If you can faintly see the screen on the MacBook with a flashlight you can set up the way your screen works. In System Preferences>Display on the MacBook screen there should be an Arrangement tab when you have the MacBook hooked up to the external and both screens working. When you click the Arrangement tab do you see two monitors side by side? One of them will have a Menu Bar at the top. Just click on the Menu Bar and drag it to the second monitor. That will make the second monitor your main screen. The dock and the menu bar will now be on your external monitor.
You can now use your MacBook in Clamshell Mode with a wired or Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3131
Or you can check the Mirror Display box on the lower left hand side of the Arrangement tab under the two monitors box. That will show the same screen on both the MacBook and the external monitor. That will allow you to use the MacBook's keyboard and trackpad.