My Evil Twin and I are working on a class that takes acting exercises such as pantomime, improvisation, and proper breathing and posture techniques and brings them into the realm of magic. I suppose one might wonder what acting techniques have to do with commanding and conjuring the forces or the universe.
Breath is life, it's energy. We should practice taking in the maximum amount possible. Adjusting our posture is a step. Another is stretching the muscles. There are so many muscles involved with breathing, not just the diaphragm, but also the intercostals (between the ribs), the neck muscles, your lats, and your back muscles as well. She has the singing techniques, I have the myology so we're combining forces.
The scary, yet wonderful thing about actors (the good ones) is their ability to become someone else entirely, to channel people both real or imagined. This is where you begin to see the connection between the magic and the technique: To be able to put aside your ego and let something else in, even if just on the surface with actions and dialect is the first step to channeling.
Pantomime is a much maligned art. Its value is apparent when you start to work with energy constructs, or do energy work in general: Feeling that ball of light is one thing, but to keep track of it is another. This art sharpens your awareness of your actions and the things that are part of your peripheral attention but not your main focus, like something simmering on the stove while you set the table. Your awareness is there, in part, even if the pot is not your immediate focus.
These exercises also sharpen your sense of touch: When you work to remember how something feels and examine your reaction, physically or otherwise, you might find it easier to dream consciously. I sure do.
When you energetically construct a temple or a sigil or a protective structure, or send healing, or even cast a circle, part of your awareness remains with the consctruct to power it. It could be just a fraction, but it's there, like that simmering pot. Once you lose track of it, it collapses.
No, this isn't something that has been passed down from back in the day, but these techniques help to build on what I have learned. For many, they're a comfortable, low-pressure way to practice what can be intimidating techniques. Instead of "aspecting deity" it can be much easier for someone to tune into the neutral channel. Instead of building a temple, they can pantomime the box getting smaller.
Hell, maybe they were passed down from some commedia dell'arte troupe! ha! jk. Sacred theater is an entirely different post.