By Osayi Endolyn

When you walk into The Green Room Actor’s Lounge, your first thought might be, Ah, of course – you  really are in a green room. The interior space is painted a warm, soft shade that glows under a balanced mix of track and ambient lighting. And the lounge is just that – a welcoming space with an assortment of worn, vintage furniture and modern accoutrements. It’s like walking into a friend’s house where they inherited grandma’s living room sofa, but also shop at Ikea. You almost expect to hear “Perry Mason” playing in the background. And yet as obvious as it may seem to have a lounge feel, well, lounge-ish, The Green Room is still full of unexpected surprises.

Straddling the fence between coffee destination and creative sanctuary, this young Buckhead business has brought a different tone to typical Bennett Street fare, in an effort to reach out to Atlanta’s growing film and television community. Founded in 2011 by actress Terri J. Vaughn of Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns and Daddy’s Little Girls, the space serves as place where emerging actors can hone their craft.

Vaughn has referenced her time in Hollywood as inspiration, saying on the store’s website that she wants local talent to “feel that sense of camaraderie” some actors experience while working in Los Angeles. If actors intend to read through scripts, find information or just take a latte break from it all, The Green Room will not only serve its purpose but even attract those who’ve never been on an audition, but still need an office recess.

And even though faded furniture and freshly-made coffee are available for everyone, the space is clearly intended for burgeoning performers. The lounge has been divided into three intimate, yet separate spaces: bookstore, event stage and dining area. The bookstore offers a range of industry titles, including Samuel French publications for the theatrically inclined, biographies and memoirs, as well as classic works on creative development like The Artist’s Way. Events vary from acting and dancing classes for adults and children, to vocal training and open mic performances.

One of the first things actors learn is that not everyone can be a star. But, with the diverse array of plays, stories, photos and personalities found at The Green Room, hanging out at the actors lounge can certainly make you feel like you’re on your way to becoming one.

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Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.