Vin Diesel was raised by his astrologer/psychologist mother and adoptive father in an artist's housing project in New York's Greenwich Village, never knowing his biological father. His first break in acting happened by chance, when at the age of seven he and his friends broke into a theatre to vandalize it. A woman stopped them and offered them each a script and $20, on the condition that they would attend everyday after school. From there, Vin's fledgling career progressed from the New York repertory company run by his father, to the Off-Off-Broadway circuit. At 17 and already sporting a well-honed physique, he became a bouncer at some of New York's hippest clubs to earn himself some extra cash. It was at this time that he changed his name to Vin Diesel.
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