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Local Performer Plays Young Bowie Karen Bliss - Special to The Telegram

Chad Richardson, a St. John's singer-songwriter performing on Broadway in the hit musical Rent, has landed a role playing a young David Bowie in the video for Bowie's upcoming single, The Pretty Things Are Going To Hell, from his new album.

Through his agent, the 29-year-old Richardson auditioned for the role Aug. 31 when he was shown footage of a Spiders From Mars-era Bowie and asked to mimic his moves and mannerisms.

``I walked out of the audition going, `That was ridiculous,''' said Richardson, but he got the gig and shot the video at the infamous Kit Kat Club in New York City on Sept. 7.

Richardson, a longtime Bowie fan who didn't need to practise for the role, wore a costume complete with a shoulder-length, orange-red wig made of real hair which the stylist cut to resemble Bowie's hair today.

``The shoot was deadly,'' said Richardson.

``I was watching Bowie's video takes most of the day and I'd pass him and say, `Hello.' At one point, I introduced myself to him and said, `I'll be playing the young you.'

``And then, when I actually got to do my scene at the very end of the video, where I'm the new Bowie reborn, it was very cool because Bowie was watching.''

`You've got all my moves down'

``He runs up after -- and MTV were filming the whole thing for a documentary on the making of the video -- and he said, `Oh, my God, it's unbelievable. You've got all my moves down proper. I can't believe it.'

``Then we hung out and talked for quite a bit after that and talked about Newfoundland because he played here (in the early 1990s) and went whale-watching there after the show.

``He was super nice, and after he said, `Let me get some pictures,' and he brought his photographer over and I got to take a couple of pictures, too.''

The video will likely air on MTV and MuchMusic in the next few weeks.