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Why US comedian plans to live in NI ‘forever’

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Jazmyne Sierra, (31), who is originally from Florida but now living in Co Antrim, arrived in Northern Ireland for the first time in September 2021 and it was quite literally a dream come true.

Despite admitting the story makes her sound like a “crazy person”, she dreamt that she lived in Ireland and that’s what eventually led to her coming here.

“I had never been here before,” explained Jazmyne. “The only reason I knew where I was was because an intern in my workplace was from Ireland.”

Jazmyne had some money saved up and decided to take the risk and move to Northern Ireland from Philadelphia where she was based.

“It’s funny because I’m originally from Florida and before I moved here I had moved from Florida to Philadelphia,” she said.

“I got to Philadelphia and I said to myself, ‘This is only for now’, but once I came here I said ‘Wow, this is where I’m going to stay forever’.”

Jazmyne said she has been welcomed with open arms into the local comedy scene and even had an offer from popular Holywood comedian Shane Todd to open one of his shows.

Jazmyne Sierra

“The comedy community has been so welcoming here, everyone here is just so lovely and they have been so good to me,” she said.

“I have had so many surreal moments here, like Shane Todd asking me to open for him. It was just crazy.”

In order to stay in the UK, Jazmyne is applying for citizenship, but must raise £5,000.

“I need £5,000 to apply,” she said. “I’m hoping to apply around mid-April so I’m hoping I can raise the money in time. It’s definitely not impossible so hopefully I can do it.”

Jazmyne is running a comedy gig in the Sunflower from 8pm on Saturday to try and raise money for her application.

“I know that it is very last minute but I’m hoping we can get a good crowd and I’m planning to organise more gigs to help,” she said.

Jazmyne said her parents are fully supporting her decision to apply for citizenship in the UK.

“They said to me, ‘This is where you want to be and where you are meant to be’.”

While Jazmyne has now fully embraced life in Northern Ireland, the comedian said it took her some time to adjust to Northern Irish customs.

Jazmyne Sierra

“It took me a while to get used to the ‘calling’ culture here,” said Jazmyne. “I didn’t realise people just came over to your house to chat.

“It took me a while to realise I needed to have tea and coffee in the house in case someone called over.

“I love that about living here though. I find myself just waiting around the house hoping that someone will call over.”

Jazmyne said she has fully embraced NI’s culture and has even taken a liking to a jambon.

“I love, love, love a jambon,” she admitted. “I just love to go to Centra and get myself one, they are amazing.”

The comedian also added the dating culture in Northern Ireland is very different from the US.

“I want a culchie boy,” she said. “I kind of like a wee culchie accent.

“I try to explain to my parents what a culchie is and they don’t really understand.”

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