If you're looking to put together some sort of entertainment production (music, film, photo shoot, whatever), and you find the need to keep costs down (or you can't really afford your first choice), there are marketable options.
The entertainment industry has been doing this for years. Similar to the fashion industry, where you have your high-priced designer items, and then the mass-market knock-offs (affordable to the common people), celebrities come in different gradations as well.
If you really wanted Denzel to be a part of your production, but can't find the financial backing to afford him, then you have the option of looking up Dennis Haysbert. If you are finding yourself frustrated, because you just can't get that project realized because of financial constraints, don't fret! There are always viable options:
- If you can't get Maxwell, just go for Eric Benet.
- If P. Diddy is really who you want, but his people won't even talk to you, call up Damon Dash.
- Want Ashanti to do a few guest vocals, but strapped for cash? Look up Christina Milian.
- Actually, now that Christina's lightened her look, she could sub for Beyonce as well.
- Can't afford Destiny's Child for your bar mitzvah? Call up 3LW.
- Can't get Usher? Go for Mario, Omarion, or Marques Houston.
- R. Kelly just too expensive? Try for Avant, Jaheim, or, if you're really strapped, Case.
- Is 112 just too high profile for your budget? Get B2K.
- A few years back, when NSync wasn't an affordable option, 98 Degrees did the job just fine.
- Can't afford Alannis Morrissette? Get Pink, or Kelly Clarkson, or Avril Lavigne.
- If Avril is still not in your budget, go for Ashlee Simpson.
- Can't afford the rights to add that Luther Vandross song to your production, but you just have to have that "Luther vibe"? Try Ruben Studdard.
- Really wanted a Barry Manilow feel? Clay Aiken is the way to go.
- Faith Evans too expensive? Blu Cantrell's probably free (well, maybe not exactly free, but less expensive, definitely).
- Can you only think of Jim Carrey in your wildest dreams? Will Ferrell is the perfect stand-in.
- Viveca Fox's people just won't return your calls? Try Lisa Raye.
- Want Jodie Foster, but can't afford her? Julia Stiles will do.
- Can't afford Freddie Prinze, Jr.? Call Wilmer Valderrama.
- We all know how expensive Katie Couric is… just give in and call Kelly Ripa.
- Back in the day, when Jodeci's price was a little too "upscale" for a production, Dru Hill filled in nicely.
- And if you only needed KC Hailey, but he was just too pricey for you, Sisqo was the perfect replacement.
- Missy Elliott too big for your budget? You could probably get JD to loan out Da Brat for a few days with no problems.
- Can't get Sheryl Crow? Call up Michelle Branch.
- Salma Hayek too expensive? Eva Mendes is another option.
- You really wanted a Boris Kodjoe type? Shemar Moore is probably available.
- Antonio Banderas too expensive for your film? Get Marc Anthony. Marc will also do if you wanted Enrique Iglesias to sing, but you couldn't get him, either.
- Gotta have that Erykah Badu vibe, but you don't have an Erykah budget? Try India.Arie.
- Can't afford Nicole Ari Parker? Call Leila Arcieri.
- Mariah Carey just too expensive? Get Christina Aguilera.
- A few years back, if you couldn't afford Naomi Campbell (or couldn't afford to pay for the damages that would normally result from working with her), you could get Beverly Peel instead.
- And if you want Tyson Beckford, but find yourself priced out, Tyrese is just as good.
- Years ago, if you couldn't afford Britney Spears, you could substitute with Mandy Moore or Jessica Simpson, but obviously, the tables have turned now…
Thanks a million, Walkofju!