NEW YORK (WABC) -- The New York Comedy Festival, one of the biggest entertainment events of the fall in New York City, is expanding from one week to 10 days this year.
The festival welcomes more than 200 comedians for more than 150 shows and a search for the next superstar has long been a part of it.
The competition is called New York's Funniest Stand-Up and it has become a terrific showcase for up and coming performers.
They are the stars of tomorrow here today and they have come from all over the United States and around the world to compete.
Paris Sashay is one of this year's finalists.
"I feel I'm honest, I speak from a point of view that most people don't speak from," Sashay said. "As a Black, gay woman, I say what most people are thinking about but are afraid to say."
She's not a newcomer and neither are most of the finalists.
"I've been doing comedy since like 2003 -- basically 20 years, and it took me this long to get good," said Matt Koff.
They gathered as a group in Times Square alongside Caroline Hirsch who came up with the idea for the competition 15 years ago.
"I get great, great pleasure to see when we select somebody that we think is talented go on and do the next great thing," Hirsch said.
In fact, one of the previous winners, Ricky Velez, is hosting the show at The Venue in the Hard Rock Hotel.
"Being one of the finalists says a lot about you, New York City's a hard city for everything, comedy in general, people come here to make a name for themselves," said Julio Diaz.
Each comic has their own game plan.
"I'm just going to try and have fun, and that's what I tell myself to compensate for panic attacks," Jake Velazquez said.
New York's Funniest Stand-Up will be named after a showcase that takes place a week from Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at the Hard Rock Hotel.
It's part of the New York Comedy Festival and Channel 7 is a proud sponsor.