Red hot poker, and cell phone rings

We are doing Edward the 2nd Modernized, and somehow I have to show that a fire poker is red hot (during a black out), and I have to have cell phone rings on stage. Any one have any ideas? Is there any software for cell phones you can download? Im not so sure the actors will be able to scroll through ring tone settings during the play.......

Thanks, Josh
Don't ever try to make a real cellphone ring on stage. There's no practical, reliable, repeatable way to do it. The two most common options are to either use one of those toy cellphones that ring when you press a button, or to fake it.

I've designed a couple shows where I've had to fake it, and it turns out very well if you put a speaker for that effect near where the actor will be standing. If it's a proscenium venue, you can hide speakers in props/set pieces, behind doors or windows, etc. In a more flexible space, you can hang speakers directly over where the actor will be standing.

The last time I designed a show with a cell ring was in a small in-the-round room with an overhead grid. I placed a speaker directly over the actor, aimed down at the ground so as to diffuse the sound to the audience a bit (you might also play with aiming it at the ceiling to see which works better for your effect in your space).

I found the ringer we wanted (we needed a specific song) on a ringtone site and downloaded a wav format sample of it, which was perfect, since it sounded like it was being played on a phone. You can also go the MIDI route, composing it as a MIDI file and recording that to a wave with the basic cheesy sounding samples that come with most computers, and then process it (particularly EQing it appropriately) to sound like a phone, which will let you compose any ringer you like.

A bit of careful level setting in the venue led to a very convincing effect--even good friends who should have known better came up to me after the show asking how we got the phone to ring on cue!

red LED inside a hollow "poker" with a clear/semi-trasnparent end, batteries shoved farther up the poker? Tightly wrapped and reinforced black paper might be good enough (use the bateries to support the inside). it really depends if this is going to have to be seen in the light too or not.
Yeah I figured the whole actually using a cell phone thing would not work. Thanks for the advice I will be using it. Thanks for the idea of the poker. Yes it has to be seen in the light, but we might be able to work something out. Where can I just buy a single led light? Better yet where can I rob one from ?
Perhaps I can use a blood red gel for the tip.

Thanks, Josh
ya a gel would work. You are much better off buying a pack of LEDs as they are much cheaper in quantity (my Digital Electronics teacher gets them for about .1 cents/LED (or, $0.001 or so he cliams)) and you might end up blowing one if you dont put the right voltage through it. (remember, flat side goes to negative) That being said, I think radio shack stocks them, but someone in your area might be able to point out a cheaper place to get them. I know there is a store where my teacher gets all our components, but it isnt a chain or anything like that.
an LED is dirt cheap man! really, less than $5 for sure, maybe a buck or two for some short wires, even if it's like, gator clips, just cut off the ends, strip and solder. Run those to a battery a good ways away, which you can gaff to the poker in an inconspicuious spot, probably. Then, you can wire in a cheap switch (another buck or two) and really, you can leave it on for the whole scene, but when you aren't doing theplay, youwill want it off. Wiring to the battery shouldn't be too hard to jerry rig some how, in a way that it will always work. You canf igure that you based on where you tape the batteries. If you really need to, you could take a diffuser gel, cut a small strip of that and wrap that around the end of the poker. Leaving the end uncovered might be ok but you can see if that ruins the effect. Then you get a glowing red end without one bright spot, because of the diffuser/frost gel.

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