Several years ago, I was asked by a friend who used to work at a high-end spa if I would be willing to be a “secret shopper” at said spa.  They had gotten questionable reports about a certain masseur and it would be my job to go undercover as a regular customer and see if the guy was breaking the rules or not.  I said, “Count me in,” because how hard could that be?  And I’d get a free massage, too.  I was determined to be a cool customer--James Bond in a towel and slippers—but once I got there, I became a nervous wreck.  My inner monologue was borderline hysterical and deafening.

That experience was the inspiration for Rubdown, a short film I wrote and directed in the spring of 2010.  Here’s the blurb from the back of the DVD box:

In Rubdown, Jaimie Fauth plays Andrew, an amiable Angeleno who goes undercover as a “secret shopper” at a high-end spa to see if a certain sexy masseur (John McCutcheon as Hunter) is honoring the company’s new “modesty policy” or ignoring it.  Andrew tries to take his mission seriously—he promised his friend in Human Resources, Bridget (Jackie Clarke) that he was up for the job--but it’s hard to be a good spy when your target is sweet, dreamy and loves the same kitschy TV shows you do.  Will Hunter break the rules and lose his job?  Will Andrew break a sweat and lose his cool?  Find out in the steamy new comedy Rubdown…where deep tissue might be an issue.

Thanks to an amazing team--including producers John Carrozza and Doug Prinzivalli, editor James Cude, director of photography Jesse Brunt, composer Jennifer Kes Remington and scores of other awesome folks--it all came together and was finished in time to premier at San Francisco’s historic Castro Theater as part of Frameline: The San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in June of 2010.  A few weeks later, it played in the state of the art Director’s Guild Theater in Los Angeles as part of Outfest.  Other festivals followed though we were rejected by Fresno, which hurts my heart because I love The Frez.

On the surface, Rubdown’s a lighthearted spy comedy with some romance thrown in for good measure.  But to me, the movie is about a guy who needs something wonderful to happen in his life because that’s how I was feeling at the time.  Thanks to the movie and all the awesome people involved in it, something did.