Persistence pays off for Louie
Louie Bulzomi is living proof that persistence pays off.
For a while, Louie – a 33 year old accountant – thought his professional sports broadcasting dream was over. Knockback after knockback had taken their toll. There were glass ceilings he felt could never be broken no matter how hard he tried.
After working in Melbourne community radio as a footy commentator and boundary rider, Louie felt ready for a crack at the ‘big league’ of commercial radio, even TV.
Louie studied various courses under the mentorship of radio veterans including Geoff ‘The Coach’ Field and Dan Lonergan. Determined to turn his passion into a career, Louie says he sent out airchecks to metro radio stations, all to no avail.
The door knocking continued, until an opportunity came out of left field – the offer of an assistant role during Tennis Australia’s AO Radio broadcast of the 2015 Australian Open.
Louie tells Radio Today “This became my first foray into commercial radio, where I was not only helping source content and package grabs for the commentators to play on-air, but also co-hosting morning and evening preview shows and conducting interviews.”
When there was suddenly a shortage of available commentators to cover the end of a third round match between Serena Williams and Camilla Giorgi, Louie found himself thrown into the deep end.
“Craig Willis and Jill Craybas were on commentary at the time, but Craig had to head upstairs and go on court to announce the introductions for the Rafael Nadal vs Marcos Baghdatis game.”
Louie was asked to call the final two games of the match with Jill.
“I was freaking out. A dream of mine had come true. It was the best 13 minutes of my life.”
Eventually, further rejections – coupled with Covid – took a crushing mental toll on Louie. Disillusioned, he lost his passion for commentating altogether.
A phone call earlier this year would reignite the fire in his belly.
SEN’s Mark Alvey sounded Louie out about a new local show for SEN Track Sunraysia 89.1 FM.
“SEN was launching a show called Saturdays In Sunraysia and was after a local host. Mark remembered an earlier chat he’d had with me and thought I’d be a great candidate for the role. I accepted immediately.”
Co-hosted by Adam Thomson, the show is five segments covering local, national and international sport, in the stylings of Craig Hutchison and Liam Pickering’s Off The Bench.
“The first show has now been done, and I cannot feel any more excited about the dream being reborn again.”
Louie’s advice to others looking for their break in radio is simple: “Start local, and never go away.”
“Community radio is a fantastic way to start developing your skills and building on experience without the pressures of a commercial environment.”
“Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and try new avenues that you otherwise wouldn’t have explored – that’s how I got my AO Radio gig, despite being more passionate about footy than tennis!”
In other words: Keep banging on that door until someone opens it up.