Until a few years ago, Natálka Grossová was perceived by the public as the daughter of a politician, former Prime Minister Stanislav Gross, who unfortunately died six years ago due to the insidious disease ALS. Even then, however, "the Gross girl" was already singing. And singing she did love, on boards that mean the world at that. Back then she was a cute little girl with a pretty voice, while today she is a grown woman who has graduated from the conservatory and has a thriving career of her own. Besides starting a solo career, she wonders what she would do if she couldn't sing someday. In her interview with LP-Life.com, Natálka opens up about her prospects to the future, about memories of her dad and more.
The last time I saw you, you were a little girl, you weren't even at the conservatory yet. And now you're an adult.
It's crazy, but I'm an adult now. Time flies so fast.
Have you graduated yet?
How did it go?
Good, A. I got two A's, in history of theatrical theory and history of musical theatre. The didactic tests were only either a pass or a fail, and I passed.
Were you nervous?
Did the past COVID year affect your studies?
For me, it pretty much did. It was hard because sometimes the online classes didn't work as well as they should have, with the internet crashing and such, problems that every school had. But I think it's up to every individual to prepare for the finals. I tried to really study for it, so I could manage it somehow, but the stress was high.
What are you gonna do next?
I'm going to start Glossa, which is an English school where I'll get a C2 level certificate in English, so I might be able to translate.
They only teach English there?
Only English. Three hours of English every day.
Is this the kind of school you go to after high school when you don't want to go to college just yet?
Yeah, it's only for a year. After that, I want to go to college, but I don't know what college yet.
Something in that field, I guess?
I don't know if I want to go to art school. I'd either want to study languages, or I was thinking of a cosmetology school. Makeup skills are useful for the theatre, I could put them to use somehow there.
I would never have guessed that about you.
Well, I'm really into makeup.
I thought you would pursue theatre.
I'm going to keep singing and everything, but I don't know if I want to go to school for that. I've just been through the conservatory. I don't know yet, maybe I'll go someplace like that, but I haven't decided yet...
So do you plan to be a theatre singer all your life?
Not sure if theatre singer exactly, I'd certainly like to incorporate some pop in my career. I would like to do acting as well as singing in general, I wouldn't ever want to get away from that, I love it. However, I would like to add pop to my career as well, so that people don't just know me as a musical singer, but as someone who does her own music as well.
When you were starting out as a kid, did you believe that you would one day do this for a living?
Honestly, I had a lot more confidence as a kid than I do now.
I don't know. Once you hit puberty, you start wondering if you're really good enough. I'm trying to work on myself now, but when I was a kid, my self-esteem was pretty great. I wish I had half of that now.
Has anyone told you that something you do needs more work? With little kids, their singing is more about cuteness...
Certainly, but I've always been grateful for the comments, I never took it as criticism. I mean, depending on who the person was. If it was some hater trying to knock me down, I wouldn't take it to heart. If it was a person who really wanted to help me with something, I would welcome any comment.
Do you have haters?
Loads of them.
I think that comes with my surname. It’ll never really go away.
Until you get married.
I don’t know about that just yet (laughs). There’s a lot of haters, I try to ignore it, but it’s obviously hard.
You used to be very sad about it, I can remember that. Does it still make you sad?
I am, even though I try to disregard it, to not read it. But sometimes you just can’t resist, you decide to take a sneak peek, what they write. Nothing nice, usually. However, I try to focus on people who support me and like me, for example, people on my Instagram and such. I concentrate more on them than those who try to put people down.
How long has it been since your dad’s passing?
I don't think your generation even knows there ever was such a politician here.
I think so, too. That's why I also want to focus more on that age group, around 18 to 25 years old, who may not be as interested in politics as the older ones, who might not know what really went on back then and stuff like that. But it's not that I'm ashamed of my dad, I think he was great.
Recently the media ran a story of a dad of two who was diagnosed with ALS. The course of the disease was very rapid, and he opted for assisted suicide. That's a huge decision. What do you think about it?
I honestly have no idea what I would do in this situation. But I think my dad handled it just great, he kept believing and thinking positively right up to the last minute. I would probably try to do that, too, but I believe it's terribly hard when you know it's not going to be good. It's everyone's choice, I really don't know what I would do at all.
Are you still interested in the disease? You were just a kid then.
No, I’m not. I try to tune it out and not to think about it. I believe if you give it too much thought, you can call it upon yourself.
Your dad was so proud of you, and he went to all your shows as long as he could. What do you think he'd say about you today?
He'd only be happy for me. He's always been my biggest supporter. I used to sing to him at home, and he'd always get teary-eyed, he really loved it. I always had to show him videos from the theatre when he couldn't go anymore. He loved it, and he was always so supportive.
We're at a medical retreat, where they choose finalists for the "Anděl mezi zdravotníky" (Angel among the health workers) award. I believe that young people are healthy and therefore maybe they’re not aware of COVID that much. How did you feel about the whole COVID situation that prevented you from singing?
I think it was a shock for everyone. I believe that it's hard for all of us, and that everybody was trying to do their best. It's really hard, I don't think anyone quite knew what to do. I admire the health workers so much for being there even in this difficult time, helping us, and I admire their work overall because it's terribly difficult. I am glad to be here today.
What have you been doing for the past year when you couldn't perform?
I was actually quite happy that I had the time to study for my finals. I know it's a stupid way to put it. But I was really at home, studying. It also gave me a lot of good things; we can't only look on the negative side. I've started working on my own songs, we've started making songs that I'd like to already finish by now and maybe release eventually.
Your boyfriend sings too.
Yes, he's an opera singer.
That's the complete opposite of what you do.
Yes, it is, but I love it. Thanks to him, I've learned a lot more about classical music, which I think is the foundation of singing as a whole. I'm very happy, and I wish him every success, he's talented.
How long have you been together?
A year. It's nice, he's awfully sweet. We starred in The Cunning Little Vixen together when I was twelve and he was about sixteen, it was funny. That's where we first met, and then we did Phantom of the Opera together at the GoJa Music Hall.
What does your mom say about him?
Mom's fine, she likes him. And since mom has to approve everything, of course, I'm happy about this.
I remember when your sister started dating her partner, your Mum said at the time that it was hard to see her daughters grow up and leave the nest.
Of course, but I think every mom feels this way. When I have kids and they slowly start to leave me like this, I won't be thrilled either. But my mom loved Robin, too, and she was always so supportive. It's not like she was this "monster-in-law", giving us a hard time.
Do you get along with your partner's parents?
Yes, they're very nice. I was worried about them accepting me, but they're very nice.
Now you're all going on vacation together.
Yes, we are, there will also be our friends, it'll be great.
What are you planning? What does such a vacation, where the parents are together with the young generation that wants to have fun, look like?
It’s all okay. I'm glad my mom knows how to have fun too, so it's nice that we can get together like this. We'll travel, we'll be in Bibione, on the beach and we'd like to take a trip to Venice or Lago di Garda.
Did you have COVID?
I had it, my boyfriend had it, my mom did not. Of course, I try to take precautions as much as I can. I wear respirators everywhere, I'd like to get vaccinated.
You had an asthma problem, that's why you used to go to Florida.
I still have it.
I can hear you clear your throat.
That‘s allergy-related as well, I'm in my allergy season now, up until October. Asthma's better now, it got better when I was a teenager. I still have to use the inhaler sometimes, though. I call it "I’ll just have some lungs, snort a bit and that's it".
When I was your age, we mostly wanted to party. I don't think that applies to you at all.
I'm so out of the loop, an absolute dork. I'm totally outside of any groups and usual circles of people my age. My boyfriend and I are the same in this regard, he feels the same way. It’s just so not me to go out clubbing. I'd rather go to the theatre or watch Netflix at home, have some popcorn and watch a movie.
You had envy issues in elementary school. I assume that the conservatory washed that away completely.
The conservatory is nice in the way that people are in the same field, so they don't envy each other. Although I think there will always be envy, some people I'll get along with more, some less. But here at the conservatory, it was much better, we had a good bunch in class.
Isn't there a struggle for roles?
Of course, there is, but I know I didn't have a problem with it. We had really nice people in the class, we got along really well.
Right now it's the theatre holidays, where can we see you in September?
We're starting the musical Čarodějka (Wicked) on September 3, so definitely there. That's about all I have planned so far. I might be shooting a movie, but I don't want to give it away so that I don't jinx it. After that, I'd like to work on my songs.
You've been in TV shows, too, like Přístav ("The Harbor").
Yes, I was in The Harbor. We're also shooting the series Slunečná now, but that's about to end. I don't know if I’m allowed to say it, and I don't even know exactly when my last shooting day is. It's slowly coming to an end.
If you've been making money like this since you were a kid, what do you spend it on? Do you save it?
Now I've started putting it all into a studio that I’m furnishing at home, a home studio. A computer, a microphone, speakers, everything so I can record at home. Otherwise, I'm very much a gift person, so I usually buy for other people rather than myself.