Karli Sherman is a professional speaker, educator and event manager. She describes her mission as “helping companies, campuses, and individuals grow, learn, create unforgettable experiences, and be more awesome.”
Karli is one of those full energy people — her signature color is red, she collects tiaras and is a Ravenclaw (Harry Potter fans will understand). Within a few minutes of chatting wirh her, I am grinning — she has that effect on people.
She is involved with the Junior League of Lafayette, travels nationally as a recruitment ambassador for her sorority, and represents the Kiwanis Club of St. Martinville as the reigning Ms. Pepper Festival Queen. Karli is a member of the current Leadership Lafayette Class XXXIII, the 705, and the Lafayette Women’s Chamber of Commerce. She is active in her Catholic faith, a newly signed professional voice actor with the New Orleans Voice Agency, and a dog mom to her 3.5-pound maltipoo named Pixie.
What was your first job? My first *paid* job was working front desk at two hotels at Disney World (Saratoga Springs & Old Key West Resorts). I did the Disney College Program in 2009 right after graduating from UL. I actually did a 10-year reunion trip last year with a bunch of us from the program who are still friends!
Describe a typical day in your life. I recently took an exciting risk by resigning from my former job at UL, leaving higher education, and going full time as a speaker, educator, and event manager! So recently my typical day has changed since I’m now self-employed, working remotely, and creating my own schedule, projects, and business. It’s been an exhilarating shift and a wonderful professional challenge.
What advice would you give the younger you? You do not have to make yourself smaller so that others can feel bigger.
What event in your life most shaped who you are now? Jan. 26, 1986. This was the best day of my life. When I was 5 days old, I was given my best chance at life. That was the day I became Karli Anne Sherman. That was the day I was adopted. I have always known I was adopted (fun fact: most adopted children are raised knowing, contrary to what movies might say), and being adopted has been a point of pride for me. It’s one of my favorite identities. It also taught me that family is more than blood.
What values do you live by? Creativity, freedom, meaningful work, challenge the process, excellence, and sense of humor!
What do you most appreciate? My No. 1 love language is quality time, so I appreciate when I can develop a deep, meaningful relationship with someone. Spending quality time to nurture close relationships is one of my joys in life.
What is your favorite journey? My favorite literal journey is the drive between my home, Lafayette, and my hometown, Hammond. I love connecting these two cities which have molded me into me. And I absolutely love the drive across the Basin Bridge! It puts you right in the middle of one of the most beautiful and special features of Louisiana.
Where is your favorite place to be alone? My apartment. I’ve personalized my space each time I’ve moved so my apartment reflects where I am in my life blended with where I’ve been.
What living figure most inspires you? I am most inspired by my 3.5 pound maltipoo, Pixie. Besides being my best furry friend, she reminds me everyday to be the best version of myself. She reminds me by showing me. Pixie is a model of trust, positivity, and forgiveness.
What was the best advice you were ever given? You are not required to set yourself on fire in order to keep others warm.
What book would you tell everyone to read? I have two words — "HARRY POTTER." They are by far the best books I have ever read.
What is the best thing about where you live? I live in The Crescent Apartments in River Ranch right beside City Club, and I LOVE it. I love NOT owning a home. I love that I have a beautifully landscaped property, access to a pool and all kinds of fun amenities, can walk to Pour or Romacelli, I have my own bathroom during Rhythms on the River, and if something needs fixing I call a number and by the end of the day *poof* it’s magically done!
How do you "let the good times roll"? Festivals. Traveling. Attending fabulous events. Happy hours. Singing as loud as possible during a dueling pianos show. Drag Shows. Volunteering. Musical theatre. Brunch. Oh sweet, sweet brunch.
What did you want to be when you grew up? Oh, I was going to be on Broadway, darling (said with a dramatic flourish). Musical theatre is still in my heart and soul, and performing is what I love more than anything, but I’ve learned there are a lot of ways to express that love without having to be a professional entertainer.
What is your motto? Yes, I know guac is extra, but so am I.
How would you like to be remembered? I want to be remembered for living an extraordinary life. I’m not quite sure exactly how to do that, or if I’ve done it yet, but I’m working on it everyday.
What do you say to yourself when you doubt yourself? Sometimes when I hear the inner saboteur I say “Yeah, you right…” and I give in to her. Sometimes. But most of the time I say, “Um, excuse me, I’m Karli F*cking Sherman, bitch” and that usually runs the little saboteur off.
What three things are vital to BEing YOU? At least 8 hours of sleep (and I love naps too!), good Louisiana food, and hairspray
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Awesome, like, and multiple exclamation points at the end of a sentence!!!!!!
What is your favorite word? Fabulous!
What do you collect? Tiaras! I’ve been collecting those rhinestone diadems since I was 5 years old.
What food could you live on for a month? Cheese. Or wine. Or cheese AND wine.
What would you change about yourself? I would make myself a morning person in addition to being a night owl. I wouldn’t trade being a night owl, because I love it. But I recognize how much more convenient it would be to wake up naturally earlier in the day!
What literary, movie or cartoon character do you most identify with? As stated above, my favorite books are the "Harry Potter" series, and I particularly identify with Hedwig. She is loyal, really good at her job, smart, intuitive, beautiful, gets cranky without food, trustworthy, creative, and sassy.
Describe yourself in five words. Thirty-four, single, child-free, and fabulous
What is your idea of happiness? I once read that happiness is an equation. When your reality is greater than or equal to your expectations, it equals happiness. I like it. It totally makes sense. And makes happiness — this elusive, fluid concept we are all chasing — more concrete and attainable. It also helped me understand why I get so disappointed or disenchanted — I have really high expectations. Of people, of customer service, of friendship, of professionalism, of education, of event production….But the equation has also helped me realize my happiness is dependent upon me, not others. I can change my situation to help my reality match my expectations. Pretty cool little equation.
Who is your style icon? Any and every drag queen. I feel most like myself when I can be over-the-top, outrageous, covered in glitter, with big hair and bigger accessories while strutting around being magnificent. That’s when what’s on the outside mostly closely matches what’s on my inside. While I don’t do drag myself, I do love doing the most.
What do you most regret? My mother was taken by cancer 10 years ago, in April 2010. While she was sick, toward the end, I had quit my job and moved home to care for her, my dad, and our home. Never having experienced anything but a blessed and charmed life I was utterly unprepared to deal with what I was facing as my mom was dying. I recognize I was acting according to my ill-equipped coping mechanisms, but I will always regret how selfish I was during those final few weeks of her life. I regret not being by her side more, talking to her more, learning everything I could from her before she was taken. I know now that my mom was my soulmate. I wish I could have told her that. But I think she knew.
What question do you wish I'd asked? What is your favorite color...
What would the answer be? While my signature color is Red (it’s actually the Sherman family color, as well), my favorite color is sparklesss!! So if you're driving around Lafayette and see a red SUV with the personalized license plate GLITTER — that’s me.