This article is from the Stand-up Comedy FAQ, by Steven Rosenthal and Steve Silberberg (email@example.com) with numerous contributions by others.
A. It frequently amazes me how many people want - even expect - some kind
of instant stardom. As someone who frequents open mics, I think it's
important that people understand that the value you get out of them is not
some diamond lane to superstardom but the opportunity to try different
things in front of an audience and develop a comfort level that allows you
to get better.
Along the way, of course, you'll have the fun of getting out of the house,
away from the television and performing for people the way they used to do
it in the old days. It's a lot like entertaining people in your living
room, because the audience is mostly comprised of other performers. If you
go into an open mic situation expecting some kind of immediate result,
you're only going to be frustrated and get angry. And what's the point of
that? You don't get good feedback that way; nor do you give yourself a
chance to fail.