Amateur Night: Best Places To Take The Stage In Washington DC

May 16, 2013 8:00 AM

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Many of your favorite comedians, musicians and actors started their careers as a relatively unknown participant in a local open mic night. Think you have what it takes to stand in front of a crowd and share your talents? Check out one of these best places to take the stage in DC and be prepared to wow the crowds.

The Big Hunt
1345 Connecticut Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 785-2333

Think you have what it takes to make a room full of people burst out laughing? Practice your comedic chops at The Big Hunt, one of the oldest bars in DC that features open mic comedy night every Wednesday night. The hip Dupont Circle bar also features trivia nights as well as sideshow-like performances including magic shows, acrobats and burlesque dancers. This three-level bar features four bars, traditional American fare and the best selection of craft draft beers in the city. Enjoy daily food and drink specials, like 15-cent wings on Tuesday nights, as well as a variety of beer-related special events.

Busboys and Poets
2021 14th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 387-7638

Whether you’re an aspiring poet, actor, magician or dancer, Busboys and Poets on 14th Street is the place to be to showcase your talents. The Open Mic and Talent Showcase take place on the first Friday of the month and is open to all performers. Named after American poet Langston Hughes, who worked as a busboy before becoming a poet, Busboys and Poets is a new kind of gathering place where the love of books and the spoken word are met with the love of delicious food. Enjoy tasty treats, like the grilled brie panini and the blackened salmon, as well as delicious drinks, like the thin mint latte. Busboys and Poets also offers vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free meals as well.

Related: Best Poetry Events In Washington DC

Speakeasy DC
1525 Newton St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20010
(240) 888-9751

Share your latest life experiences, whether it was an exciting skydiving adventure or a major social gaffe, at Speakeasy DC. This unique venue opens it mic to a variety of original storytelling shows throughout the year. Upcoming open mic performances include stories about obsessions, what it’s like to be a dad and turning over a new leaf in life. Each participant is provided seven minutes to share their tale. A schedule and sign-up sheet is available online. Nervous about sharing personal details in front of a crowd? Speakeasy DC also offers a variety of classes and personal coaching to help you tell your story in the best way possible.

RFD Washington
810 7th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 289-2030

Known to have the largest collection of beers in the city, RFD Washington is also known for its awesome open mic comedy night on Thursdays. No experience is necessary and there is no cover charge or minimum number of drinks required. RFD Washington offers more than 300 of the finest bottled beers from around the world. The popular restaurant and bar also has the largest selection of beers on tap. Many of the meals at RFD are enhanced by beer as well. Enjoy daily food and drink specials, like half-off bottles of wine on Sundays.
Related: Best Places to Discover New Music in the Washington DC Area

Iota Club & Cafe
2832 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 522-8340

Wednesday nights are open mic night at the Iota Club & Cafe in Arlington. This daytime cafe turns into a lounge in the evening with live music nightly. Each open mic show provides two sign-up times and features the work of a local artist. Iota Club & Cafe offers a delicious menu, including gumbo, pasta and tasty paninis, as well as coffee, tea, espresso and alcoholic beverages. The popular restaurant and bar also features local bands, poetry nights, CD release parties as well as the chance to speak with an Iota Club & Cafe booking agent.

Susan Diranian is a freelance writer living in Ashburn, VA. She is covering Travel & Outdoors. Her work can be found at

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