At two clubs in Greenwich Village hosting open mics, I once drew VERY HIGH numbers at both places which meant I was probably going on very late, or not at all. So I took my guitar and did what I usually did: went outside and played on the sidewalk.
After a while this older gentleman - who had been watching me for a few numbers came up and asked me why wasn't I playing a real gig at the club, I told him my high number story. With that he said "follow me" and I did just that, following him in that same club. He walked up to the MC and quietly told him something. The next thing I know I was up on stage immediately after, played two songs and.... got the gig!!!!
Then he walked me around the corner to the next club where I drew a high number and did the same thing!! I wound up getting a gig there as well!!
Afterwards we walked out to the sidewalk and I asked him what his name was. He obviously had some serious street cred with these MC's. He said, and I quote "never mind who I am, just show then who YOU are" and walked off into the night.