I love opening night. I love the excitement of the theater. Who doesn’t? Everything about it is not ordinary life and it draws you into its special realm. It is another world created by the most inventive minds where you have to suspend belief. I love the actors, the sets, the audience, and the acclaim. But I don’t love cleaning up after a performance. There is the set to breakdown, the props to store, the curtain to pull back, the sound system to shut off. You put away equipment so people won’t trip. Last but not least, you have to vacuum the theater. It is not as easy as mopping the wood stage.

I am tired after a big night, but it is a good feeling. I talk to the cast and we often have a quick drink and recap the show. What worked and what didn’t. Then it is back to business. If I am supervising someone doing the vacuuming task, I am obliged to stick around. This is the boring part of the arts. Once the curtain closes, it is back to real life. I like to put off that part as long as I can.

One day, my helper was feeling poorly and I had to take over, even as my friends were waiting outside. I vowed to be quick. Thankfully, we had just added a good upright machine from The Vacuum Challenge to our budget. Ticket sales had been going well and we definitely needed a splurge. Cleaning the floor is a nightly chore and it warrants the best. The new unit was a master at its job. It inhaled debris like it was starving to death. In the old days, imagine, they had to do it with a broom and dust pan. People always leave programs strewn about not to mention assorted candy wrappers and tissues. We still have to pick these up and we like to recycle programs until closing night, although most just read it at our web site or on Facebook. The vacuum is the most efficient part of this ritual. It is so good that you want to pat it on the back!

While I have help at the theater, I don’t at home. It falls to me to get my own Shark out. He sleeps in the closet and can’t wait to get some exercise. It is the same model as at the performing arts center so I know it well. It cost a pretty penny and I don’t care. When it comes to vacuums, don’t skimp. You get what you pay for. I love that it is high-powered and bagless. This is how they come these days. An upright has more oomph than a canister type. They are fine for small apartments. Hotels and restaurants use a top of-the-line upright. At home, I insist that there be a variety of attachments for every possible job from vacuuming the sofa and upholstered chairs to cleaning out the pantry and under the sink. It is a one-machine world chez moi.