There is no easy or direct road to becoming successful as a stand-up comedian. Some people are discovered when they take part in an improv show while others might build up a fan base while they are doing their routine in a basement bars around town. If you're trying to get some additional exposure as a comic or you want to test out some new material then one of the best ways to do that is to attend some open mic nights.
If you're living in any mid to large sized city then there is likely some venue that hosts an open mic at least a few times a year. And if you can't find one at home in a place like Georgetown then you can likely find one at least an hour away. Before you decide that you want to sign up to participate in the evening you should start by simply attending and see what kind of an event it is. There are some open mics that are mainly for singers and those that are for comics. And then there are those that are a mixture of all kinds of things.
When you're preparing your material for an open mic you should make sure it caters to the sort of crowd that is there. When you go to check out that bar around home to see what their open mic is like you should see what kind of a venue it is and observe their clientele. If there are other comics you can even take some notes on what material is successful and what doesn't seem to get the best response.
If this is not a venue where you know people then you should bring some moral support along with you when you're ready to perform. You will find that some of the people there will be locals coming down from their town who want to hear what is going on. But others will be there to see one performer and might not be the most open audience for the whole night. Getting some people who you know will laugh could help get the room into paying attention to your routine.
Keep it short and sweet. While the people running the open mic night might tell you that the time limit is ten minutes, you should remember that quality is better than quantity. People will stop thinking your funny if they think that you are hogging the stage.
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