Tori Sullivan Sweeps the School

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Senior Tori Sullivan hopes to end her time spent on the Sweepstakes committee with a positive reaction to this year's Sweepstakes video.

Senior Tori Sullivan will end her four years on the Sweepstakes committee with the unveiling of her final video.
Senior Tori Sullivan hopes to end her time spent on the Sweepstakes committee with a positive reaction to this year’s Sweepstakes video.

Many returning Mercy students are familiar with Tori Sullivan, one of the key faces involved in making the annual “Sweepstakes” videos.  The videos are created in an effort to inspire ticket sales in the Sweepstakes raffle, a fundraising event for the Mercy community.  Sullivan has taken on the challenge of completing yet another Sweepstakes assembly, along with the help of four fellow seniors.  Newsprint asked Sullivan about her behind-the-scenes Sweepstakes work.

NP: How were you initially invited to join the Sweepstakes team?

TS: Freshmen year, I was walking in the hallway when Elaina Weber (Mercy graduate of 2012) approached me and invited me to join the committee.  As an underclassman, I was hesitant to get involved because I didn’t know what it was.  I was so awkward.  Now, I look forward to the filming of Sweepstakes every year.  It is one of the highlights of my Mercy experience.

NP: What does being a member of the Sweepstakes committee involve?

TS: Being a member of the Sweepstakes committee involves a lot of work outside of school.  We all put tons of preparation and planning into each aspect of the assembly.  The committee meets before school at least once a week a month before the assembly, and the meetings become more frequent as we approach the opening of the raffle.  The “Sweeps season” as the committee calls it, is full of stress, but it all pays off when we unveil the video.

NP: What is the most challenging part of filming Sweepstakes?

TS: I wouldn’t say any particular part of Sweepstakes is “challenging.”  Most of the time, the filming process is just fun.  We make things up as we go and we gather more and more ideas as the night carries on.  We normally film the majority of the film after hours of procrastination.  If I had to pinpoint one particular challenge, it would definitely be the coordination of the filming days.  Like group projects, finding a time when everyone is available is super difficult.  We normally film super early in the morning or really late at night, and you can tell we look tired in most of the videos.

NP:  What specific process do you use to film the videos?

TS:  We always start by meeting up at Bridget (Carlson’s) house and goofing off.  We order tons of food, which is usually Dominos Pizza with lava cakes, and eat for about three hours.  Once we finally start to get down to business, we stay in the Carlson’s basement for 10 hours at a time.  By the end of the night, we are so tired that everything seems funny.  The sophomore year Sweepstakes video was filmed completely after 10:00 at night.

NP: How do you feel when the entire school is watching the video?

TS: After our first video freshmen year, you could say I was a little embarrassed.  As we’ve gotten older and shown more videos, I’ve gotten more comfortable with watching the crowd’s reaction.  There is definitely a pressure to be funny and it makes me nervous, but I don’t let it get to me that much.  I just hope everyone enjoys watching the videos as much as we enjoy making them.