The photoluminescence of single quantum dots fluctuates between bright (on) and dark (off) states, also termed fluorescence intermittency or blinking. This blinking limits the performance of quantum dot-based devices such as light-emitting diodes and solar cells. However, the origins of the blinking remain unresolved. Here, we use a movable gold micromirror to determine both the quantum yield of the bright state and the orientation of the excited state dipole of single quantum dots. We observe that the quantum yield of the bright state is close to unity for these single QDs. Furthermore, we also study the effect of a micromirror on blinking, and then evaluate excitation efficiency, biexciton quantum yield, and detection efficiency. The mirror does not modify the off-time statistics, but it does change the density of optical states available to the quantum dot and hence the on times. The duration of the on times can be lengthened due to an increase in the radiative recombination rate.