Winning an Oscar is the pivotal moment in the career of an entertainer.

That innocuous-looking statuette signals the start of fatter salaries, juicier roles, widespread media coverage and the delivery of a truck load of freebies.

It's also 13.5 gold plated inches of recognition that you are probably really really good at your job.

oscar preview

Glimpsing the man-shaped medallion which will soon be yours, the tricky business of how to hold the damn thing can flit from your mind.

That's why all Oscar nominees attend Oscar-holding training school before they grace the red carpet.

As seen in the picture above, the ideal way to hold the Oscar is with the flat of one hand on the base of the statuette while the other firmly grips the lower body of the Oscar to steady the award.

However many actors and actresses, buoyed by a second win at the Academy Awards, have flaunted the rules, with little success.

Fail to hold the Oscar in the correct way and you risk looking pompous, oaf-fisted, or like an extra from Bruce Forsyth's The Price Is Right.

Actor Jean Dujardin, winner of the Best Actor Award for The Artist in 2012, attempted a hold with little finger cocked, a bombastic lift mirrored in the left eyebrow. A risky move.

french oscar

Le French Oscar hold

Actress Meryl Streep, winner of the Best Actress Award for 'The Iron Lady,' also went rogue for her second Oscar, posing with her award like an auctioneer's assistant. But then again, she also flaunted the rules of the Oscar training manual by coming dressed as an Oscar.

oscar meryl

Streep shows the way a second oscar win can go wrong

Actor Sean Penn brandished the Oscar like a gold-plated bottle of bud in 2009, looking a tad unschooled.

sean penn

Show some respect Penn

While Jack Nicholson carressed the curves of the Oscar with a mischevious grin, with his steady base hand he managed to carry off the Oscar with style.

Take a look through examples purloined from the Oscar training school manual below.

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  • The 85th Academy Awards - Press Room - Los Angeles

    Daniel Day-Lewis with his oscar best actor received for his role in Lincoln at the 85th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre, Los Angeles.

  • 85th Annual Academy Awards - Press Room

    HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 24: Actress Jennifer Lawrence, winner of the Best Actress award for 'Silver Linings Playbook,' poses in the press room during the Oscars held at Loews Hollywood Hotel on February 24, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

  • The 85th Academy Awards - Press Room - Los Angeles

    Anne Hathaway with her Oscar for best supporting actress received for her role in Les Miserables during the 85th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre, Los Angeles. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday February 24, 2013. See PA story SHOWBIZ Oscars. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire

  • 84th Annual Academy Awards - Press Room

    HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Actor Jean Dujardin, winner of the Best Actor Award for 'The Artist,' poses in the press room at the 84th Annual Academy Awards held at the Hollywood & Highland Center on February 26, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

  • 84th Annual Academy Awards - Press Room

    HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Actress Meryl Streep, winner of the Best Actress Award for 'The Iron Lady,' poses in the press room at the 84th Annual Academy Awards held at the Hollywood & Highland Center on February 26, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

  • The 83rd Academy Awards - Press Room - Los Angeles

    Colin Firth with the Best Actor award, received for The King's Speech, at the 83rd Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre, Los Angeles.

  • The 82nd Academy Awards - Press Room - Los Angeles

    Sandra Bullock with the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role recieved for The Blind Side, at the 82nd Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre, Los Angeles.

  • The 83rd Academy Awards - Press Room - Los Angeles

    Natalie Portman with the Best Actress award, received for Black Swan at the 83rd Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre, Los Angeles.

  • The 82nd Academy Awards - Press Room - Los Angeles

    Jeff Bridges with the award for Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role received for Crazy Heart, at the 82nd Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre, Los Angeles.

  • The 81st Academy Awards - Press Room - Los Angeles

    Kate Winslet with the Best Actress award, received for The Reader, at the 81st Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre, Los Angeles.

  • The 80th Academy Awards - Press Room - Los Angeles

    Marion Cotillard with the award for Best Actress in a Leading Role received for La Vie En Rose at the 80th Academy Awards (Oscars) at the Kodak Theatre, Los Angeles.

  • The 81st Annual Academy Awards - Press Room

    HOLLYWOOD - FEBRUARY 22: Actor Sean Penn poses in the 81st Annual Academy Awards press room held at The Kodak Theatre on February 22, 2009 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

  • 79th Academy Awards - Press Room - Los Angeles

    Helen Mirren with the award for Best Actress (for The Queen), during the 79th Academy Awards (Oscars) at the Kodak Theatre, Los Angeles.

  • The 80th Annual Academy Awards - Press Room

    HOLLYWOOD - FEBRUARY 24: Actor Daniel Day Lewis poses in the press room during the 80th Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre on February 24, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

  • The 79th Annual Academy Awards - Press Room

    Forest Whitaker, winner Best Actor in a Leading Role for ?The Last King of Scotland? at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, California (Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage)

  • Academy Awards - Oscars - Kodak Theatre

    Reese Witherspoon with the Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for Walk The Line

  • The 77th Annual Academy Awards - Press Room

    Hilary Swank, winner Best Actress in a Leading Role for 'Million Dollar Baby' (Photo by Steve Granitz Archive 1/WireImage)

  • Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman holds his Oscar backstage at th

    UNITED STATES - MARCH 05: Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman holds his Oscar backstage at the 78th Academy Awards Sunday, March 5, 2006, in Los Angeles. Hoffman won the best-actor Oscar for his portrayal of author Truman Capote in the film 'Capote.' (Photo by Francis Specker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

  • Charlize Theron The Oscars 2004

    Charlize Theron with her Best Actress Oscar at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles during the 76th Academy Awards. Charlize was wearing a dress by Tom Ford for Gucci, accessorised with Chopard earrings worth 25,000, and she was carrying a Lana Marks purse worth 50,000.

  • US actor Denzel Washington holds his Oscar statue after winning the award for best actor in a leading role for his portrayal of Alonzo, a narcotics officer who has crossed the dangerous line between cop and criminal, in the movie 'Training Day' 24 March,

    US actor Denzel Washington holds his Oscar statue after winning the award for best actor in a leading role for his portrayal of Alonzo, a narcotics officer who has crossed the dangerous line between cop and criminal, in the movie 'Training Day' 24 March, 2002 at the 74th Academy Awards at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, CA. Washington is the first African-American actor to take home the Oscar for Best Actor since 1963 when Sidney Poitier won for Lilies of the Field. AFP PHOTO LEE CELANO (Photo credit should read LEE CELANO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Russell Crowe holds his Oscar for Best Actor for

    LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES: Russell Crowe holds his Oscar for Best Actor for his role in 'Gladiator' during the 73rd Annual Academy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium 25 March 2001 in Los Angeles. AFP PHOTO/Hector MATA (Photo credit should read HECTOR MATA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • The 73rd Annual Academy Awards - Press Room

    Julia Roberts (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

  • Jack Nicholson holds the Oscar he won for Best Act

    LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES: Jack Nicholson holds the Oscar he won for Best Actor for 'As Good As It Gets' 23 March at the 70th Annual Academy Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) AFP PHOTO/Hector MATA (Photo credit should read HECTOR MATA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • 71st Annual Academy Awards - Press Room

    Gwyneth Paltrow at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion in Los Angeles, California (Photo by Jim Smeal/WireImage)

  • Tom Hanks With 'Philadelphia' Oscar

    American actor Tom Hanks holds up the Oscar statuette he won for Best Actor for his role in the film, 'Philadelphia,' Academy Awards, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, L.A. County Music Center, Los Angeles, California, March 21, 1994. (Photo by Fotos International/Getty Images)

  • 60th Annual Academy Awards - Press Room

    LOS ANGELES - APRIL 11: Singer/Actress Cher attends the 60th Annual Academy Awards on April 11, 1988 at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)

  • 62nd Annual Academy Awards

    Daniel Day Lewis (Photo by Barry King/WireImage)

  • 55th Annual Academy Awards - Pressroom

    Meryl Streep at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Barry King/WireImage)

  • Actor Al Pacino holds an award statuette at the 65th annual Academy Awards March 29, 1993 in Los Angeles, CA. Pacino received the Best Actor award for his role in 'Scent of a Woman.' (Photo by Barry King/Liaison)

    Actor Al Pacino holds an award statuette at the 65th annual Academy Awards March 29, 1993 in Los Angeles, CA. Pacino received the Best Actor award for his role in 'Scent of a Woman.' (Photo by Barry King/Liaison)

  • 44Th Annual Academy Awards In 1972

    UNSPECIFIED - APRIL 15: Jane Fonda, Left, (Best Actress For Her Performance In Klute) Gene Hackman (Best Actor For His Performance In French Connection) And Cloris Leachman (Best Supporting Actress For Her Performance In The Last Picture Picture Show) Pose On April 15Th 1972. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)

  • American actor Grace Kelly (1929 - 1982) poses in front of a curtain with her Best Actress Oscar for director George Seaton's film, 'The Country Girl,' at the Academy Awards on March 30, 1955 in Los Angeles, California

    American actor Grace Kelly poses in front of a curtain with her Best Actress Oscar for director George Seaton's film, 'The Country Girl,' at the Academy Awards on March 30, 1955 in Los Angeles, California

  • MARCH 1950: Best Actress winner Olivia De Havilland holding her Best Actress Oscar for 'The Heiress' at the Academy Awards. (Photo by Ed Clark/Life Magazine/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

    MARCH 1950: Best Actress winner Olivia De Havilland holding her Best Actress Oscar for 'The Heiress' at the Academy Awards. (Photo by Ed Clark/Life Magazine/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

  • Ginger Rogers and James Stewart

    James Stewart (1908-1997), US actor, wearing a black tuxedo, a white shirt and black bow tie, with Ginger Rogers (1911-1995), US actress and dancer, wearing an evening gown, both holding their Oscar statuettes, at the 13th Academy Awards, at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, California, USA, 27 February 1941. Stewart won Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance in 'The Philadelphia Story', and Rogers won Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance in 'Kitty Foyle'. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)