Use the house P.A. As well as the House Engineer. And be polite... Once you're nice to the guy, if he's at all a decent human being, he can walk you through what he's doing. Most engineer's dont mind talking about their trade. I don't anyway. So, ask questions before you bring the PA. In fact, ask, "why it's good that you didn't bring you're own P.A to the club that has one already hung." They will tell you. Trust me.
Not sure if your aspirations here are to be a performer, engineer, or both, but if you're an engineering student who understands the basics, and you want to apply those concepts to a LIVE environment, my seasoned advice to you then is to find a gig at a small club or shit pit around wherever it is you live and dig in... learn through doing. It's literally the only way to be taught to deal with the completely different set of fundamentals and problematic situations that go along with live balance engineering. From gainstaging to mixing/listening techniques to the completely different take on trouble shooting, it's different well across the board from anything you learn in, say, "Intermediate Recording 2" at any trade school teaching audio engineering.
Most importantly though, the experience will teach you how to think like a live engineer; immediately, efficiently, confidently. Practically. Intelligently.
With a bit of experience you'll see how impractical the idea of bringing your own PA on tour is. My advice is sell it 9along with your current Mics) and spend the money on new mics. 4 channel whatever mixer>RNC on the stereo buss after that if you still need it, BUT, know that once you start to play actual venues, there will be outboard gear there for the house guys to use. Compressors, gates, EVEN FX!!! Just please don't pull the "I'm a studio engineer so can we do this and that with it." schtick. Most live guys know what they're doing I promise. A Lot of them are lazy, but they do know whats up and how their room sounds. It's REALLY not that hard to get REALLY good at it if you have a pair and a couple hundred shows to mix by yourself btw.)
Also, work on your technique. It goes farther than words can even relay here. A well delivered vocal is EVERYTHING to us out front. Give us FOH guys great stuff to work with, you will get even better stuff back.