Monday, December 19, 2011


What an exciting time of year! The hustle and bustle of Christmas and preparation for the BIG DAY are quickly approaching! My Miss America send off party was yesterday, and what an amazing day for me that was! Not only do I feel blessed to have such a wonderful organization behind me, but also my family and friends. In two weeks I leave for the most EXCITING and AMAZING journey of my life... MISS AMERICA. I'm so honored to be competing with 52 distinguished young women. We all have worked so hard for this moment and now it is time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the remarkable journey we are about to embark on and to know that God will place the right girl in the position as the next Miss America. 

My grandmother (memaw)
who I owe my love for classical music to!
Growing up I dreamed of hitting the stage on BROADWAY or the world renowned opera house in Milan, Italy- La Scala. Never in a million years would I have thought I'd be taking the Miss America stage by storm in LAS VEGAS!(Wow, funny how things turn out!) I always imagined myself doing big things but never actually realized that they would come true. I doubted myself as a young girl and only believed 50% in my hopes and aspirations. Now, I fully believe in myself and what I have to offer this world not 50% but 150%! The young Bree who sat on the couch after school, lacked self confidence, hid from the camera, and most certainly didn't believe she was beautiful is now a spokesperson to ALL that WE have the power in our own hands to make our lives what we want it to be. Yes, a lot of people see me only as "The girl who lost over 100 lbs" but I'm so ready to show the world the REAL Bree. I have so much to offer and I hope that people see or will come to know that Bree.


Playing at church with my dad!
Many people do not know that I'm extremely passionate about classical music and performing.
My grandmother who grew up on a farm in a small town adored opera and her love of the spectacular art rubbed off on me at a young age. Many times I spent my afternoons or mornings at my grandparents house. My grandmother, or what we all call her, Memaw, would be a busy bee in the kitchen. Whipping up all the "Southern Fixin's" and listening to opera. I smiled as I helped out and enjoyed being exposed to such beautiful music. It made me feel alive! I started singing at the age of 2 when my grandfather tickled the ivory's at church. "Have a Little Talk with Jesus" was our absolute favorite song to perform together. He also taught me to pick up the violin and enjoy the beautiful sound that it made. I began playing by ear and watching him. (Both him and my father can pick up any instrument and play by ear, I was so amazed by them) After getting the hang of the violin I was enrolled in lessons along with my sister and eventually joined my school and church orchestra. Tiffany and I both play the violin, while my two brothers play the trumpet. We are sometimes jokingly called "The Partridge Family" at church. My dad is the music director and we all play in the Orchestra or sing in the choir. I'm looking forward to this Christmas to be home with my entire family and play together a Christmas piece to celebrate the birth of  our Lord and Savior this Sunday. This is how we come together to be a family and enjoy each other. By giving thanks to God for the talents he has possessed upon us. I truly miss my grandfather this time of year. He passed away when I was in the 8th grade, but I will never forget the love he had for me, God, music, and anyone he ever came into contact with. I traveled with him and my dad as they sang in different churches as apart of a quartet. Gazing up at them I'd always sing along and loved when they pulled me up to join them. Every time I perform I think of him and the role he played in my life. He never once doubted me and deep down, I knew that. I know he is watching from Heaven and saying "I told you, my Bree, you'd be signing autographs one day!" He was so proud of me and my family. I know we continue to make him proud. 

At the age of 6 I decided I wanted to be enrolled in music classes and when I turned 8 I wanted to be a professional opera singer. Immediately I BEGGED for classical training! My parents saw that I was actually finally interested in something. For years, they exposed me to gymnastics, dance, cheerleading, and pageantry... None of what I wanted to do. They were thrilled that Bree had found something that was her niche! After we dropped my sister, Tiffany, off at dance or cheerleading, my mom whisked me off to voice lessons! I was so nervous and anxious every time I was dropped off at my weekly lesson! I wanted to impress my teacher by showing her all of the practice I had put into the piece of music she had given me the week before. My first operatic piece was Puccini's famous "O Mio Babbino Caro" and I blew my teacher away! Italian-PERFECT, vibratoinhibitions and doing what I loved. I never really expressed to my family that I dreamed

YES! That is me!
The (once) Cowardly Lion! 

My parents were approached by my teacher and she expressed to them that I as a natural at performing! I remember sitting there and seeing both of them look at each other and nod, agreeing that they KNEW that I had it in me to be whatever I wanted. Not what my sister or brothers hoped to be, but what BREE wanted to be. I will never forget the feeling that the acceptance andacknowledgment I saw on there face felt that day. She informed them of a Children's Musical Theatre Workshop at our town Theatre. The next week I was attending classes that taught me stage presence, acting techniques, makeup lessons, dance, and more voice lessons. All week long I looked forward to Tuesday and Thursday afternoons! That meant I was going to the theatre! Even though I was the chubbiest of all the kids there, it didn't matter to me when I stepped into that building. I wasn't Bree, I was THE PERFORMER. I didn't care that Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz was thin with deep brown hair and shiny shoes, I still auditioned for the part. No, I didn't get Dorothy, but I was cast as The Cowardly Lion! I practiced and practiced and committed to the character. Opening night, I BLEW away the audience. I was funny, my song was EXACTLY on point, and I was enamored by the thought I could actually make this a career! I stuck with it and after graduating high school I went on to college and attended Liberal Arts school, Francis Marion University. My dreams of being a successful actress then turned into fascination for playwright, dramaturgy, theatre history, producing, directing, makeup/costume design, as well as set design. I loved it all and knew I wanted to get my hands into all of these things. It excites me to know that I'm doing what I love despite others views or thoughts on having Theatre as a major. Without the arts I wouldn't have been able to break away from the day to day struggles I dealt with inside myself growing up. The arts pushed me to be dedicated and passionate about something. I now encourage the kids I speak to, to become involved in the arts and how it ultimately shaped my life. While Living in Las Vegas for over a month two summers ago with my sister and her husband, I had the wonderful opportunity to study under the co-conductor for the Phantom of the Opera Las Vegas. His insight and ability to see my potential at making this a career pushed me to think outside the box when deciding on the piece I would perform for talent and I am thoroughly looking forward to my biggest performance as of yet...My talent presentation at MISS AMERICA! Just days before I check in for Miss America I will be staying in Vegas and doing extensive work with him to finalize and make my talent perfection. I'm looking forward to expressing my passion for opera and performance and wowing the audience and judges! 

From a little boy I met! This is what makes my job
worth it all!
When I ask the children I speak to what they think of when they hear "MISS AMERICA" most of them respond with "Beautiful, talented, smart, friendly" and the list goes on. I explain to them that being Miss America is a FULL TIME JOB! It isn't necessarily about being beautiful and talented, but it is about being that one young woman who saw her own full potential and strives to see that exact same thing in each person she is able to meet. It is about being captivated by the people she comes in contact with. Those people who come from all walks of life. Miss America must be able to relate to them and teach them lessons, but she must be willing to have them teach her as well. She travels non stop and regardless of feeling tired or sick, she gives each appearance and each person her best! She pushes others to step up to the plate and be THEIR personal and professional best. She challenges the people around her to go for their dreams and to never give up hope. Although the crown and sash come off at times, she must be Miss America to EVERYONE 24/7! She is presented with difficult task, but sees them through to the best of her ability. Others will be negative and only try to bring her down. But she brushes them and their comments off by showing confidence, poise, and intelligence. Miss America has the ability to light up any room that she walks into and sure, these are only a few of the things that she does, but I find it so amazing that most people do not see that Miss America is THE role model that everyone can relate to. Not the famous pop singer, magnificent actress, or Hollywood's "it" girl, but THE IT girl who represents America. Her smile is a plus, but Miss America's her heart to give back to others is what we all need to strive to be. Regardless of whether I win the crown in January, I know I possess these qualities and to me, I have already won the title of Miss America. I feel that all 52 contestants that will be competing in January feel this same exact way. We have given back to our communities, spent time working on being the best person we can be, perfecting our talents, knowing about the world around us, having our own sense of self, and all possessing the qualities of Miss America by doing so. I'm proud of the woman I have become and proud to represent my state on July 14th. Everyday I remind myself, "I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me." 

Thank you to all who took the time to read this! I wanted to write a little something and it had to be fast because I must spend time with my family (see below, I vowed to myself- HA!) So forgive me if it is sloppy and a bit LONG! :) 

This week I vow to spend time loving on my family, packing, celebrating Christ birth, packing some more, seeing friends, not wearing makeup OR doing my hair, catching up on much needed sleep, finalizing prep for Miss America, again...spending as MUCH time with my family AND more packing!! I vow to do these things because I may not be returning home after January 14th. 53 of us have an amazing shot at an amazing year as Miss America and I know that I am fully capable and ready for that job. Thank you to all who believed in me from the start and the MANY (AND I MEAN MANY) of you who have decided to join me in Vegas to cheer me on! I love each and everyone of you and I look forward seeing the purpose God has planned out for my life. 

Merry Christmas to you all and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!! May you be blessed with family, friends, laughter, and love! 

All my best,
Bree Boyce
Miss South Carolina 2011 

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