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Open mic nights are often unpaid, but they are also the best way for comedians to learn, hone, and cultivate their craft. They present exceptional opportunities to give live performances and get immediate feedback; build a portfolio of joke sets; and develop a personal brand and an on-stage persona. With well-received material, comedians eventually are offered paid gigs and progress to road gigs in other cities. The process demands a willingness to accept long hours and some rejection along the way. A great set in front of the right room of people – especially if that single right industry connection is in the room – can unlock doors and launch a career. This is how a comedian is born.