Recently I was asked by an aspiring young lady what I thought about Private Investigation “Schools and or Academies.” You know, like the ones you see on television that with a government grant you can go to these “colleges or universities” and get a credential to scrape teeth or shoe a horse or become a security guard or even become a private investigator.
Well, after several seconds of serious thought I stated that she would be just as well advised to enroll in “Clown College.” Yes, I felt that at least after graduating from clown school she could support herself. For even after attending an extensive “private investigator training” she would have to find some agency that would give her employment and then accumulate the thousands of hours to be able to take a test to become a ticket-carrying P.I. (and many of those that will hire you will not pay much above minimum wage, making it a tough three or four years financially while getting those hours). Again, this is my opinion.
Now I have certainly been entertained by P.I.s who without a doubt were natural clowns and had never attended a minute of clown college, except in how they conducted themselves in public. They even dressed the part, too! But this was not what this young lady was destined to become, she was smart and got what I was saying, what she was going to get caught up in was a legal scam as far as I am concerned. Save your money and do not take out a bank loan or government grant, try and find a respectable individual who will give you the guidance and well-placed advice you need. If after you understand the whole process and you are still wanting to be a P.I. (instead of a clown) then I wish you well. On the other hand if you fail as a P.I. you can still be a clown and chances are no one will notice! How cool is that? And some states do not even require a license…many do, after all it is a good source of revenue for state governments. California and Nevada as well as New York and Massachusetts are very tough, but not impossible.
It is too bad that many people trying to get into the “racket” of private investigations are not fully aware of the many pitfalls the game has. Oh for sure if you are retired from a previous job you can depend on that nice pension every month, however, if you have to earn the “Benjamins” and keep the doors open every month, now that is a whole different story. Now, I also suggested that she might want to attend classes at the Magic Castle as knowing the game of smoke and mirrors is critical when dealing with other private investigators. And another important area is the “strut” — yes sirree, you will need to strut and tell bullshit stories on all the money you make working with the rich and famous…LMAO. You had to be there and see it to get a total grasp on the technique. I saw this one guy at a “gathering” of these sorts and I swear he had burr tucked under his ass cheek and a rock in one one of his over-size cowboy boots…and had the “strut” down!
So in closing having a good degree in clowndom and secret handshake from the Castle and a whole lot of luck she might make it! And again this is all from my personal perspective and handful of guys we have worked with over the last 18 years. It is true that I speak from my experience having been in this racket a very long time. It is also very true that I had a great teacher in my early days, Hal Lipset. Hal was one of the greatest P.I.s that ever lived and he gave me some great tips that I still use to this very day. His son, Lou, I understand now runs the service…Lou is a former Deputy D.A., always well-dressed as was his dad….and the mansion in Pacific Heights, Hal always did it well.