Growth in stand up comedy does NOT just happen.
You won't become a better comic simply by getting stage time. You WILL get to be a better comic by SMART use of stage time.
What does that mean? Well keep in mind there are always things you should be working on rather than just taking the stage and strutting your stuff. In the moment on stage while working on future moments all at the same time is a good plan.
If you're serious about stand up comedy there are many things that this could be, jokes, wording of jokes, placing and pacing of jokes, character behind the jokes, potential call back opportunities, listening to the audience as to what jokes really hit, which ones tanked, etc are but a few things that should have your full undivided attention in order to improve, NOT just how long or how short time wise you were on stage. NOT just to see if you could out gross the last comic buddy.
Let's face it, if you're performing for a couple of your smart ass drunk friends at the back of the room you are not getting the most out of your stage time. For your own good reboot everything and start over.
A well known comic out of Chicago (Emo) once told me his method of developing new material was that he would go onstage and try 20 jokes, the next day he would throw 19 of them away. Though that might be extreme, it's an example of the kind of work ethic you have to possess to develop. That is of course if that's your ultimate goal and you're not using an open mic night as a replacement for a bowling night. Something tells me too many are doing just that.
The truth is you should develop at your own pace but effort is a big part of doing that. Smart efforts for sure. Each stage appearance should have personal goals to be met besides simply getting laughs. Sounds strange doesn't it? Each time you're on stage you should be looking to get out new jokes while improving others and your delivery....and oh yeah, get laughs and look so natural while you're doing it.
Keep in mind that it's what you say and HOW you say it that get the really good laughs. Passion should always be there, keep the audience in mind, even if it's just open mic talents.
Don't allow others that aren't willing to do the proper work to bring you down. Put so much thought and effort into your stand up that you inspire them. It's what they want anyway, they're just too proud to ask....or maybe they just don't know.
Either way be the comic that shows them the way. Be the light. ;)
It only takes one to make a change.