What happens when you put five aspiring performers in a Los Angeles house with cameras running 24 hours a day for all the world to see? American Idol creator Simon Fuller decided to find out by creating If I Can Dream. The online series captures the lives of five twenty-somethings as they struggle to find a gig in Hollywood. While it's great to finally find a job, it also means they're out of the house and a new person, who can audition via MySpace, will fill their vacancy.
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Amanda Phillips, 23, and Ben Elliot, 22, two of the five inaugural housemates, talked to TVGuide.com about living their lives on camera, the pitfalls of fame and healthy competition.
TVGuide.com: Why did you decide to move to Hollywood?
Elliot: I want to be an actor. It's my dream. Hollywood is the place to be for that. I was living in New York City and I got the audition. I was going to move here sooner or later, but this was the perfect time to do it.
Phillips: I come from a small town, but I'm a city girl at heart, so I couldn't wait to come out here. I tried to make it in New York City and got caught up in some not-so-legit agencies and I was crushed. When Simon called me, I was like, "I'm in!"
TVGuide.com: Do you feel pressure having millions of people watching your every move?
Elliot: I feel some pressure. It's exciting. I'm just grateful for this opportunity. We're going to be able to meet the right people in the industry. I'm pretty scared of failing. It's a tough town and there's a lot of competition.
Phillips: Nobody has seen the inside look of what it takes to make it in Hollywood, so I figured they can watch me go through my ups and downs. I'm an open person, so they can learn from me, all the good and bad things that I do.
TVGuide.com: Do you feel in-house competition between you five because you're all trying to do similar things?
Elliot: I feel like everybody is going to be a good support group. At the same time, there will be competition. If I'm not getting callbacks, I'm going to try a little harder and be jealous. We're not going to be fighting or anything.
Phillips: I don't feel any competition. We're all going to be supportive of each other. At the end of the day, we'll all come home and instead of drama it will be healthy competition. We're all here for each other.
TVGuide.com: What's your dream role?
Elliot: Playing the lead role in a movie like Blow, maybe a gangster movie.
Phillips: Anything to do with Will Ferrell because I love him. Maybe a good sitcom, a nice steady job.
TVGuide.com Are you guys afraid to be typecast as, say, the hot blond and the heartthrob?
Elliot: Just for people to typecast me would be hilarious. I don't care. I'm sure people will typecast me as Kelso [Ashton Kutcher] from That '70s Show.
Phillips: Not at all. If that's a role I can do, that doesn't really matter to me. If that's going to put my foot in the door, might as well do it.