Diesel was raised by his astrologer/psychiatrist 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'.