Bree Boyce wasn’t rushed, one of the few times she’s had an abundance of time to herself since last July.
“I’m actually at home,” she said during a phone interview. She was at her parents’ house in Florence, without anywhere to be. “It’s starting to slow down because everything is coming to an end.”
After winning the Miss South Carolina Pageant last July, Boyce, who lost more than 100 pounds en route to the crown, has been on an almost non-stop touring schedule. She can be forgiven for feeling fatigued.
“Um yeah, just a little bit,” she said when asked if she was tired. “It’s just been a crazy year.”
She’s been on “The View,” “The Today Show” and “Good Morning America,” among other TV shows. Her weight-loss story has been retold in newspapers and magazines. Boyce has shared her tale in front of rapt audiences as she’s crisscrossed the state and country. It’s all seemed like a blur until now.
“I’m starting to think back on things, and kind of just going through it,” Boyce, 23, said. “I’ve had to watch my videos online just to remember. It feels like it’s been five years, but it’s only been a year.”
Boyce, a Florence native who placed in the top 12 at the Miss America Pageant in Las Vegas in January, showed her comedic gifts at her coronation press conference. She did impressions of Reba McEntire, Cher and Paula Deen. She also cracked jokes after being bestowed several gifts, including a $3,000 Omega watch and a beaver fur coat.
Her fun was just beginning.
“As soon as The State paper came out that I had won, it took off from there,” she said. “I’ve just had the craziest, awesomest world wind year and I couldn’t have done it without the Miss South Carolina pageant.
“I’m just humbled that I was chosen to represent South Carolina.”
Obviously, those who have followed Boyce’s year want to know what’s next. She said she will travel to Los Angeles in two weeks for meetings with management groups, producers and publishing companies. When she was eliminated from Miss America in front of a live national TV audience, Boyce said she had TV and book offers. Network or cable TV? Which publishing houses?
“I just can’t give it all away because that’s how the business works,” Boyce said.
Boyce, a Francis Marion University theater major, will have to take more time away from school, though she promises to finish her degree. She earned $30,000 in scholarship money from the Miss SC and Miss America pageants, and she’s already repaid her student loans. Boyce did say she’ll tour as a motivational speaker, including an appearance at the Lifestyle Intervention conference in October in Las Vegas.
“I’ll be getting paid very well,” she said. “I was like, ‘You know, you only get these opportunities once in a lifetime’. Maybe in two or three years people won’t be as interested.”
In a few weeks, Boyce’s schedule will be jam packed again. She’ll always find time for one thing: a workout. That’s how she’s kept the weight off, along with eating healthy.
“I will definitely get my workout in because I feel better afterward,” she said. “It’s not something that I have to do; it’s something that I want to do.”
The same could be said about sharing her story. She’ll be telling it from coast to coast, but Boyce won’t stay away forever.
“I’m a true Carolina girl at heart and I know I will be coming back home,” she said.
Backstage, before the swimsuit competition at Miss America, co-host Brooke Burke, a former swimsuit model, gave Boyce some camera time. “What an inspiration you are,” Burke said to her.