytime's top drama, "The Young and the Restless."

Earlier this year, auditions were held at five college campuses in search of the talent you'll be watching all week. In all, we'll see 10 live performances. And helping our student hopefuls each day will be a series regulars from "Y&R." On Monday, it's Lauren Woodland, who plays Brittany Hodges.

The Emmy nominated actress tells co-anchor Julie Chen her character wants to be a singer, but fears the scar she has on the of her face is going to stand in her way.

She says, "It's sort of a metaphor for the obstacles that we create for ourselves that get in the way of our dreams."

In real life, she feels good about her Emmy nomination for "Outstanding Younger Actress." It's her first in the five years she's been on the hit daytime drama. She remembers her first audition when she was 6 years old for an Oscar Mayer Weiner hot dog commercial and now hopes to help the young aspiring actors with their auditions.

She actually went to San Francisco State University for the preliminary auditions. "It was great," she says. "You get all the kinds of kids come in. Some are curious and aren't planning to be actors and just going for it, which I think is great. Others want to pursue it as a career."

The first student to audition was Alexandra Villarreal, who just wrapped up her freshman year at the University Of North Carolina. She is a journalism major.

"I thought a cat fight was about to break out," Chen noted about Villarreal's audition with Woodland. Asked how she thinks she did, Villarreal says, "It was good. I'm so excited."

Next up was Benjamin Biegel, a graphic designer and architecture student from Maryland's Montgomery College. He, too, felt good about his audition. Asked what his father, an architect, said when he heard the news about Biegel's getting a chance to get into the acting world, he says, "He's moderately supportive, let's just say that."

Click on the interactive at right to get Biegel's and Villarreal's bios and their school tryouts. Starting Friday, you will also be able to vote for your favorite male and female contestants. Voting ends at midnight on Saturday. The winners will be announced next Monday, and will soon after receive multi-episode roles on "The Young And The Restless."

The Screen Tests continue Tuesday with the help of Greg Rikaart, who plays the troubled and often troublemaking Kevin Fisher on the daytime drama.

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