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New app developer Damon Wayans: ‘Acting is a sucker’s game’

On Fox’s groundbreaking 1990s sketch-comedy show “In Living Color,” actor and comedian Damon Wayans made millions of TV viewers laugh with his portrayals of characters like Homey D. Clown and “Men on Film” co-host Blaine Edwards. Many of today’s TV viewers probably are more familiar with his oldest son, Damon Wayans Jr., co-star of ABC’s sitcom “Happy Endings.”

So it’s not too surprising that the elder Wayans – now a 52-year-old father of four and grandfather of five – pretty much flew under the radar at Macworld/iWorld in San Francisco. After all, he wasn’t onstage like actors Ashton Kutcher and Fred Armisen. And he wasn’t speaking at any of the Macworld/iWorld sessions. Although accompanied by a security guard, Wayans largely went unnoticed among the hundreds of folks attending the conference and striving to broaden their knowledge of iPhones and iPads and apps.

In an exclusive interview, Wayans told Allvoices that he was paying his first-ever visit to Macworld/iWorld to absorb the latest information about apps.

Ever the funnyman with a keen sense of comedic timing, Wayans initially cracked a joke when asked why he was at Macworld/iWorld: “I really just wanted to get my computer fixed. They told me to go to Macworld; I thought it was a Mac store.”

During the interview with Allvoices, Wayans whipped out his iPad to show off a yet-to-be-released drinking-game app from his business, MIMS (Money In My Sleep).

Wayans, who starred in the ABC sitcom “My Wife and Kids” and has appeared in several major movies, said he grew intrigued by technology after establishing WayoutTV.com. The now-defunct website, which launched in 2008, was designed to be an incubator for online-only entertainment programs. Wayans said he was “a little bit ahead” of his time with WayoutTV.com.

“Going that route helped me to have an appreciation for technology,” he said of WayoutTV.com. “Now I’m like, ‘You know what? Acting is a sucker’s game.’ It’s about (content) distribution.”

Wayans’ recent entry into the world of app development prompted him to sit in on two days of sessions at Macworld/iWorld.

At the conference, “what I’ve learned is I don’t know anything. I thought I knew a lot about (technology),” Wayans said. “Technology is moving so fast. When you think of a great idea, someone’s already got it in the app store.”

Wayans plans to have two of MIMS’ apps available for sale fairly soon.

For Allvoices, he demonstrated a drinking-game app called “Wet It.” He said the app’s original name, “The Pissing Contest,” was rejected by Apple. As the app’s name implies, a user can direct a virtual stream of urine to, say, douse a fire or melt a snowman. The more alcohol you swig, the more difficult the urine-aiming task gets.

“I basically want to be a curator of apps,” Wayans said. “There are a lot of people who never get the opportunity (to develop apps). They have ideas, but they don’t have a clue how to execute . … (I’m) trying to take my experience and help to teach other people how to not have my experience.”

Referring to the “make money in your sleep” meaning behind the name of his business, Wayans said: “That’s what’s wonderful about the app world. It’s global, and you put it out there and if you put the right thing out there, it catches fires. And you wake up the next day, and you’re a millionaire.” In an apparent nod to the richer years of his career, Wayans paused before adding: “Again.”

For more of Allvoices' coverage of Macworld/iWorld 2013, the Ultimate iFan Event, check out allvoices.com/macworld.