Oscars 2013: How To Hold An Oscar (PICTURES)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.