When i first started i had the problem of thinking if i bombed at an open mic that was it for me. Someone would see me and then I would never get work again. I kept doing the same material at open mics never getting better never trying to make those jokes any better. It became stale and soon audience members that came back to the open mic stopped laughing. The thing about your best jokes are they were new jokes in the beginning and they became your best jokes after work and trying them out. If you go to an open mic with your A+ material you've wasted a perfectly good open mic spot to work on new stuff.
Sometimes you get that feeling that what if they don't like it and then i've bombed and that's worse. You never bomb at an open mic if you learned from your set. If a joke didn't work at the open mic take it home or go back to your seat and figure out why. When you go to an open mic audio record it so you can hear exactly what they liked and what they didn't. I told a new joke that didn't get any laughs i listened to the audio recording and i heard that i forgot one word that held the joke together and when i told it again it worked perfectly. The best thing you can take to an open mic is your pen, paper and your phone to record. You're never going to remember everything you said on stage but with a recording you don't have to remember. I'll listen to a recording and hear something that i said that was great and i'll put it in a old joke that it would work perfect.
When you record you can hear everything you say. Word for word and that will help you cut out words you don't need. I use a grinder joke where i went on an app called grinder. Where i'm from in the south a Grinder is a sandwich so I thought it was an app to talk to guys about what kind of sandwiches they like to eat and where to get them. When i started that joke it was 3 and a half minutes. After working on it at open mics and listening to my recordings it is now 36 seconds. Now you'll say how do you know to the second? I know because i've said it so many times that i know exactly how long it'll take to say it on stage. That helps me with booked shows so i can use my time on stage to the fullest.
When you host an open mic i don't look at the people who bombed negatively unless they come off and say it was the crowd. Don't go on stage and say your new jokes bombed because of the crowd. 99.999% of the time its never cause of the crowd. I thought that once at a mic. I tried a new joke and they didn't response the way i wanted them to. I got off stage and told the guy that was going on after me that the crowd is terrible tonight. He then proceeded to go on stage and did amazing. He killed in 5 minutes. Its never the crowd. Funny is Funny and if its funny they'll laugh.
If you're serious about doing comedy take an open mic as another part of the job. Take it seriously, don't mess around and if you never bomb unless you go up with a poor attitude and blame the crowd for not laughing.
Thank you for reading.