In 2016, we featured Thomas C. Knox and Date While You Wait, his social project to spice up the subway commute. Now, Knox’s modest mission to promote human connection in New York City’s subway stations is becoming a television series. In 2015, Knox created Date While You Wait to turn the sometimes tedious wait for a subway to arrive into uplifting social experiences for people. With a table, two chairs, a Coke bottle filled with flowers, and some kind of board game, Knox would set up on various subway platforms across the city. He would then invite strangers to play a game and chat while they awaited their trains. Within a matters of months, Date While You Wait was receiving attention from major news publications such as the New York Times, CBS, NBC, and NPR.
Image from David Katz Entertainment, Inc.
Over the years, Knox realized the positive impact that a simple conversation can have on people’s lives. He wanted to make Date While You Wait into a television series to share his message with a larger audience. “Connection matters. Every person has a story; it does matter who you are or it doesn’t matter where you are from. We all have a story and we all can relate to each other” says Knox. David Harris Katz Entertainment Inc., an Emmy award-winning production agency, believed in Knox’s vision and thought it was something that ought to be shared with the world.
Despite how its title may read, Knox is adamant that his project is not about finding romance. Rather, Knox promotes the serendipitous human connections that can be created through conversations with others. “Everyone wants to connect and it is important to find ways to just listen” says Knox.
In Date While You Wait, Knox also ventures beyond the subway. You will see Knox explore various New York City landmarks that have been around for generations and chat with the people who have kept them alive for so lo long. Notably, the show will feature the New York Comedy Club, McSorley’s Old Ale House, and Ferrara Bakery and Cafe. Additionally, Knox sat down with executive producer David Harris Katz who describes the series as “a love letter to New York” because it captures New York City as a whole, as well as the people who are a part of it.
Thomas Knox with the owner of Ferrara Bakery and Cafe. Image from David Harris Katz Entertainment, Inc.
Production of Date While You Wait commenced in March 2020, at the very beginning of the coronavirus outbreak. In an age of social distancing, it is even more difficult to interact with others. However, with the isolating nature of the pandemic, Knox believes that human connection is important now more than ever. “Wearing a mask has kind of given people a shield. But I find that people are more open now because they are not connecting as much” says Knox. While filming the show, Knox and his production team have taken every precaution possible to ensure every person’s safety such as wearing masks, hand sanitizing, and wiping down his table.
13 episodes of Date While You Wait are ready for distribution. David Harris Katz is expecting to have more information about when the show will air and where people can watch it within the next month. To keep up to date with the show, visit datewhileyouwait.tv.
Next, check out the fascinating secrets of the NYC Subway!