Danny Elfman was born on May 29, 1953 in Los Angeles, California to a Jewish family of Polish and Russian ancestry. He is the son of Blossom Elfman (née Bernstein), a writer and teacher, and Milton Elfman, a teacher who was in the Air Force. He was raised in a racially mixed affluent community in Baldwin Hills, California. He spent much of his time in the neighborhood's local movie theater, adoring the music of such film composers as Bernard Herrmann and Franz Waxman. Stating that he hung out with the "band geeks" in high school, he started a ska band. After dropping out of high school, he followed his brother Richard to France, where he performed with Le Grand Magic Circus, an avant-garde musical theater group.